Raging Thunderbolt, in John Gruber Is A Smart Guy (Or, Maps).
He’s not wrong to state this, but a little historical perspective: at this point five years ago, the only phone that came with a mapping application installed was the iPhone, with its Maps application (coded by Apple, data from Google). Nokia at this point had begun to offer mapping applications (and built-in GPS), but my memory of trying to install one on an N73 (after they’d stopped charging for the app) was one of failing repeatedly.
If you go back just another five years, the state of the art was Streetmap and Mapquest, both of which had interfaces with what seems now to be startlingly primitive indirect manipulation: if you wanted to look a tile to the right, you clicked on the little arrow to the right of the maps. If you were very lucky you had a big enough screen to expand to a 5x5 view, instead of the default 3x3.
Nonetheless, maps are now essential. It doesn’t matter that this is a change that took less than five years; whether or not we deserve to feel entitled to them, we definitely miss it when they’re not there.