WHAT IS THE STATE OF AP­PLE MAPS IN 2018?

Apple Magazine - - Summary -

The new Ap­ple Maps has been in the works since 2014, when Ap­ple started de­vel­op­ing new data-gath­er­ing sys­tems in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the chal­lenge. O’Beirne notes that, at the mo­ment, the new Maps cov­ers merely 3.1% of the United States’ land area and 4.1% of the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, he de­clares that many de­tails within this small space “cre­ate the im­pres­sion that Ap­ple hasn’t just closed the gap with Google – but has, in many ways, ex­ceeded it...”

What ex­actly does he mean? He points to a “stag­ger­ing amount of veg­e­ta­tion de­tail”, while cities in­clud­ing San Jose and Sacra­mento “are also no­tice­ably more green”. Th­ese im­prove­ments are par­tic­u­larly strik­ing in smaller cities at a fur­ther dis­tance from the Bay Area, such as Cres­cent City. Of the new veg­e­ta­tion de­tail, O’Beirne re­marks on “how deep it all goes - all the way down to the strips of grass and veg­e­ta­tion be­tween roads”, “in­side of clover­leafs” and “around the cor­ners of homes”.

Google Maps, by con­trast, is cur­rently bereft of this level of what O’Beirne terms “house­res­o­lu­tion veg­e­ta­tion de­tail”. Nei­ther can you see it in the map­ping of­fer­ings of TomTom, Waze or Bing – a great tes­ta­ment to how ef­fec­tively Ap­ple has es­tab­lished it­self as a dig­i­tal map­maker. Highres­o­lu­tion satel­lite im­agery is a key com­po­nent of the new Ap­ple Maps and like Google, Ap­ple ap­pears to be al­go­rith­mi­cally ex­tract­ing de­tails from such im­agery and plac­ing them on its map.

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