Amazingly deep article on all aspects of Apple’s upcoming “reboot” of their Maps effort. Maps have gotten better since the alarmingly poor launch, but that improvement hasn’t been able to deal with a fundamental issue of poor data on the bottom.
Decision made, Apple plowed ahead, building a product that relied on a patchwork of data from partners like TomTom, OpenStreetMap and other geo data brokers. The result was underwhelming.
I’ve always felt this decision was odd for Apple and driven by missing the importance of map data early on. They had to partner so they could get to market, after relying for so many years on Google’s maps. But Apple’s path has always been to own all parts of the stack. The iPhone is Apple hardware, software and Apple everywhere in between. Maps was a mashup of different data.
It’s interesting to me that the mapping vans have LIDAR on them as well. They are capturing an immense amount of data here. And pulling in more data from the millions of iPhones in use. They are still focusing on privacy as well in the effort.
The results of this are going to be very interesting to see.