Posted on September 21, 2012

Maps - Apple and Google

I'm sure everyone has heard of the problems that Apple's proprietary iOS6 Maps is having. Apple has given an official statement on this:

Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service. 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.

Mike Dolson brings up very interesting points on why Apple needs to play a lot of catch up. The most important point is that Apple's relied on quality control by algorithms and not informed human analysis.

The issue plaguing Apple Maps is not mathematics or algorithms, it is data quality and there can be little doubt about the types of errors that are plaguing the system. What is happening to Apple is that their users are measuring data quality. User's look for familiar places they know on maps and use these as methods of orienting themselves, as well as for testing the goodness of maps.