Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th Sep 2012 23:51 UTC, submitted by someone
Apple "It seems like people really hate the new Maps in iOS 6. Now, I'm not disputing that Maps does give a lot of strange results to a lot of people all around the world, but for a large, large number of people, iOS 6 Maps has been a huge improvement over Google Maps. I'm talking about those of us who live in China (you know, the place with 1.3+ billion people and the second-largest economy in the world)." Fascinating.
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Comment by superhyper
by superhyper on Wed 26th Sep 2012 00:55 UTC
superhyper
Member since:
2010-10-20

What about Open Street Maps? I'm curious how accurate their Chinese data is in comparison to the commercial providers.

Reply Score: 2

The sad thing is ...
by WorknMan on Wed 26th Sep 2012 01:24 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

You know, it's sad... I've spent about half an hour every day since iOS6 came out, muting posts on Google Plus about how terrible Apple maps are. The sad thing is though, these posts are being made by Android users. I think they're even more pissed off about it than most iPhone users are :-|

Reply Score: 3

What a rubbish article
by MasterNayru on Wed 26th Sep 2012 02:46 UTC
MasterNayru
Member since:
2011-11-12

A quick Google search brought up this:

http://support.google.com/maps/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=63471

This page seems to suggest that the map layer which displays place names changes depending on the language of the user. To test, I changed the language on my Galaxy Nexus (running Android 4.1) to Chinese, pulled up the map in the same location as given in the article and all of the names are in Chinese. Ah, the people of China are saved!

Let's test what Australia's maps look like to a Chinese person. I change the language on my phone to Chinese, go to Sydney, Australia and I'm seeing maps in both Chinese and English for the names of main POIs. Looks to me like the people of China aren't in such peril as we first thought.

The only thing that looks like it needs fixing is that an English speaker doesn't get POI info in Chinese for these maps, which Google should fix, but how does this affect 1.3 billion Chinese people? Is it more damaging a bug than Apple's abysmal map search results or completely missing POIs in major cities?

Reply Score: 6

RE: What a rubbish article
by Radio on Wed 26th Sep 2012 06:35 UTC in reply to "What a rubbish article"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Same here. But even worse: on my Android device, I see both english and chinese names. A "killer feature":

The killer feature, though, is that iOS 6 Maps shows both English names and Chinese characters for everything, whereas Google-powered Maps only shows the English translation (on iOS devices whose language is English).

I am so, so happy that the rich Chineses who scrambled to buy a status-symbol iPhone are now on part with the Android proles.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What a rubbish article
by jared_wilkes on Wed 26th Sep 2012 14:37 UTC in reply to "What a rubbish article"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

You do understand the comparison is between Google Maps on iOS5 and Maps on iOS6, don't you?

Reply Score: 0

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Wed 26th Sep 2012 07:13 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

My god, it is getting worse and worse:
http://anthonydrendel.com/blog/2012/9/25/ios-maps-in-china.html

This idiot hasn't realized (or is willfully lying) that one can get as many PoI in Google Maps as in iOS Map... By zooming in more.

Look for yourself:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=memory+of+march+youth+hostel&ll=26.86...

There is even the "Liguozhu Yishi Clinics" listed in Google Maps where the iOS Map sees only the "Bahe Drug Store". Pitiful.

Yeah, "fascinating". Fascinating how stupid or deluded or fibbing Anthony Drendel is.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Radio
by jared_wilkes on Wed 26th Sep 2012 14:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Radio"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

You are providing a link to the web-based Google Maps, not a screenshot of Google Maps on iOS5. You do understand the two are not the same?

Reply Score: 0

too much China :>
by azrael29a on Wed 26th Sep 2012 07:58 UTC
azrael29a
Member since:
2008-02-26

Does that explain why places in Europe have titles in Chinese? (in iOS6 maps)

Reply Score: 0

RE: too much China :>
by Radio on Wed 26th Sep 2012 08:49 UTC in reply to "too much China :>"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I think you're onto something...

...Has Apple given iOS Maps development to a Chinese subcontractor? ;)

Reply Score: 2

Two mapping strategies
by Tony Swash on Wed 26th Sep 2012 10:21 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

What this report about China touches on is a fundamental difference between the mapping strategy of Google and Apple.

Google's core business is collecting data about user behaviour and then using that data to sell targeted advertising. That core business represents 90%+ of Google's revenue and everything Google does, all the cool stuff is gives away, who it partners with, works with, competes with or is threatened by, relates to that core function. Anybody who collects lots of data about user activity on the net and who does not share that data with Google is a competitive threat to Google because not having comprehensive data about end user activity undermines the value of Google's core product (targeted advertising) and undermines Google's USP (we collect and organise most of the world's user activity data).

Obviously the big global scale collectors of data who won't let Google's data mining bots have access (the prime example is Facebook) are perceived correctly by Google to be competitive threats (hence is huge investment in pumping up Google+) but crucially, in regards to mapping, regional collectors and generators of localised user data are also competitors of Google. So Google's ability to partner with local collectors and providers of regional data in relation to it's mapping service is constrained by it's strategic business function. Why would, as an example, Baidu the Chinese search engine allow it's data to be used in relation to Google maps in China. It's not going to happen because Baidu and Google are competitors. As well as the data collectors collecting data from regional sources there are also specialist sectoral sources of data (Yelp is an example) who collect data about a particular topic and which are also a threat to Google's core business and who are thus also unlikely to enter into any agreements to share user data for use in Google's maps.

So Google has to, by and large, use it's own enormous and impressive data gathering operation to supply data for it's maps. That works very well on the whole but it is weakest precisely in those areas where entities other than Google own the best data.

Apple's approach to mapping is different and that difference relates to it's different core business model compared to Google. Apple's core business is not data collecting or advertising, it's core business is selling devices and everything else Apple does is about adding end user vale to those devices. Everything. iTunes, the App store, iCloud, Apple retail, Apple TV, etc etc, it's all about adding to the value stack that comes with Apple hardware.

This means that Apple's core business is not threatened by companies who are collecting specialist end user data, and this means Apple is much, much freer than Google to enter into partnership with holders of localised and specialist data holders and collectors. In fact Apple positively wants to enable those holders and collectors of data to work through it's devices because it will all add value to Apple devices and because Apple itself lags far behind Google in it's ability to collect data directly itself.

So Apple's mapping strategy is different to Google's, Apple maps are a mapping platform, much like the App store and iOS SDK is a platform, and Apple wants lots of data gatherers and holders to come aboard it's mapping platform, it wants third parties to develop apps and uses for it's maps and it wants local data holders to exploit it's maps and in the process make them better. Of course Google also offers ways for others to use it's map but that use is much more constrained than the way Apple can offer it's maps because Google cannot allow others to use it's maps to collect data about users if that data is not shared with Google. So Apple can partner with Yandex the Russian search engine to supply local data for Apple's maps in Russia and let Yandex collect local data because neither Apple nor Yandex are threatened by that data sharing. In contrast Yandex would be very threatened if it had to share it's data with Google.

So what you have is a fascinating experiment with two mapping strategies. Google's is far more monolithic, 'all your data is ours or we cannot work together' (which means local or specialist search engines cannot easily work with Google maps) and Apple's model where it facilitates and thus depends on others to populate it's maps with useful and accurate data in the hope that because it does not compete with local or specialist search engines that the local data owners will sign up because they are not in competition with Apple's core business.

The best way to view Apple's mapping initiative is as a project a bit like the Apple store. Apple builds the structure, in this case the core mapping functionality, but other make almost all the content. So Apple maps will succeed or fail as a result of it's ability attract third parties to supply uniquely useful specialist data as well as to build lots of great add-on mapping apps.

If Apple maps is an enabling platform like the App Store then Apple maps currently are like the App Store was in week one. Back then no one knew whether the App Store would work or how big it would get. In week one it's content looked a bit thin. Similarly we don't know now whether Apple's new approach to mapping will succeed and whether in the medium term it can go places that Google maps cannot.

What' so exciting and interesting is that a couple of weeks ago there was just one strategy for mapping on the mobile net. Now there are two.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Two mapping strategies
by darknexus on Wed 26th Sep 2012 12:12 UTC in reply to "Two mapping strategies"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

This means that Apple's core business is not threatened by companies who are collecting specialist end user data, and this means Apple is much, much freer than Google to enter into partnership with holders of localised and specialist data holders and collectors.

Excellent. Then they can enter into an agreement with Tomtom to license their map data and end this ridiculous farce. Apple do not have enough data to even come close to competing with Google maps. They could get it. If, in fact, Apple are more free to license such data then why the hell do we even have this problem? They're already licensing Tomtom's turn-by-turn engine, after all.
Remember, just because Apple might be more free to enter such agreements doesn't mean they want to enter said agreements.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Two mapping strategies
by Tony Swash on Wed 26th Sep 2012 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Two mapping strategies"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Excellent. Then they can enter into an agreement with Tomtom to license their map data and end this ridiculous farce. Apple do not have enough data to even come close to competing with Google maps. They could get it. If, in fact, Apple are more free to license such data then why the hell do we even have this problem? They're already licensing Tomtom's turn-by-turn engine, after all.
Remember, just because Apple might be more free to enter such agreements doesn't mean they want to enter said agreements.


I think they do want it and I can't see why they wouldn't but I suspect the whole process is bit like getting the iTunes music library going when the initial negotiations with the labels, with Apple touting an unproven product, was quite tortuous but once iTunes was successful it got easier. The negotiations between Apple and the various owners of TV and film rights is probably even closer to the reality of what is going on now with map data because the music labels were up against the wall of Napster and it's clones while the movie crowd seem to want to try to tough it out more and are much harder to bring on board.

Negotiating these sort of numerous and particular data sharing deals takes a lot of time and resources, but now Apple has V1 of maps done, and it will be on tens of millions of devices in the next few weeks, hopefully it can push ahead and get lots more data deals agreed.

I hope they do not because I want Apple to succeed or Google to fail but because I think having two big players in mobile mapping is better than having just one and because if it works Apple's new model could open up some exciting developments.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Two mapping strategies
by Neolander on Wed 26th Sep 2012 14:26 UTC in reply to "Two mapping strategies"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Apple's approach to mapping is different and that difference relates to it's different core business model compared to Google. Apple's core business is not data collecting or advertising, it's core business is selling devices and everything else Apple does is about adding end user vale to those devices. Everything. iTunes, the App store, iCloud, Apple retail, Apple TV, etc etc, it's all about adding to the value stack that comes with Apple hardware.

That must be why one has to use iTunes to sync iOS devices with computers, cannot use software from outside of the App Store that hasn't paid the Apple tax, is legally forbidden to develop for iOS without using a Mac...

Adding end user value to devices ? More like pressuring maximal value out of end users if you ask me.

Reply Score: 3

Walmart crisis
by progormre on Wed 26th Sep 2012 10:24 UTC
progormre
Member since:
2012-05-20

With google maps I could find 7 Walmarts in my city but with iOS Maps I can only find 2 Walmarts in the entire country, and one of those hits are in Hongkong (the other one is in Shanghai).

Other than that it seems to find the same things as before.

[correction! the iOS map search required a "-", so it should have been "Wal-mart", not "Walmart". Now I can find 10 wal-marts in my city, google map does the same. Still I give the upper hand to google for finding at least 7 "walmarts" where iOS maps found 0.]

Edited 2012-09-26 10:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

new map is not better in China
by taos on Thu 27th Sep 2012 03:40 UTC
taos
Member since:
2005-11-16

The old (Google) map has always been very good for the last 6 years while I've been living in Beijing. In the old days, it was always off by hundreds of meters in Shanghai, but that problem has gone as far as I can tell, I travel to Shanghai several times a year.

The new (Apple) map, which is based on AutoNavi's data, is not as good as the Google one from a 'map' function point of view. However, I happen to be a paid user of AutoNavi's navigation iOS app (it's also the built-in navigation app for Galaxy 3 in China), and it's very very good, very accurate turn-by-turn instructions throughout places I went, especially in Beijing.

So that tells me the problem is not with AutoNavi's data, it's the presentation and integration of the data.

Reply Score: 2

Second largest economy?
by judgen on Thu 27th Sep 2012 09:30 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

According to wikipedia China is the Third not the second largest economy by gdp.
EU=17,577,69 million
USA=15,094,025 million
PRC=7,298,147 million

Reply Score: 2

So Maps wasn't that bad, eh?
by TM99 on Fri 28th Sep 2012 16:55 UTC
TM99
Member since:
2012-08-26

Well, apparently, Apple had to admit that their Map app really wasn't that good despite all of those on forums that eagerly stated otherwise in the face of the damning evidence.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/28/technology/apple-maps-apology/index...

I will say that I am pleased that Cook admitted it. I doubt Steve Jobs ever would have. Maybe there is hope yet for Apple?

Reply Score: 2