by September 27, 2012 0 comments

Bangalore, India: From dislocating the Washington Monument to showing an entire city submerged in the Ocean, consumers are finding Apple Maps committing number of blunders. We look at major reasons Apple Maps is still ancient compared to Google Maps.

1) Baffling amount of inaccuracies
An Irish minister expressed disbelief when a farm area in his constituency called ‘Airfield’ had been labelled with an image of an aeroplane. Similarly, many iOS 6 users in various countries around the world have reported astounding inaccuracies in locations. In fact, users have been submitting these hilarious blunders to a blog, to showcase the state of the application. Even in India, many major landmarks are mis-tagged on the map or misspelled.

2) Points of Interest
Many users have also complained that the level of detail on Apple Maps is abysmal, especially outside the US, as many points of interest are missing. Many businesses have also complained that the effort they have put into providing specific information about their business on Google Maps has gone to dust after Apple decided to dump Google Maps from their phones. Even in India, many of the cities render at only basic levels. So, if you’re big into using maps to find local points of interest such as restaurants, you should not upgrade to iOS 6 right now.

3) Flyover: Better Left Unseen?
Apple introduced a new feature called Flyover in their maps applications, which gives the user a 3D view of the map. While it is a cool feature, it doesn’t really provide great utility value for users trying to reach their destination. Moreover, many 3D views of locations appear to be greatly maligned. For example, Kuala Lumpur’s famous Petronas Towers seems to be stuck to the ground like a 2-d painting. Similarly, users from all over the world have reported landmarks to be depicted very poorly in Apple Maps.

Can Apple Rectify This?
Michael W.Dobson, an expert in mapping and GIS systems, has been getting attention on his blog, where he provides a critique of Apple Maps. He says that the “issue plaguing Apple Maps is not mathematics or algorithms, it is data quality ”. Dobson suggests that Apple “need to take a step back and re-engineer their approach to data fusion and mapping in general.”, as they lack the sufficient quality necessary to provide good maps. According to him, Apple also lacks the power of crowdsourcing in their maps, and this is one of they key differences which makes Google Maps so rich in content. Hence, they also need to leverage on the user community or procure a richer database to improve the quality of Apple Maps.

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