This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more about how to manage cookies, or dismiss this message and continue to use cookies.

Apple's new maps app is "a step backward"?

Boyd 2002 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Discussions
...but it can do voice prompted turn by turn navigation. From Walt Mossberg's Wall St Journal review of the new iPhone 5:

http://allthingsd.com/20120918/the-iphone-takes-to-the-big-screen/
The biggest drawback I found is the new Maps app. Apple has replaced Google Maps with a new maps app of its own. This app has one huge advantage over the iPhone version of Google Maps—it now offers free, voice-prompted, turn-by-turn navigation. Google had made this available on its Android phones, but not the iPhone. Apple’s navigation worked very well, with clear directions displayed as large green highway signs.

But the app is in other ways a step backward from the familiar Google app. For instance, while Apple’s maps feature a 3-D “Flyover” view of some central cities, they lack Google’s very useful ground-level photographic street views. And they also lack public-transit routing. Apple will instead link you to third-party transit apps. Also, while I found Apple’s maps accurate, they tend to default to a more zoomed-in view than Google’s, making them look emptier until you zoom out.

Comments

  • It took several years for Google's maps to get to where they are. Apple's mapping will get better with time, altho I don't know if they're as committed to location services as Google. For the Goog it's essential to their business.

    Agreed tho that for the time being a lot of Apple users will see it as a step back. IMO it would be seen as even worse if Apple users previously had access to Google Maps for Android. The bitmapped Apple version was a poor cousin lacking a whole lot of features compared to the vector and layered Android solution.
  • Now that iOS6 is rolling out to users, it does look like Apple mapping has left room to improve. Certainly getting some early complaints. A few pages of examples can be found here:

    http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/

    EDIT: By the way, for those iOS6 users who discovered that Google's Streetview is no longer available for Apple devices, Garmin is making sure it's alive and well. That, along with public transit times and directions (also missing from Apple's map solution), is offered as part of Garmin's Urban Guidance mode in the StreetPilot app. Free to update for current users, or on sale for $39.99 for those who hadn't yet considered it.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Apple has responded to the complaints here:

    http://allthingsd.com/20120920/apple-maps-app-takes-reality-distortion-to-a-whole-new-level/
    We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover, turn by turn navigation, and Siri integration. We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    We see the same sort of reaction anytime any map application changes from one data provider to another. People will find regressions and complain loudly. People will hardly notice (and never point out) any improvements. This is nothing new and should be expected by people in the geospatial industry. It is however, a new phenomena for the Apple crowd.

    FWIW in my area the map is much, much better. There are still errors, but nowhere near as screwed up as Google's data.

    IMHO, this is a PR issue much more than a product issue. Maps have errors, all of them.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Tim, I would agree with you if Apple Maps were just another alternative you could choose. But from what I'm reading, people are upset because the upgrade to iOS 6 *replaced* Google Maps and Apple's version is not offering them the same capabilities. I see a lot of complaints from users in London who relied on Google Maps for public transit data that Apple doesn't offer.

    I have an iPhone 4 that is still running iOS 4.01 and it meets my needs fine. I saw no reason to upgrade to 5 and certainly no need for iOS 6. I almost never upgrade operating systems on any of my computer hardware, just wait until I buy a new product with a new version installed.

    I have read conflicting stories - some people say Apple Maps replaced and removed Google Maps from their phones. Others say they still have Google Maps just the same as before. Maybe this has to do with which phone you have or which version of iOS you upgraded from?

    Personally, I would be annoyed to have my existing Google Maps app (and my saved bookmarks) removed by a software upgrade.
  • Tim, out of curiosity have you tried matching up the TomTom data to what Apple is showing you? IIRC there's a TT location-trap somewhat near your old Hew Hampshire haunts (was it in NY State?) that would quickly identify it.

    Assuming it's TT data, I know you've always considered it more accurate than either Google or Navteq maps in your specific region.

    EDIT: I was more than a little surprised to see TT themselves jump on the bandwagon to proclaim Apple's maps have some glaring problems. I'll be pretty shocked if Apple were to take Tomtom up on their offer to sort it out for them. I doubt they made any new friends at Apple with the public offer.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    some people say Apple Maps replaced and removed Google Maps from their phones. Others say they still have Google Maps just the same as before.
    Let's be clear with the terminology for starters. There has never been (as of now) a native Google Maps app for the iPhone. There was the Apple 'Maps' app which used Google map tiles. In the way past, those tiles were from NAVTEQ data, later they started using Google's own data which was their own flavor of the TIGER data.) The upgraded version of the Maps app in the iPhone now uses Apple's tiles, where the data is coming from various sources.

    Google does a very good job of making their maps website (maps.google.com) available with HTML 5 running in Safari. They have done an amazing job and it fees as close to a native app as you can get. Tap a button and you can put a launch icon for it directly on your phone making it feel even more like a native app.

    And yes, it is true the new Maps app from Apple doesn't offer transit directions within the app-- all the more power to give 3rd party developers a slice of the pie rather than hog it for themselves.
    Tim, out of curiosity have you tried matching up the TomTom data to what Apple is showing you?
    A little bit, but I just haven't had time in the past couple of days. At a very first cursory glance it looks like the road geometry is coming from TomTom but the address geolocation is certainly not coming from TomTom. In other words if I ask it to map 1500 Main St the road geometry looks like TomTom's data but where they put 1500 along that geometry does not look like TomTom data (and looks more accurate than the TomTom data). So in the areas I've looked I'm getting the best of both datasets (whatever they are). I see what looks like TomTom's more accurate road geometry for my area but a different datasource for geocoding which is more accurate than what TomTom was doing.

    To me the big question is what will Apple do with crowdsourcing... are they going to ultimately try to build their own map or do they have a deal with TomTom to provide road geometry updates and aggregate traffic data back to TomTom.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444032404578010194155931174.html
    TomTom Distances Itself From Apple Maps Criticism

    STOCKHOLM—Dutch navigation company TomTom N.V Friday moved to distance itself from scathing criticism from across the globe of Apple Inc.'s new mapping service for the iPhone 5.

    TomTom agreed a landmark deal in June this year to supply Apple with mapping data for its latest iOS mobile operating system after the tech giant ditched Google Inc.'s maps service.

    TomTom said its maps data provides only the "foundation" of the Apple's mapping software, with the user experience depending on how manufacturers apply its map data with other content to create their own unique application. TomTom added that its own mapping application, which is available on the iTunes App Store, "consistently gets high consumer ratings."
  • Tim 1484 Points
    To an extent I agree with their position-- for example if you search POIs for "coffee" you would want "Starbucks" to appear even if it isn't part of the text search. Things like that are often more apart of implementation techniques rather than a data issue itself.

    This is where Apple will need to grow, gaining location intelligence, and I see that as more of an issue than the underlying data.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    I see what looks like TomTom's more accurate road geometry for my area but a different datasource for geocoding which is more accurate than what TomTom was doing.
    Did you see this Wall St Journal article last June? Is it the data source, or the proprietary Apple geocoder itself?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304543904577398502695522974.html
    Last fall, Apple took a first step in developing a proprietary mapping service with the virtually unnoticed release of a "geocoder"—the brains behind a mapping app that translates a phone's longitude and latitude into a point on a map, like an address. Before that, it relied on Google's geocoder.
    ____________________

    Apple wasn't pleased with Google's geocoding in part because Google's geocoder wouldn't let Apple use it unless Apple also showed a Google map every time it did so.

    So Apple engineers worked on building their own geocoder. In a sign of the geo team's growing importance, Apple moved it into the esteemed iOS software unit, which is run by Scott Forstall, who oversees many of Apple's top priority projects.

    Apple quietly launched its geocoder last fall inside its latest iPhone software. It has remained all but unnoticed outside a small circle of software pros.

    Since Apple released its own geocoder, every time iPhone users open its map app, it is Apple's technology that translates their position, not Google's. Software developers can also use a version of the Apple technology, CLGeocoder, to build apps that let users, for instance, tell their friends what neighborhood they are in or search for nearby eateries.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    Did you see this Wall St Journal article last June? Is it the data source, or the proprietary Apple geocoder itself?
    I remember that article and it could indeed be what I'm seeing. I also see in the App credits references to at least one (if not more) GIS companies that work with parcel data.

    When I say how stunningly accurate their geocoder seems in my area, when I lookup various addresses the point is placed not along the road, but literally on the house (referencing satellite imagery) or at the front door of the business even if the house or business is setback 100 feet from the road.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    My own home is a good test case. My house is about 1000 feet off the road and the property is landlocked. Access is via a private right of way across the neighbor's land.

    A couple years ago, none of the map providers could find me. But now Google gets very close, showing it back in the woods although not quite on top of the house itself. Looking more closely, it appears the location they have chosen is the geometric center of my property - pretty clever.

    My Garmin maps are a couple years old and still can't find me. However, we had a thread in the Nuvi forum awhile ago where a user was claiming similar results with the newer maps, and cited several examples where Garmin was locating homes back off the road in the woods.

    I can see how Apple or Google can process this volume of data at their server farms, but it seems like this kind of accuracy would be tough on a little self-contained PND with just a few GB of storage.
  • Tim, I don't use Apple's new maps, so perhaps if you get a spare moment in the nest couple of days you could post a screen shot of where they place 2099 42nd St NW in Winter Haven Florida. It might provide a clue on where the geolocation data is coming from. . . or perhaps not.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    Keep in mind they could be using different services and/or different datasets in different regions.

    image
  • They're placing it in the exact same location as Google. Both are wrong by the way (by just a few hundred feet), but not as off as both Tomtom and Navteq. Those two miss by several hundred yards.

    As an aside that sat image is a little dated. The area has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Gator, your example supports my theory above. I don't have Apple maps, but on Google, switch to map view and you will see property parcels (or what Google believes to be property parcels). They are placing the waypoint at the geometric center of the parcel, just like they have with my home.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=2099+42nd+St+NW,+Winter+Haven,+FL&hl=en&ll=28.047456,-81.777586&spn=0.001875,0.002454
    &sll=28.023197,-82.068558&sspn=0.017768,0.02105
    &oq=2099+42nd+St+NW+winter+haven&hnear=2099+42nd+St+NW,+Winter+Haven,+Florida+33881&t=m&z=19
  • Tim 1484 Points
    But let's also be clear that it isn't Google's parcel data, but rather Google is licensing parcel data. Apple lis likely licensing parcel data as well. Apple isn't likely licensing parcel data from Google that Google is licensing from someone else. It is likely that Apple and Google are licensing the same parcel data.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    I'm not sure that any license is needed for this kind of public data, is it? For example, I don't see any use restrictions for NJ Parcel data:

    https://njgin.state.nj.us/NJ_NJGINExplorer/ShowMetadata.jsp?docId={46F721BD-6F4C-11DF-8B62-0003BA2C919E}
    Access Constraints: none

    Use Constraints: The data sets that make up the statewide composite of parcels data are not survey documents and should not be used as such. The spatial data (polygons) do not represent legal boundaries.For all data contained herein, New Jersey Office of Information Technology, Office of Geographic Information Systems makes no representations of any kind, including, but not limited to, the warranties of merchantability or fitness of the data sets that make up the statewide composite of parcels data for a particular use, nor are any such warranties to be implied with respect to the digital data sets furnished hereunder. New Jersey Office of Information Technology, Office of Geographic Information Systems assumes no responsibility to maintain them in any manner or form.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    edited September 2012
    IIRC Google's parcel data was gleaned from public sources like city/county/state official records and such. I don't recall any mention that any of it was purchased or licensed.

    EDIT: In going back to look at some old links I had kept around, Google might also be licensing some of their parcel data from DataQuik. If so I suspect it's less reliant on private data now than when it rolled out in 2009.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    I'm not sure that any license is needed for this kind of public data, is it?
    If Apple wanted to start gathering data from each and every town and aggregating it from the various formats different towns/cities use-- then they could. I just doubt that is what is happening here. I suspect there is a third party that is doing all of the legwork and then packaging it up and licensing the aggregated product to Apple, Google, and others.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    Here is the copyright/credits page linked to from the Maps app:

    http://gspa21.ls.apple.com/html/attribution.html
    Property parcel data for USA. © CoreLogic Inc., 2012.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    That makes sense. But, FWIW, I believe that shapefiles are the generally accepted format for this kind of data.

    Regarding Corelogic, they are frequently quoted in the financial media (BLoomberg, Wall St Journal, CNBC, etc) regarding housing industry trends, like foreclosures, home prices, etc. I suppose they could also provide parcel boundary data, but I believe they really specialize in their proprietary analysis of the data.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    I suppose they could also provide parcel boundary data
    They do-- see: http://www.corelogic.com/products/parcelpoint-technology.aspx
  • CoreLogic has the ParcelPoint product which is probably what Apple is using. They could even be using Corelogic's geocoding software for area's not specifically offered in ParcelPoint.

    Interesting tidbit: Corelogic is actually a Navteq partner.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Funny - I guess this thread is for moderators/geeks only. I'm surprised that none of our other members are interested in Apple's maps. :)
  • Funny - I guess this thread is for moderators/geeks only. I'm surprised that none of our other members are interested in Apple's maps. :)
    I hate Apple! :lol:
  • Funny - I guess this thread is for moderators/geeks only. I'm surprised that none of our other members are interested in Apple's maps. :)


    I hate Apple! :lol:
    troll!!
    :wink:
  • Funny - I guess this thread is for moderators/geeks only. I'm surprised that none of our other members are interested in Apple's maps. :)
    I have the iPhone 5 and am not too interested in the apple maps app since I use my Nuvi 3490 every time and have a few navigation apps on the phone (streetpilot, Navigon, and Magellan apps).
  • Funny - I guess this thread is for moderators/geeks only. I'm surprised that none of our other members are interested in Apple's maps. :)


    I hate Apple! :lol:


    troll!!
    :wink:
    :wink:
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Thanks for your input Patruns.... :?

    Caryae: do you think the larger screen on the iPhone 5 will make you more likely to use it in the car?
  • Probably not, I just like to use the 3490 for my navigation instead of the phone. I had the Galaxy Note before the iPhone 5 and that had a 5.3" screen and I still used my 3490.
  • It is not a step backwards at all. it is more like RESTRICTING.

    Map and navigation, maybe for google it is the first gps talk/turn.

    and well, what more can I say.

    Ask Seri and see teh problems it gives you..........

    I hate it no, I luv it no. I just use a better app yes.
Sign In or Register to comment.
↑ Top