Apple Expands Indoor Maps Availability at Airports and Malls

Apple Maps has gained indoor maps for an additional four international airports and one shopping mall around the world.


The recently enabled airports include Charlotte Douglas International in North Carolina, Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International and Québec City Jean Lesage International in Canada, and Taoyuan International in Taiwan.

When searching for those airports, Apple Maps users can tap "look inside" or simply zoom in to view terminals, boarding gates, security checkpoints, airline check-in desks, baggage claim carousels, information kiosks, restrooms, stores, restaurants, parking garages, and even escalators, elevators, and stairs.

An indoor map is also now available at the Trinity Leeds shopping center in England, according to Apple's iOS feature availability page.

Indoor maps at shopping malls make it easier to find the exact location of stores, restaurants, restrooms, escalators, elevators, and stairs on each floor. The feature enables users to filter stores by categories, such as clothes, shoes, accessories, beauty, food, and drinks, with detailed place cards for each.

When the feature launched with iOS 11, indoor maps were only available in a handful of airports and shopping malls around the world, but Apple has been steadily adding locations over the past year.

The list includes airports and shopping malls in select cities across North America and Europe, including Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington, DC. The full list can be viewed here.



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19 weeks ago
Gotta love the notch implementation in that pic.

(Edit: Just poking at the image. An actual iPhone X will display the content properly)
Rating: 10 Votes
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19 weeks ago

Can we all stop pretending that the world is really small already. As much as I hate to say Apple is an American company and will focus on American iPhone owners first. From there I don’t think New Zealand (if that’s what NZ stands for) is a big fish for Apple. For instance I looked at population statistics and New Zealand has .02 the population of US. That’s small fish. China, UK, Spain, etc are bigger targets. But again you’ll prolly see American cities most of the time since the population is big, US is huge, and It’s Apples home turf.

Anywho, I do hope AM comes improves for you. GMaps is meh in UI and has given me about the same error results as AM.

What? So my county is smaller than the US so I can’t complain about inadequate services from my favourite tech company?

Then why bother releasing products internationally if they won’t have full support? I’m stuck in a situation right now that Apple Maps sucks, Auckland houses 1/4th of our population and despite that the mapping data they have is ****. On top of that iOS doesn’t allow you to set default apps so I can’t even use Siri with Google Maps. I’m literally getting punished for living in a different country. Whereas with Google Maps there are no such issues and everything works fine.

It’s a whole lot easier for you to spout that nonsense when you’re not directly affected by it and are missing a lot of features. Have some empathy.
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I like that very last bit, which is very much true but people tend to skip over that part.

Last year I was on a trip from the Netherlands to Luxembourg-Germany and Austria, Google had several mistakes in it's maps while Apple was spot on.


As for the topic, I don't care so much for those indoor Maps, I can find my own way, which-to me- is nicer, you'll bump into places you won't see if you use indoor maps.

Google Maps data is actually much better where I live, just because you’ve had the opposite experience does NOT make any complaint less valid.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
19 weeks ago

Can we all stop pretending that the world is really small already. As much as I hate to say Apple is an American company and will focus on American iPhone owners first. From there I don’t think New Zealand (if that’s what NZ stands for) is a big fish for Apple. For instance I looked at population statistics and New Zealand has .02 the population of US. That’s small fish. China, UK, Spain, etc are bigger targets. But again you’ll prolly see American cities most of the time since the population is big, US is huge, and It’s Apples home turf.

Anywho, I do hope AM comes improves for you. GMaps is meh in UI and has given me about the same error results as AM.

You see, there is just one problem.

Your words could be valid but they are not.

While you claim that the world is as it is, Google is also an American company.

And Google has, without overstating, 1000x more rich data than Apple in Poland.

Is the world smaller for Google?
Is Google NOT an American company?
Is Google capable of magic?

If Apple wants to stay in game, they need to invest, but adding Google Maps to the CarPlay seems like an admission of failure.

Apple Maps is a base for many apps, if they neglect them even more outside the America, they won't matter since people in Europe will continue to use Google Maps as a backend for their apps.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
19 weeks ago

Can we all stop pretending that the world is really small already. As much as I hate to say Apple is an American company and will focus on American iPhone owners first. From there I don’t think New Zealand (if that’s what NZ stands for) is a big fish for Apple. For instance I looked at population statistics and New Zealand has .02 the population of US. That’s small fish. China, UK, Spain, etc are bigger targets. But again you’ll prolly see American cities most of the time since the population is big, US is huge, and It’s Apples home turf.

Anywho, I do hope AM comes improves for you. GMaps is meh in UI and has given me about the same error results as AM.

Replace Apple with Google and you see the irony:

Can we all stop pretending that the world is really small already. As much as I hate to say Google is an American company and will focus on American users first. From there I don’t think New Zealand (if that’s what NZ stands for) is a big fish for Google. For instance I looked at population statistics and New Zealand has .02 the population of US. That’s small fish. China, UK, Spain, etc are bigger targets. But again you’ll prolly see American cities most of the time since the population is big, US is huge, and It’s Googles home turf.
Rating: 4 Votes
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19 weeks ago
10 posts in, most are whining about Apple Maps not having anything to do with the subject matter. :cry me a river:

Apple "rents" their base map data from TomTom, have for years. Don't listen to me - compare Apple Maps basemap data to TomTom's here ('https://mydrive.tomtom.com/en_us/#mode=viewport+viewport=46.17856,-123.41388,13.7,0,-0+ver=3') to my attached screen shot...


My gripe with Apple is that they rent data from TomTom's TeleAtlas, a company that I've worked with for years. They. Don't. Care. Send. Me. A. Check. Then. We'll. Talk. Maybe. is their mantra.

Gripe at Apple for pushing TomTom to get their data straight and/or swap out for MapBox or HERE base maps. Gripe at TomTom to get their data right. I'd offer that MR's members focus their angst constructively. My business pays several thousands of $$$ every year to "rent" GIS data for base map usage, TomTom's data is always pretty much useless, year in, year out.</rant> FWIW, Google's data isn't much better...



Rating: 3 Votes
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19 weeks ago
They should get outdoor maps to work first.
Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago

That screenshot is awful. I guess Apple hasn’t figured out how to program to use the safe area insets (that they invented) yet.
The notch is the worst compromise Apple has ever shipped.


This is how it really looks like on X, screenshot is from Schönefeld Airport.

Author probably took screenshot on his iPhone X and put that inside iPhone X marketing frames which resulted in this overlap.

Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago
Now if only Apple focussed even more on maps for NZ.

I’d love to use Apple Maps but I unfortunately can’t.
Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago

10 posts in, most are whining about Apple Maps not having anything to do with the subject matter. :cry me a river.


Seems to be the norm on here lately. Mods don’t seem to be enforcing it. Been in the beta threads much? 30 posts saying they are “downloading now...”
Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago

Thank you for the detailed explanation. Since Waze is owned by Google, what actual options does Apple have to bring their maps accuracy to the same level, worldwide?

Thank you, and what you're asking is fairly simple to address, in a nutshell, with the caveats that deep, dark financial posturing lies afoot and it depends on how much money Apple wants to spend.

First, there's aerial photos. Look up MrSID ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MrSID') and JPEG 2000 ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG_2000') file formats - they're key to the back end, the first is lossless and the second is lossy, but it's the ability to embed metadata in each format that makes them valuable. When I consign an aerial, I get a MrSID file as a deliverable - each pixel is scaled, down to a pixel representing a 6-inch square - not bad from around 21k feet up, and there's an anchor point to work with, and this file is generally XREF'd in as you'd reference a file in PS, FCPX, or any GIS/CAD application. They're referenced in from a server largely due to the fairly large file size - a high-res file that generally covers acres or hectares. For viewing by a client, the MrSID file is converted to a TIFF file that doesn't contain the metadata. For later processing not in house, the image file is converted to JPEG 2000 that does contain the metadata. The metadata in the image file is tied/anchored to the relevant 0,0,0 reference point. Generally, this aerial is the only raster file we work with in a project no matter the file format. Remember this bit, the anchoring part...

Almost all of the remaining work that's relevant is vector-based and, again, tied to an anchor point (survey control points IOW). Depending on the application being used, just about any kind of output can be generated to be processed in another application. The two beasts in the room are Autodesk's AutoCAD and Bently MicroStation - they've been around for decades. Both are extensible, and extraordinarily powerful, with Bently's app actually having a built-in environment that mimics - not emulates - the entire AutoCAD command environment. The file format of choice is AutoCAD's DXF - DXF files can be opened by dozens of applications, even Adobe Illustrator, which I use to dress up a viewable image for presentations. The point here is that these files are vector-based, and DXF files and variants of them include a metadata database generally in 3D and they can be edited and amended. The accuracy is only as only as good as the original source files, of course. Almost all of the work I get from surveyors is accurate to one-tenth of a foot (a little over an inch). (Side note: architects think in sixteenths of an inch, engineers and surveyors think in tenths of a foot - don't get in the middle of that argument...).

FWIW, I generally don't do "TL;DR". I use dictation software, it's quicker for me...

When I started seeing Google's vehicles around my project sites, several years ago now, their drivers were gathering what would be street view images and verifying street sign names. The latter bit must have been a bit of a nightmare in cities like Paris, where a street name can go for miles or one city block - ugh. What I would have done, using an example in the US but very similar elsewhere in the world with a few exceptions, is buy/lease GIS data and a county map directly from each county surveyor and pay someone to tie in that data to their "world map" - right now, they're already doing that with TomTom as the middleman and paying the vig for their work...

There's a couple of issues with all of this. A frustration that I have long held with TeleAtlas is the inaccuracy of their mapping due to not properly setting control points - control point of the base of the map (the "picture" that we see) is not aligned with the control point related to POIs and addresses, which leads to your house being around a mile down the road from where it's actually at. For Google, for Benz owners, for real estate agents and a bunch of the rest of us using devices that rely on TeleAtlas data - that's a problem (duh), and I only get that stuff fixed when I hire my Dutch translator. I've lost hair and time over this crap, and I'm not the only one. Google addressed this by hiring a bunch of drivers and investing billions - that's billions with a "B" - in high-resolution imagery satellites to take pictures of the world; Google sold those satellites to an imagery company last year with an agreement that Google will have access to products from that company.

Regarding the politicking, that's a bit of a tricky one. If Apple really wants to get a decent product in its devices, I'd approach Verizon with a bit of coin on the table. Verizon owns AOL, which owns MapQuest - believed to be the second-most widely used mapping service after Google's product. Going "open-source" here might not be an option, contractually, as AFAIK the open-source options rely partly/wholly on MapQuest data for mapping and traffic/routing (plus OSRM - "Open Source Routing Machine"). With the way Verizon is closing down some of their purchases, they might be open to selling MapQuest to Apple.

In closing this out, Apple could just throw money at base data and then overlay their own custom work on top of it, just as they've been leasing base data from providers around the world. Mercedes has told the owners of its older vehicles that last year is the end of map updates - they are TeleAtlas-based (and about as inaccurate as Apple Maps is in some areas!) - and they're starting to put HERE WeGo map data in their newer vehicles (I'm not moving on from my E63 anytime soon anyways...). Two of my largest clients are moving away from TeleAtlas as well, buying data from Verizon's MapQuest, and another one is buying direct from MS. I wouldn't be surprised if TomTom is in its second phase of panic (the first being when their nav device prices tanked after Google Maps hit the street) and considering shopping TeleAtlas around.

Apple's farming out some of this work to designers/engineers in India leads me to believe that they're serious about the next step, relinquishing direct control over this work, incorporating drones for detail work, seeing Apple vehicles on the road. Yes, their work can be very accurate. Still, IMO, they've got to cut TeleAtlas loose, at least here in the US. FWIW, I have used a TomTom nav in Europe, it was great but I'd rather have Navteq/HERE data in North America. Over and out!
Rating: 1 Votes
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