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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.


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.

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

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29 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.
Rating: 24 Votes
29 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?
Rating: 19 Votes
29 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.
Rating: 19 Votes
29 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?
Rating: 15 Votes
29 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.
Rating: 12 Votes
29 months ago
Question, what exactly do all those employees do at Apple?
Rating: 11 Votes
29 months ago
I've submitted several errors to Apple. All ignored. *shrug*
Rating: 10 Votes
29 months ago
I've said since I started using Apple Maps in its beta, that it gets a bad rap. I travel all over the country, and it rarely lets me down directions wise. I used Google Maps before AM came out, and I don't see a difference in accuracy. I'm not saying that GM isn't better in places, but in some places AM is better. I think some people have issues like one poster whose given up on AM because his house location is off by a mile, but they don't stop and think, hey I'm one of 7 billion people, so statistically there will always be people whose house is off by a mile. On GM and on AM, just get it corrected.

GM does seem to have the edge on location data, which isn't a big deal to me, but I'm sure it is why a lot of people use GM over AM on an iPhone. But for me, I like the Hey Siri, take me home feature a lot more.

If you step back and think about it, both AM and GM are impressive apps and both have room to improve. But I do not think one is far superior to the other overall.
Rating: 9 Votes
29 months ago
You get what you pay for. Cheapen out paying only 54 cents and you will get that level of maps data. Either go all in or replace apple maps with Google Maps/Waze.
Rating: 8 Votes
29 months ago

Question, what exactly do all those employees do at Apple?


Rotate the dollars around so that no single set of bills are overexposed for long periods of time. Also when the executives swim in the vault, the money needs to be gently cleaned & refreshed.
Rating: 7 Votes

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