You’ve probably caught all the online fuss about Apple’s Maps inaccuracies, including incorrect places, lack of built-in transit data or the lack of navigational features in general. Obviously, Apple (AAPL)’s iOS 6 Maps-app is a faulty first release and it goes without saying that its mapping solution has a long way to go before taking head on the more accurate Google (GOOG) Maps, which won’t be baked into the iOS release anymore. But not to worry, Apple’s already on it.
According to an executive working with the Cupertino-based tech giant, they’re throwing everything they’ve got in terms of time and manpower to make things right.
“We own this; we manage the vendors. This is no one’s issue but ours,” an unnamed Apple executive told The New York Times.
According to the report, the company promises to “pour as much time and manpower into repairing Maps as it takes.”
The report also reveals that Apple believes the iOS 6 Maps experience gets better as more people use it and that despite its recently-reported shortcomings, Apple’s new mapping solution is still “99% accurate.”[via The NYT] “To build [its Google Maps] replacement, Apple licensed data from other companies.
It bought map data from TomTom, which also supplies maps for BlackBerry, HTC and Samsung phones, and even parts of Google Maps.
Apple got restaurant and store listings from Yelp, traffic data from Waze and so on — more than two dozen sources in all,” notes the report, citing Apple sources.
“The resulting ocean of information is many petabytes of data [one petabyte is a million gigabytes, and for those familiar with mapping and the large scale integration of data that has a spatial component are aware of the job’s complexity]. Well over 99 percent of it, Apple says, is accurate.”
Responding to a flurry of widespread criticism surrounding its homegrown mapping service, Apple issued a statement to All Things D the day after the reviews of iOS 6 started hitting, saying: “We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it. We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get.”
“We’re also working with developers to integrate some of the amazing transit apps in the App Store into iOS Maps. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better,” Apple added.
Making Apple’s mapping application reliable and complete will certainly take a long time — Google has spent years collecting data and refining its mapping system — but considering Apple’s attitude and its tendency to take immediate action to remedy the situation, we will hopefully see improvements soon.