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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:12 PM   #1
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Apple Hiring 'Maps Ground Truth Data Specialist' in Australia




Apple has posted a new job listing for a 'Maps Ground Truth Data Specialist' in Australia. The job listing, which was posted two days ago, comes several months after Apple came under fire for incorrect mapping data in central Australia.

The position will check "changes to map data, provide feedback on unique local map requirements, collect ground truth information, and evaluate competing products."

'Ground Truth' refers to information collected on location versus data collected remotely, such as satellite imagery. Wikipedia notes that the "collection of ground-truth data enables calibration of remote-sensing data, and aids in the interpretation and analysis of what is being sensed."
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Job Summary

Imagine what you could do here. At Apple, great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job and there's no telling what you could accomplish.

Key Qualifications

o Excellent attention to detail
o QA experience
o Familiarity with evaluating map quality
o Detailed knowledge of the unique features of your local area, including preferred driving routes, landmarks, and road names
o Bachelor's degree or equivalent
o Strong written and spoken English skills

Description

The Maps team is looking for people with knowledge of mapping, great testing skills, and local expertise to help us build better and better maps. In this position, you will be responsible for the quality of map data for your region. You will test changes to map data, provide feedback on unique local map requirements, collect ground truth information, and evaluate competing products.
Apple did eventually fix the issue in central Australia, but the company has been slow to fix many mapping issues even through the app's official "Report a Problem" button.

Thanks Marc!

Article Link: Apple Hiring 'Maps Ground Truth Data Specialist' in Australia
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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Apple do us all a favor and switch back to Google Maps.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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Thanks Marc!
Oh hai Marc!
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
Apple do us all a favor and switch back to Google Maps.
Oh, sure, I loved the idea of picking either 'no-turn-by-turn' or 'ads in my maps.'
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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The headline is a bit misleading. The job description suggests Apple is looking to hire more than one specialist for the job. Which would make sense, since verifying data for an entire country would be impossible for a single person.

In any case, it's a good move by Apple. I hope they decide to hire some specialists in Japan, too, as there are all sorts of mistakes in the Maps app for this country as well.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
Oh, sure, I loved the idea of picking either 'no-turn-by-turn' or 'ads in my maps.'
I have yet to see ads in Gmaps. I only get Sponsored links. Which are minimal at best. Also, I meant the current full blown GMaps app instead of Apple's maps.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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I wonder how many "regions" they are hiring people in? Hundreds?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
I have yet to see ads in Gmaps. I only get Sponsored links. Which are minimal at best. Also, I meant the current full blown GMaps app instead of Apple's maps.
That choice was Google's terms for continuing to allow Apple to use their maps past this year. It has nothing to do with what's in their own app...Google had no incentive to make the iPhone maps nicer than the Android maps.

If Apple were to come crawling back to Google with their tail between their legs I daresay they'd quickly realize they have even more leverage than they did before.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
That choice was Google's terms for continuing to allow Apple to use their maps past this year. It has nothing to do with what's in their own app...Google had no incentive to make the iPhone maps nicer than the Android maps.

If Apple were to come crawling back to Google with their tail between their legs I daresay they'd quickly realize they have even more leverage than they did before.
Google had no incentive, yet they still did. True, but at this point given how bad Maps is and the huge reaction people had to Google Maps is pretty evident.

This time, Steve's ego got in the way.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:36 PM   #11
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Google had no incentive, yet they still did.
What do you mean they still did? They intentionally held back turn-by-turn directions from the iPhone. That's the exact opposite of making it nicer.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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Oh hai Marc!
Hey!! I'm Marc!

I'm impressed, I sent the tip in about 35 minutes ago... That's a quick turnaround! Shows you how competitive the Mac blogosphere is.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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They require a bachelors degree for this job? Why?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
What do you mean they still did? They intentionally held back turn-by-turn directions from the iPhone. That's the exact opposite of making it nicer.
Oh please. You know that's WAY oversimplifying what really happened.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
Apple do us all a favor and switch back to Google Maps.
Apple, please do us all a favor and do not listen to this suggestion.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TheWatchfulOne View Post
Apple, please do us all a favor and do not listen to this suggestion.
Oh look! Someone who refuses to acknowledge a hard known fact...
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
Oh, sure, I loved the idea of picking either 'no-turn-by-turn' or 'ads in my maps.'
That's funny. My iPhone 4 map solutions are:
* no turn by turn (from apple)
* turn by turn (from google)
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
Apple do us all a favor and switch back to Google Maps.
I thought competition was always a Good Thing?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:00 PM   #19
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so this is what we get from apple? we hear that google is wrapping up the the glasses thing and all we got from this guys is job listings and financial reports.

Last edited by stridemat; Feb 23, 2013 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Removed inappropriate language
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:00 PM   #20
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How about a "ground truth specialist" in every country?

Apple Maps are obsolete second tier garbage.

Google recently released Map API's for developers so hopefully developers will shift away and use the far more accurate maps available to them. Great we already have turn by turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
What do you mean they still did? They intentionally held back turn-by-turn directions from the iPhone. That's the exact opposite of making it nicer.
They intentionally held nothing back. Were you under a rock when all the map discussions were around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
That choice was Google's terms for continuing to allow Apple to use their maps past this year. It has nothing to do with what's in their own app...Google had no incentive to make the iPhone maps nicer than the Android maps.

If Apple were to come crawling back to Google with their tail between their legs I daresay they'd quickly realize they have even more leverage than they did before.
I think it's safe to say Tim Cooks letter and the 26,000 Google Map reviews already took care of that.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:03 PM   #21
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Towns that don't exist

So I was wondering, the problems with Maps in Australia are chronic (police have reported several life threatening situations where members of the public and even state authorities have been confused by mapping data provided by Apple, eg location of wild fires in relation to a town people have been order to evacuate)... but I had assumed it was a universal problem flowing from a structural design flaw, not something specific to Australia.

What I am talking about isn't the poor quality of low level data (eg, it can't find a fruit shop that is just around the corner from my house, yet gives a search result of somewhere 12,000 kms away).

There's a much bigger, more wore spread, significant problem.

Maps doesn't know where whole towns and even whole cities are.

And beyond that, it lists whole towns that do not exist.

The source of the problem is that it adds a marker on Maps that looks like it is meant to designate a town or city (and it looks like that because that is what it does do, some of the time)... but often the marker is actually placed at the geographic centre of a District. And the marker gets a label that is the District name. Which has nothing to do with the location or even existence of a town or city.

So we end up with a map that shows me South East Queensland - say 250 km top to bottom.

I see a town marker for Brisbane (pop 1.5 million), and it is in the correct location.

I see a town marker for Moreton, about 50km north of Brisbane. There is no such town. There is a district called Moreton. So maybe it is based on that.

I see a town marker called Redland, located on North Stradbroke Island. There is no town of Redland. There is a district called Redland, and Straddie is in that district.

I see Noosa (a real town) with no marker. As I zoom down on Noosa, no marker ever appears. Until I get to some suburbs, and streets.

Anyway - what I'm getting at is, this seems a structural flaw with underlying design of mapping data, not a specific locality based problem.

Or are they going to literally go through every district and town in Australia? if so, crowdsource it, outsource it, call it WikiMaps and it will be fixed in a month.

But, is this general problem where whole districts get turned into fictitious towns, and where real towns don't get any label at all, just an Australia specific problem?

ps, no replies that you shouldn't rely on a map to help tell you where you are. Don't call it a map if it can't do that.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
Apple do us all a favor and switch back to Google Maps.
Because Google will make sure that Google Maps will always be a second-rate product on iOS, lacking all the full functionality of the Android version.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:53 PM   #23
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>Apple did eventually fix the issue in central Australia, but the company has been slow to fix many mapping issues even through the app's official "Report a Problem" button.<

Where I am at the moment (Tascott NSW) is confidently placed by Maps on the "Tasman Sea" (doh! it's on Brisbane Waters over 10 kms from said Sea). All easily fixable but Maps should never have been released in its current parlous state.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
What do you mean they still did? They intentionally held back turn-by-turn directions from the iPhone. That's the exact opposite of making it nicer.
I agree with you.... but you are beating a dead horse arguing with him. Some people will never acknowledge or remember that prior to apple ditching google for maps, it had no turn by turn, nor was google going to add it. Now we have two options to choose from. How/Why anyone would argue this is worse off is completely and utterly baffling.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:00 PM   #25
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The source of the problem is that it adds a marker on Maps that looks like it is meant to designate a town or city (and it looks like that because that is what it does do, some of the time)... but often the marker is actually placed at the geographic centre of a District. And the marker gets a label that is the District name. Which has nothing to do with the location or even existence of a town or city.


Yes, that is the real problem. It misidentifies shires as a specific location and places them higher in the location hierarchy than a township that happens to have the same name.. So the centre of the shire of mildura is used as the location first, rather than the town of mildura when someone asks to go to mildura. Also try to find a location interstate using Siri. It will try its hardest to pretend nothing exists on the other side of the state border.

It should be a simple global fix, at least for Australia, but it has not happened after all this time.
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