Apple Paying Freelancers to Improve the Accuracy of Apple Maps

In an effort to improve Apple Maps, which many iPhone users still consider to be inferior to Google Maps, Apple has enlisted the help of contracted freelancers to validate the accuracy of points of interest and other information, in exchange for micropayments, according to French blog iGeneration.

apple maps search
For the past year, through a platform called TryRating, Apple has reportedly paid freelancers 54 cents per task on average, with each task often only taking a few minutes to complete. The fine print allegedly limits freelancers to 600 completed tasks, and no more than 20 hours worked, per week.

The report doesn't specify how freelancers are selected, but they appear to be recruited through a third-party subcontractor.

A typical task, for example, could be verifying the accuracy and relevance of the search results that Apple Maps shows for a "McDonald's" query for a particular location. The freelancer's task would be to ensure the McDonald's restaurants listed are within a close distance, have accurate addresses, and so forth.

tryrating

Apple's so-called TryRating platform with a typical verification task

Apple supposedly has a 200-page Maps Search Evaluation Guidelines document that freelancers are required to follow.

One of the examples Apple provides is a search from Somerville, Massachusetts for "Machu Picchu," a well-known historical site in Peru, but also the name of a local restaurant in the city. A freelancer's task would be to ensure all of the search results for "Machu Picchu" are contextually relevant.

iGeneration's in-depth report provides further details about Apple's so-called TryRating platform, which it likens to Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Apple Maps launched in 2012 and was quickly criticized for having incomplete and inaccurate mapping data, which led some iPhone users on dangerous routes. Apple CEO Tim Cook offered a rare public apology for the frustration it caused customers, and then iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted just one month later.

Apple Maps still gets a bad rap among some users, but Apple's continued efforts to improve the app should help reverse some of those opinions.

Top Rated Comments

benroberts3 Avatar
57 months ago
What Apple needs to do is create a program like Google Guides to help improve their maps through crowdsourcing. It seems like Apple is really making this a lot harder than it needs to be with this type of platform. Sure, it's nice to be compensated but only a few people can complete 600 tasks a week!

They should make it a fun program with points and goodies that is free for the general public. From there, just watch Apple maps gain loads of new places, restaurants, shops, etc. Crowd sourcing has proved to be the best way to gain local knowledge. Especially when it comes to something like maps.

I hope Apple realizes this soon before Google Maps pulls too far ahead for Apple to ever catch up.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrettApple Avatar
57 months ago
Heck, it doesn't even get my home address right. I'll be sitting on the couch and it always says I'm 5 minutes to home on the destinations widget. I disabled it because of that. Whereas Google Maps is spot on to our mailbox.

When people need directions to the house I always tell them not to use Apple Maps. Or go by landmarks.

This is in Kansas too, nothing special. The address just shows up nearly a mile away from where it actually is. I've submitted requests to fix it but it hasn't helped any thus far. So no surprise with this.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
drewyboy Avatar
57 months ago
Apple can try all it wants but google maps puts it to shame. As long as Apple continues to not use google with siri, maps, or other, it will always be somewhat of a compromise. Then again, apple maps, siri, isn't why you buy an iphone.
Exactly. Apple hardware + other folks service's is how we roll in my family.
[doublepost=1496424880][/doublepost]
You can report in error in the Maps app

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203080
What part of his "I've submitted requests to fix it but it hasn't helped any thus far." isn't clear enough to understand that he has?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nelsonammo Avatar
57 months ago
WTF Apple, you are so rich and Maps is one of your premier apps and you're relying on some 3rd party taskrabbit app that pays people 54 cents to improve the data on it?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cardfan Avatar
57 months ago
Apple can try all it wants but google maps puts it to shame. As long as Apple continues to not use google with siri, maps, or other, it will always be somewhat of a compromise. Then again, apple maps, siri, isn't why you buy an iphone.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
budselectjr Avatar
57 months ago
Question, what exactly do all those employees do at Apple?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
2012macpro

Apple Outlines Metal-Capable Cards Compatible With macOS Mojave on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro Models

Monday September 24, 2018 3:26 pm PDT by
Apple's new macOS Mojave update is not compatible with mid-2010 and mid-2012 Mac Pros with stock GPUs, but it is supported on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models that have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal. Apple today shared a new support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable, which will be useful for 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro owners who want to...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
anker lightning cable mfi

Unwrap a New Apple Device? Stock Up on Extra Certified Lightning Cables for as Little as $6

Monday December 25, 2017 5:45 am PST by
If you unwrapped an Apple product today it likely came with one of the company's first-party Lightning cables, but having an extra on hand is always a good idea, so you can place it in other rooms in your house, in your car, or in a bag when you travel. For that reason, now's a good time to shop for third-party Lightning cables that are cheaper than Apple's own accessory, but still Made For...
apple screen time screen icons

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Tuesday October 15, 2019 9:44 am PDT by
Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...