Apple Turning to Select Retail Store Employees to Help Improve Maps for iOS 6

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Not sure how I feel about this. Some of the store employees are clueless.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2010
    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.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    I guess there is enough of them to help get things right
  5. macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    It's a good idea, but why do this when MILLIONS of people are already doing it on their own iOS 6 device?
  6. macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006
    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.
  7. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    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.

  8. macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
  9. ECUpirate44, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

    macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    To the forum member who suggested this days ago and then was blasted for the idea, you were right.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    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.
  11. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    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.
  12. macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2009
    It still has to be verified and updated, correct? I have submitted problems and the errors are still there.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2010
    "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.
  14. macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    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...
  15. macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    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.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2005
    "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.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    All the hipsters they pick will hide all their favorite hangout spots so no one can find them.
  18. justperry, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

    macrumors 603


    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.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
  20. macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    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.
  21. macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2008
    Luckily, Iowa has no points of interest. :D
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010

    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... :D
  23. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    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.
  24. macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2011
    Nor much of other countries outside large cities.
    My nearest stores are at least an hour's drive in any direction.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2012
    Florida, USA
    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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