One of the premier research platforms around here is Cyclopath, a geowiki and route-finding service for Twin Cities bicyclists.
Now, we've expected Google's announcement that they were getting into the bicycle routing business for some time. But that doesn't mean yesterday was relaxed for us. :)
After sleeping on it, (and speaking for myself) I think this development is actually either neutral or good. We're in a different niche than Google -- we're focused on open content and community, not just maps, and we're strongly local with personal connections to the cycling community and local agencies. And on the plus side: almost all of the reactions from the community I saw on the social web were very supportive of us, and I've never seen so much passion at Cyclopath Headquarters as I did yesterday!
We'll continue to write and publish consistent with our excellent track record (e.g., of the 5 papers we've submitted to top-tier conferences, 4 have been accepted on the first try and 2 have been nominated for Best Paper).
Details on what Google's announcement means for Cyclopath, from the user perspective, are here.
Interesting article (see http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/wikicity-0830.html) --
Residents of Italy's capital will glimpse the future of urban mapmaking next month with the launch of "Wiki City Rome,"
a project developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that
uses data from cellphones and other wireless technology to illustrate
the city's pulse in real time.