This essay has tremendous potential that is left unrealized. The point of comparison, maps, is a small single-product industry, so it is unclear what lessons could be moved over to publishing more broadly, but the author identifies some important points that are worth considering. Among these, the most salient is the user and company curated aspect of Google Maps, something that might have parallels in the book/publishing world.
The essay, unfortunately, falls short of building a strong case of comparisons. It presents far too much irrelevant information (information that is germane to the topic, but not to the argument) and leaves many points uncited. This is too bad, as it could have been a much stronger essay with a little more focus.