Apple Expands Transit Directions to New Locales and Introduces Indoor Maps at Additional Airports

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Transit directions for Apple Maps have recently expanded to Belgium, Manila in the Philippines, Switzerland, Wyoming, and Iowa, Apple confirmed today in an update to its Feature Availability page for iOS.

In these locations, Apple Maps users can get directions using the transit options available in their states or countries. Apple actually implemented transit directions in these locales over the course of the last few months, but the Feature Availability page is only updated every few weeks.


Transit directions were added to Apple Maps in 2015 for a handful of cities, and since then, Apple has been working to expand the feature to additional areas. Transit information is now live in dozens of cities and countries around the world.

In addition to offering transit directions in new locations, Apple has also expanded its indoor maps availability to additional airports. All of the following airports now support indoor maps:

[*]Brisbane Airport (BNE)
[*]Central Japan International Airport (NGO)
[*]Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
[*]Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
[*]Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN)
[*]Melbourne Airport (MEL)
[*]Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

Indoor maps for malls and airports were introduced in iOS 11, providing full layouts of each mall or airport location with icons for restaurants, elevators, bathrooms, shops, and other notable landmarks. Different floors are clearly marked, making it easy to navigate through unknown areas.

A full list of all of the airports and mall locations where the Apple Maps indoor mapping feature is available can be found on Apple's feature availability website, which also houses a list of all of the locations where transit directions are available.

Article Link: Apple Expands Transit Directions to New Locales and Introduces Indoor Maps at Additional Airports
 
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simonmet

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Sep 9, 2012
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It's tiny - probably took them all of 30 minutes to make all the graphic assets required, write the code, and debug.
I was referring to the name. I guess it doesn’t sound funny if you’re familiar with it.
 

TheWatchfulOne

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2009
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This should go at a MUCH higher pace! I'm working sometimes with a company called HERE maps, and their database is so vaaaaaaaaastly bigger than what apple is offering, it's really painful to watch.
Working at a higher pace just allows for more mistakes to be made more quickly. "Bigger" doesn't always mean "better."

Dallas Love Field? :eek::D:p
It's tiny - probably took them all of 30 minutes to make all the graphic assets required, write the code, and debug.
Love Field is the airport where Kennedy arrived in Dallas on Air Force One. It is also where LBJ was sworn in as President on board Air Force One after the assassination.
 
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Sasparilla

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Jul 6, 2012
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Well, nice to see additional airports, every little one added is good. Here's the full airports list just to add it: https://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability/#maps-indoor-maps-airports

This should go at a MUCH higher pace! I'm working sometimes with a company called HERE maps, and their database is so vaaaaaaaaastly bigger than what apple is offering, it's really painful to watch.
HERE definitely seemed like a consortium Apple should might have bought a share in as a starting place but whether they were allowed or not did not choose to do. Saw their mapping vehicles were in the UK last month but just CA, NV and HW in the U.S. at this point.

https://maps.apple.com/vehicles/

Yeah, the pace seems rather slow and alot things like building structures (not airports per se) appears to be done manually by a whole bunch of folks in India (as opposed to automated like Google) - reading that great analysis of Apple's recent Map updates by Mr. O’Beirne gives a sobering picture (some good and some not so good - hopefully the execs in charge read it and digest it thoroughly).

https://www.justinobeirne.com/new-apple-maps
 
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hagar

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Jan 19, 2008
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Belgian here, and very happy with this. Nicely integrated, user friendly and in typical fashion, beautiful and clear instructions. However they are already behind again: transit information is not in real time. They only give warnings when there are service disruptions, but there are no actual updates of delayed or cancelled trains. So Maps could easily suggest a route using a train that doesn’t run or is a slower route. There are no push notifications either. Seems like CityMapper is the better option.
 

LogicalApex

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Nov 13, 2015
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This should go at a MUCH higher pace! I'm working sometimes with a company called HERE maps, and their database is so vaaaaaaaaastly bigger than what apple is offering, it's really painful to watch.
Well Here maps traces itself back go Nokia and Navteq and the have deep relationships that enable them to have very detailed and accurate maps. For instance, they have (or had I haven't kept up with if that contract still exist after the sell to car companies) GPS trackers in UPS and FedEx trucks to ensure they keep accurate road maps compared to Google and Apple sending cars around trying to map roads (in modern times Google and Apple can now get this via cell phone users using Maps, but you get the idea).

Here has a deeper network to source information from so they have more information to share...
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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Not listed on apples website (in English, at least) but I’ve noticed some of these have appeared in my city in China. Not every shopping mall (we have loads, more metro stations have two or more malls attached than the number that have 0) but a decent number of major ones now have indoor maps.

I’m on my way to one now, and was hoping the restaurant I’m looking for was in the general vicinity of its previous point on Maps. Now I know for sure where it is and what floor. Awesome.
 
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viacavour

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Yeah, the pace seems rather slow and alot things like building structures (not airports per se) appears to be done manually by a whole bunch of folks in India (as opposed to automated like Google) - reading that great analysis of Apple's recent Map updates by Mr. O’Beirne gives a sobering picture (some good and some not so good - hopefully the execs in charge read it and digest it thoroughly).

https://www.justinobeirne.com/new-apple-maps
I just checked Apple Maps. Many of the problems highlighted in that link (e.g., building heights) are gone.

I don't think the process is manual. It could just mean the maps is a work-in-progress. Some are new and some are old. The map is still being updated.

I also don't think Apple should waste resources trying to map out roof-top air-conditioners and other finer structures in 3D view. These minute details tend to clutter a busy map without adding value. 100% of the time as a driver, I only look at street level view. If I want to know the look of the buildings, then I will switch to satellite view.
 

RevTEG

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Oct 28, 2012
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San Jose, Ca
Still nothing for Incheon International airport (ICN Seoul, Korea). It’s one of the largest and busiest airport in the world. With its many terminals, restaurants, hotels, shopping and museums, one would think Apple maps would have already mapped it.
 

truthertech

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Jun 24, 2016
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Ahh, MR is keeping with it's perfect record of misstating the spread of Apple Transit by stating it is now in "dozens" of cities, when it is in thousands of cities and many entire countries and states. The reason is Apple Transit has never been rolled out in cities, but rather regions that Apple has kept expanding, that's why it's increasingly entire countries.

For those of you who wonder aloud why it is taking so long, it has to do with Apple's determination to avoid what happened to Google Maps when they rolled out transit. Google did what Apple could do, basically just write a bunch of API's and link to all of the transit systems data bases at once. Problem is the lack of accuracy and user interfaces that Google was heavily criticized for. Apple was determined to avoid the same fate, so it decided to spend much more money and take much more time to send teams to each area and customize the transit directions for each location n a much better GUI. That's why Apple Transit is considered the best in class, but it also means it can't be rolled out all at once.

Here's a terrific article that explains what is taking place.

https://appleinsider.com/articles/16/07/07/why-apples-transit-maps-are-rolling-out-so-slowly
 

ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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This should go at a MUCH higher pace! I'm working sometimes with a company called HERE maps, and their database is so vaaaaaaaaastly bigger than what apple is offering, it's really painful to watch.
A huge issue is how bad their business data is sometimes. I scroll around Manhattan, not exactly a backwater, and there's tons of stuff missing, businesses labelled in the middle of a block of buildings, stuff like that. For driving directions, Apple Maps works very well in my experience but when I'm doing local mapping I often feel let down.
 
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Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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Still nothing for Incheon International airport (ICN Seoul, Korea). It’s one of the largest and busiest airport in the world. With its many terminals, restaurants, hotels, shopping and museums, one would think Apple maps would have already mapped it.
It's mind boggling that the busiest airport in the country (ATL) just got added now.
I'm pretty sure it isn't just simply creating a map.

There needs to be some sort of framework to keep it up to date and accurate. Businesses move, open, close. Operating hours change. Construction -- frequent at big airports -- often forces temporary relocations or closures.

Heck, here's one example: United Airlines' lounges at SFO. They had a couple, closed one down for renovations, temporarily relocated the closed lounge to another lounge, then finally reopened. Today, the brand new Polaris Lounge (business class) is in a prime location with lots of space. But it only recently opened, maybe in the past six months. Shortly after the new Polaris Lounge I believe the two other locations flip-flopped and one was shut down or scheduled for a renovation as well. All of this needs to show up on Apple Maps, Google Maps, flysfo.com, etc. in a timely manner since the activity happens within just a couple of weeks. Online mapping services can't wait two years for another walkthrough.

Many major airports have their own websites so there is likely some sort of data flowing between that directory and the Apple Maps database. No one in Cupertino is going to know that the Ice Cream Store XYZ in Narita Terminal 2 just started closing at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays instead of the previous 10pm.

The fact that Incheon still doesn't show up in Apple Maps (internal maps) or that ATL just got added isn't surprising at all.

Sure, Apple would like to add all of the world's busiest airports but sometimes things don't work out as smoothly as one would hope in terms of data acquisition.

Hell, I'd go as far as saying that providing an accurate internal map of Tokyo Station (the main train station in Tokyo) is far more important than providing the internal map at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) especially with all of the stores and eating establishments in the various levels.

CVG handles about 7.8 million passengers annually. Tokyo Station's daily average is 450,000 passengers. That's right. Tokyo Station handles more passengers in three weeks than CVG handles all year.

Heck, Tokyo Station is handling about 150,000 more daily passengers than ATL.
 
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RevTEG

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Oct 28, 2012
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I'm pretty sure it isn't just simply creating a map.

There needs to be some sort of framework to keep it up to date and accurate. Businesses move, open, close. Operating hours change. Construction -- frequent at big airports -- often forces temporary relocations or closures.

Heck, here's one example: United Airlines' lounges at SFO. They had a couple, closed one down for renovations, temporarily relocated the closed lounge to another lounge, then finally reopened. All of this needs to show up on Apple Maps, Google Maps, flysfo.com, etc.

Many major airports have their own websites so there is likely some sort of data flowing between that directory and the Apple Maps database. No one in Cupertino is going to know that the Ice Cream Store XYZ in Narita Terminal 2 is closing at 9pm instead of the previous 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

The fact that Incheon still doesn't show up in Apple Maps (internal maps) or that ATL just got added isn't surprising at all.

Sure, Apple would like to add all of the world's busiest airports but sometimes things don't work out as smoothly as one would hope in terms of data acquisition.
I agree with all you said. Completely agree. At least we know that Apple has the framework in place. If Apple can map out other large airports then they should be able to "simply" scale up that already in place framework to cover even larger airports. Even though I travel internationally a lot, my work takes me mostly through the same areas. Learning where the main amenities are is pretty easy. At least they don't move much. SFO is where I fly out of.

By the way, I didn't care for the green tea ice cream in terminal 2 at Narita. I heard there was/is a Baskin Robbins somewhere though. :)
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2018
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I don't think it's a matter of Apple "scaling up" to accommodate other airports.

It's not like Apple can tell TIAT (Tokyo International Air Terminal Corp.) how they want their data from Haneda Airport. The burden is most likely on Apple to take whatever data TIAT provides and do the data translation/conversion themselves with minimal transcription errors. That probably what takes more effort.

And if Aeroports de Paris configures their data differently, I bet it's Apple who needs to figure out where the McDonald's is at CDG and not bounce back the data to ADP and say, "hey, can you send this our way?"

That's why adding internal maps for new airports takes such a long time. It is highly unlikely that this is a cookie cutter exercise of cutting and pasting a few rows and columns from an Excel spreadsheet.

Apple can create their own 3D model, but it's really the airport authority that provides the pertinent data. Grid reference A12 is Unit B32 which is currently occupied by a noodle restaurant. Their hours of operation are ___, they accept cash, credit cards, IC cards; there is a smoking section, etc. Oh, and all this information is provided in multiple languages: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English.

It's not Apple sending out someone to scan menus, scribble down operating hours, etc. In fact, there's no guy with a backpack-mounted camera walking through the airport.

It's likely a CAD model from the airport. Again, how does anyone in Cupertino know that the wall between two units at Narita Terminal 2 was torn down so the trendy ramen place can expand?

I'm not much of a green tea ice cream fan although I've had some tasty ones in Japan though.

I don't fly through Narita. Too far out in the boondocks. Haneda is way better if Tokyo is the destination.

Baskin Robbins has a decent reputation in Japan. Like many of the American brands there, it has little to do with their American counterparts and the food quality at the Japanese operations frequently blows doors on the stuff from the American stores. Might be worth trying B-R at some point.
 
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jchap

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Sep 25, 2009
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Hell, I'd go as far as saying that providing an accurate internal map of Tokyo Station (the main train station in Tokyo) is far more important than providing the internal map at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) especially with all of the stores and eating establishments in the various levels.
I've given up on using digital devices to provide maps for stations in the Tokyo metro area. The level of complexity of trying to navigate through multiple levels and concourses, while hoping that your device will precisely pinpoint your location as you walk through the rat maze the whole time is just too overwhelming, I've found. (Most digital devices and apps are unable to determine your altitude and vertical position, so it may think you are on a completely different floor or level than in reality.) Better to rely on the English signs (if you cannot read Japanese), and ask one of the many train station attendants or counter staff to help you find your way.

There is also a point of no return when it comes to map detail. I generally expect that the map providers/makers will gets the basics like street/intersection names, main landmarks, major thoroughfares and geographical features (like rivers) right; but when you start adding details, the map no longer serves its purpose, and becomes a cluttered aggregation of names, dots and lines.

Maps really only offer value when (1) the landmarks indicated on the maps are clear and obvious to anyone; and (2) when you can be reasonably sure where you are heading in the real-life 3D world from a 2D-world birds-eye view. When it comes to navigating things like complex stations with dozens of different platforms, hundreds of exits and entrances and thousands upon thousands of people streaming past you all the while, I've found it's better just to put your device away and to fix your eyes on a clear landmark or sign, and then work from there.

On the other hand, above ground and outdoors, I agree more with the need for detailed and clear maps.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This should go at a MUCH higher pace! I'm working sometimes with a company called HERE maps, and their database is so vaaaaaaaaastly bigger than what apple is offering, it's really painful to watch.
Nokia’s Nantic GPS database was larger still. Google long surpassed yet why is it in a Nokia S60 3rd edition device like the E71-2 I could use GOS to track my breadcrumbs and yet Gmapa and every other out there on a smartphone cannot?!

Features and how we use them. Database size is not relevant to user numbers for use nor the quality of the service offered.
 

JullsJTRIRE

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2018
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I`m in Washington DC
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Not listed on apples website (in English, at least) but I’ve noticed some of these have appeared in my city in China. Not every shopping mall (we have loads, more metro stations have two or more malls attached than the number that have 0) but a decent number of major ones now have indoor maps.

I’m on my way to one now, and was hoping the restaurant I’m looking for was in the general vicinity of its previous point on Maps. Now I know for sure where it is and what floor. Awesome.
So have you bought it? How`s it in work?