Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Apple’s New Map

Justin O’Beirne:

If RMSI is creating Apple’s buildings by manually tracing them from satellite imagery, it would explain how Apple’s building perimeters could be more precise than Google’s algorithmically-generated buildings:


Regardless of how Apple is creating all of its buildings and other shapes, Apple is filling its map with so many of them that Google now looks empty in comparison[…] And all of these details create the impression that Apple hasn’t just closed the gap with Google—but has, in many ways, exceeded it...

...but only within the 3.1% of the U.S. where the new map is currently live.


In other words, TomTom’s database somehow has roads from Parkfield’s boomtown days—roads that have been gone for more than 75 years. No wonder why Apple removed them.


Unless they’re already listed on Yelp, none of the shapes Apple has added appear in its search results or are labeled on its map. And this is a problem for Apple because AR is all about labels—but Apple’s new map is all about shapes.

So is Apple making the right map?

James O’Leary:

Apple: “We don’t think there’s anybody doing this level of work that we’re doing.”

TechCrunch: “wow lemme write that”

Ex-Apple Maps, politely: you offshored maps to 5,000 doing manual work. after 5yrs, you have vegetation for 3.1% of the US +bad place data

John Gruber:

O’Beirne’s keen observation is this: even in the areas where Apple’s new maps have rolled out, Google is still far ahead in correctly identifying places and specific destinations.

Nick Heer:

Rebuilding Maps in such a comprehensive way is going to take some time, so I read O’Beirne’s analysis as a progress report. But, even keeping that in mind, it’s a little disappointing that what has seemingly been prioritized so far in this Maps update is to add more detailed shapes for terrain and foliage, rather than fixing what places are mapped and where they’re located. It

Rui Carmo:

At this rate, we are never going to be able to use Apple Maps in Europe.

Although Apple Maps have improved markedly (and worked OK during my recent trip to Edinburgh) there are still loads of things missing (landmarks, streets, transit info), and have stayed that way for years, whereas Google Maps are sometimes corrected within days.

Previously: Rebuilding Apple Maps Using Apple’s Own Data, Google Maps’s Moat.

Update (2018-11-09): See also: Hacker News.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

"Unless they’re already listed on Yelp, none of the shapes Apple has added appear in its search results or are labeled on its map"

I don't think that's correct. You can manually add your business to Apple Maps. It's just that unlike Google, Apple's not been aggressive it petitioning businesses to do this. I'm not sure why not.


I think it'd behoove Apple to email or call businesses to get them to update their information. Although I suspect there's the problem of how to do that without utilizing Google's data. However it could send push notifications to phones to update listings for instance. But that's just out of character for how Apple views its customers.

Apple has maps? Really? Maps?

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