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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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Apple Turning to Select Retail Store Employees to Help Improve Maps for iOS 6




MacRumors has learned that Apple is piloting a program to tap into its vast number of retail store employees to help improve the company's new Maps app for iOS 6. Details on the initiative remain unclear, but multiple sources have indicated that participating stores will dedicate 40 hours of staff time per week, distributed among a number of employees, to manually examine Apple's mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements. ifoAppleStore posted a Tweet a short time ago indicating that it too has received information on the effort.

It is unknown exactly what procedures will be used to examine the data, whether it simply be side-by-side comparisons with Google Maps data or if more sophisticated efforts such as in-person verification will be used. One source has indicated that a team of ten employees would be participating in the program at one store, with one of those employees being designated a "subject matter expert" to oversee the team and receiving training on how the team will operate. Changes to maps will reportedly be submitted through a dedicated internal portal on Apple's systems.




Apple's new Maps app for iOS 6 has received significant criticism since its launch, with Apple CEO Tim Cook finding it necessary to publish an open letter late last week to apologize for the app's shortcomings and to suggest alternative mapping solutions while Apple works to improve its own maps.

Apple is reportedly aggressively hiring former Google Maps employees in its efforts to quickly improve its new mapping services, but much of the criticism has related to incorrect point-of-interest locations and other data best verified in the field or by those with intimate knowledge of a given area. Apple's network of nearly 400 retail stores represents nearly 40,000 employees scattered across more than a dozen countries, making it an ideal resource for assisting with mapping improvements.

Article Link: Apple Turning to Select Retail Store Employees to Help Improve Maps for iOS 6
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:34 AM   #2
jrath1
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Not sure how I feel about this. Some of the store employees are clueless.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:34 AM   #3
coolspot18
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Gee, I hope they're not relying on store drones to update the maps... surely something as important as maps require a more highly trained (and dedicated) employee.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:34 AM   #4
davidec
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I guess there is enough of them to help get things right
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:35 AM   #5
gmanist1000
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It's a good idea, but why do this when MILLIONS of people are already doing it on their own iOS 6 device?
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:35 AM   #6
obafgkm
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Of course, in the (many) areas where there aren't Apple Stores, this won't be of any help.

In the (typically urban) areas where there are Apple Stores, this will help somewhat.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:35 AM   #7
samcraig
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Something about this just sounds funny to me. I am sure they have other resources working on this as well. But the idea that they are creating teams from Apple Store employees just strikes me as funny.

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MacRumors has learned that Apple is piloting a program to tap into its vast number of retail store employees to help improve the company's new Maps app for iOS 6. Details on the initiative remain unclear, but multiple sources have indicated that participating stores will dedicate 40 hours of staff time per week, distributed among a number of employees, to manually examine Apple's mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements.

It is unknown exactly what procedures will be used to examine the data, whether it simply be side-by-side comparisons with Google Maps data or if more sophisticated efforts such as in-person verification will be used. One source has indicated that a team of ten employees would be participating in the program at one store, with one of those employees being designated a "subject matter expert" to oversee the team and receiving training on how the team will operate. Changes to maps will reportedly be submitted through a dedicated internal portal on Apple's systems.

Image


Apple's new Maps app for iOS 6 has received significant criticism since its launch, with Apple CEO Tim Cook finding it necessary to publish an open letter late last week to apologize for the app's shortcomings and to suggest alternative mapping solutions while Apple works to improve its own maps.

Apple is reportedly aggressively hiring former Google Maps employees in its efforts to quickly improve its new mapping services, but much of the criticism has related to incorrect point-of-interest locations and other data best verified in the field or by those with intimate knowledge of a given area. Apple's network of nearly 400 retail stores represents nearly 40,000 employees scattered across more than a dozen countries, making it an ideal source for assisting with mapping improvements

Article Link: Apple Turning to Select Retail Store Employees to Help Improve Maps for iOS 6
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:35 AM   #9
ECUpirate44
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To the forum member who suggested this days ago and then was blasted for the idea, you were right.

Last edited by ECUpirate44; Oct 3, 2012 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:36 AM   #10
RoboCop001
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What's with the worrying? It's probably just "Go here. Look at our maps, verify location first-hand. Verify with Google Maps. Is the info correct?"

Easy stuff.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:38 AM   #11
Abazigal
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Originally Posted by gmanist1000 View Post
It's a good idea, but why do this when MILLIONS of people are already doing it on their own iOS 6 device?
A recent report had apple maps usage at just 4% (and even those who spot errors may not report them). I am guessing that Apple's initial plan of relying on consumer loyalty didn't quite pan out.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:39 AM   #12
gluckett
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Originally Posted by gmanist1000 View Post
It's a good idea, but why do this when MILLIONS of people are already doing it on their own iOS 6 device?
It still has to be verified and updated, correct? I have submitted problems and the errors are still there.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:39 AM   #13
unlinked
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"its vast number of retail store employees"

Does it have a vast number? 60k isn't nothing but I'm not sure it is vast either.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:39 AM   #14
Danindub
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Why don't they just follow up with our error reports??

I personally submitted hundreds, since launch. Not a single one was corrected, some of them gaining bit publicity...
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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This seems like a good opportunity to expand upon local data.

Hopefully, by recruiting the people who are passionate to help Apple whether retail employees or even the end users themselves we can make Maps a stronger competitor to Google.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:40 AM   #16
AtHomeBoy_2000
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"manually examine Apple's mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements."

So, the areas around Apple stores will be SUPER accurate, but Iowa... not so much.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:41 AM   #17
nws0291
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All the hipsters they pick will hide all their favorite hangout spots so no one can find them.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:42 AM   #18
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Hmm, 40.000 against a potential 10s - 100s of million users, which one would be better.

Edit: 10s - 100s of million users if Apple had a web based Maps and an easy way to report incorrect data.

Last edited by justperry; Oct 3, 2012 at 08:56 AM.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:42 AM   #19
kjs862
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seem like a good idea to me.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:42 AM   #20
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I had my first maps issue yesterday. I told it to take me to Tijuana Flats (restaurant.) It found the one I wanted and I let it navigate me. I ended up in a residential neighborhood.

Luckily I had been there once before and when I was pulling out of the neighborhood I saw the shopping center down the road. I submitted the correction.

Looking at the map they have the address correct, but the pin is one block over which puts it inside of a neighborhood.

And for those saying you need highly trained employees - these people are checking map data, not creating the maps application. Essentially they are like the Google street view drivers. Just follow the directions and drive your car.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by AtHomeBoy_2000 View Post
"manually examine Apple's mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements."

So, the areas around Apple stores will be SUPER accurate, but Iowa... not so much.
Luckily, Iowa has no points of interest.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #22
Jimrod
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Originally Posted by AtHomeBoy_2000 View Post
"manually examine Apple's mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements."

So, the areas around Apple stores will be SUPER accurate, but Iowa... not so much.
This.

I'm in little ole' England, pretty central too as it happens yet I'm still about an hour's drive from any Apple store, guess my maps won't be "fixed" by these Geniuses...
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #23
samcraig
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Originally Posted by unlinked View Post
"its vast number of retail store employees"

Does it have a vast number? 60k isn't nothing but I'm not sure it is vast either.
It's not even 60K who work in the retail stores worldwide.

And that would assume all of them would work on this - which they aren't based on the article.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #24
oldcelt
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Originally Posted by AtHomeBoy_2000 View Post
"manually examine Apple's mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements."

So, the areas around Apple stores will be SUPER accurate, but Iowa... not so much.
Nor much of other countries outside large cities.
My nearest stores are at least an hour's drive in any direction.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #25
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What's with the worrying? It's probably just "Go here. Look at our maps, verify location first-hand. Verify with Google Maps. Is the info correct?"

Easy stuff.
True. When Google touts its huge team working on its own maps, do people assume they each have a Ph.D. in digital cartography? Many of them just need a drivers license.
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