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

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,516
11,893



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
 

jrath1

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2005
52
86
Not sure how I feel about this. Some of the store employees are clueless.
 

coolspot18

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2010
1,037
77
Canada
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.
 

gmanist1000

macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
2,688
294
It's a good idea, but why do this when MILLIONS of people are already doing it on their own iOS 6 device?
 

obafgkm

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2006
54
11
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.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
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.

[url=http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png]Image[/url]


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
 

ECUpirate44

macrumors 603
Mar 22, 2010
5,750
8
NC
To the forum member who suggested this days ago and then was blasted for the idea, you were right.
 
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RoboCop001

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2005
1,436
260
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.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
13,549
11,987
Singapore
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.
 

unlinked

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2010
697
1,217
Ireland
"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.
 

Danindub

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2008
105
43
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...
 

ziggyonice

macrumors 68020
Mar 12, 2006
2,385
1
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.
 

AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2005
879
0
"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.
 

nws0291

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
588
161
All the hipsters they pick will hide all their favorite hangout spots so no one can find them.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,285
7,460
I'm a rolling stone.
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.
 
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jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,510
2,431
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.
 

Jimrod

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,197
658
"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... :D
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
"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.
 

oldcelt

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2011
332
19
UK
"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.
 

doelcm82

macrumors 68040
Feb 11, 2012
3,567
2,524
Florida, USA
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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