Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers

maps_icon_ios_7Apple has continued its efforts to improve its Maps app with the addition of ten new data providers, according to a new report from Apple Maps Marketing (via 9to5Mac). The new providers specialize in providing Apple with business listings.

Apple Maps Marketing came upon the information when inquiring about Apple Maps Connect and its Business Portal, which allows businesses with over 1,000 locations to add their listings to Apple Maps. Apple responded to the inquiry by pointing the site to a group of data providers that supplied Apple with information on businesses with less than 1,000 locations.
DAC Group
Factual
Location3 Media
Marquette Group
Neustar/Localeze
Placeable
PositionTech
SIM Partners
SinglePlatform
UBL
Yelp
Yext
Yodle
Three of the providers on the list -- Yelp, Factual and Neustar/Localeze -- were already known to be providing Apple with data for its Maps app, which indicates that the remaining 10 are providers Apple has inked deals with more recently. While the list doesn't include other known Apple Maps partners like Acxiom, it does suggest Apple is continuing to add more partners to improve its data.



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58 months ago
Maps actually works quite well now - haven't had any problems with it and I use it nearly every day for work.
Rating: 10 Votes
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58 months ago
I'm a massive Apple fanboy but I finally switched to Google Maps this year and have found it much better. The traffic data here in Chicago is much more accurate. I love that it shows you what lane to be in for turns and the faster route indicators are really cool. Apple has a ways to go still.
Rating: 9 Votes
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58 months ago
More data in an app that still barely useful in use all these years and high-profile firings later. Every time I take another trip, I get the feeling that no one at Apple actually uses their own Maps app, or never travels beyond urban neighborhoods.

If they did, they would immediately discover these basic things sorely missing from Apple Maps and address them:

1. Planning a route of more than one destination. ie: I have 5 errands to run, and I need to do three of them in a certain order, what are some routes? Fastest, shortest distance, bonus points for the least gas guzzling based on speeds, stops & distance?

2. Load and STORE the maps. Out on the road, you cannot count on a steady, stable, high speed cellular connection at your disposal. When a user initially asks for directions, they should have a "Save route" option, whereupon the app begins downloading the maps along that route to LOCAL STORAGE, including the fine detail maps illustrating turns, areas off route to the nearest gas station, and ask the user how long they'd like to store them, a day, week, month, year. Upon completing a route, the app should ask if it's ok to delete that route & maps, or if you'd like to store it, or if you'd like to use it again for the return trip.

3. When a user asks the app for directions, and then proceeds down that route, and the app follows the users location along that route for a quarter mile or more, the app should consider the person en route. Forgetting their route and dumping their maps at some random point (usually when you stop for gas) because they didn't hit a "start" button is a stupid way of leaving people stranded and lost. Less buttons, more usefulness.

4. Show useful map data. A 50 foot view down a straight highway with a semi intelligible note about the next turn, is not useful. The overview should always show the users position. A view that auto-zooms to shows our position on the REMAINING route with a preview of the next upcoming turn so you can get in the correct lane early would be helpful. In-line directions should actively zoom between you and your next turn or exit.

5. Tap on upcoming exits to display how far away their gas and restaurants are. ...better yet, ever-present "GAS" & "FOOD" icons, that at any point can tell you where the nearest options are. Like asking Siri, but able to be performed out in the boonies where there aren't reliable cellular connections, because it should be able to read that data off its LOCALLY STORED MAPS.

6. On-screen toggles for voice instructions volume & mute, independent of the levels the music or podcasts you're listening to are playing at.

Etc. All things that Apple can do or sit back and watch their competition do.

Leaving for another 3-state drive in 6 minutes. Bringing the wifes iPad, and several road atlases.
Rating: 8 Votes
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58 months ago
Maybe some of them can alert Apple to the fact that public transportation exists.
Rating: 6 Votes
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58 months ago
Apple are working on maps in all honestly. I reported 10 errors last week and within 6 days they messaged me to say they were fixed
Rating: 6 Votes
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58 months ago
Apple Maps still does not allow users to select "no toll", "no highway" route.
Rating: 6 Votes
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58 months ago
still not found...
http://i.imgur.com/MC5cXm8.jpg
Rating: 5 Votes
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58 months ago

Maybe some of them can alert Apple to the fact that public transportation exists.


Apple Maps has a transit button in it. Always has.

When they used Google as a provider, that button directly provided transit info in-app. The ideal. But Google demanded to track iOS users in ways Apple wouldn't allow, so Google would no longer let Apple have up-to-date mapping features. Apple had to roll their own, and it has worked out great (...for me in the US).

The new non-Google Apple Maps app still had the button (and does to this day). It provides the same functionality, but unavoidably with an extra step: when you use it, it hands off to your choice of transit app--Google Maps being the obvious choice, but not the only one. (Which means if your city is better served by some service OTHER than Google, maybe an app specific to your area, then the new Maps app's transit button works better than the old one.)

Transit is the reason I keep Google Maps installed. But I hate searching there--it's unaware of my Address Book for one thing, and it doesn't know my Home, and doesn't respond to Siri, and doesn't auto-complete recent places. Most often I want to go between Home and a transit station (by car or foot) then from there to some destination. Talking to Siri and using recent/saved places in Apple Maps is the quickest way to start the process. Then I hit the Transit button and hand JUST the last step off to Google.

It's not perfect, but it's pretty good--and it's what is possible.

Making deals with tons of transit providers who use different data formats and want to guard/sell/control their data isn't easy. Google broke that ground really well. Apple can't do the same overnight from scratch, but I expect it's coming.
Rating: 5 Votes
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58 months ago

Apple are working on maps in all honestly. I reported 10 errors last week and within 6 days they messaged me to say they were fixed


I've reported around 50 errors and updated existing places over the last month and have yet to see a single change or receive an email. Don't know if I should keep bothering because adding all that info for a business takes time on my part and I have no idea if Apple cares or not, or will ever make the changes?

Edit: Literally 10 minutes after posting this I get several messages from Apple with changes I have made. Coincidence?
Rating: 5 Votes
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58 months ago
Apple Maps is a lost cause. Pointless to be in this line of business. One of Apple's worst decisions.
Rating: 4 Votes
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