Newly Published Apple Mapping Patent Details Route Feedback System, Real-Time Accident Reporting

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has published an Apple patent application that pertains to expanded mapping features, including real-time crowd-sourced traffic information and user-based route ratings and reporting, reports AppleInsider.

    Apple's patent, titled "User-Specified Route Rating and Alerts," shares some distinct similarities with Waze, a company that Apple was rumored to be purchasing at one point, though it was ultimately acquired by Google. The patent, which was originally filed in 2011, details a system in which Maps users offer "ratings for routes, streets and/or locations," improving the company's mapping capabilities through user feedback.

    Waze incorporates user feedback as well, using crowd sourced data to determine route details and travel times. Waze users can utiize the app's feedback system to provide the company with reports on traffic accidents, road closures, location accuracy, and more. With a similar system in place, Apple could allow its users to provide feedback and ratings on route choices, which could then be used to optimize travel.

    Apple's patent also details a process that would see the company collecting real-time traffic alerts and then distributing it to other Maps users, providing on-the-fly updates to routing information.

    After a disastrous Maps debut alongside iOS 6 that saw a slew of complaints about inaccuracy and missing information, Apple has worked hard to improve the application. Tim Cook issued an apology and the company went through a restructuring that included the termination of several people involved with the Maps project, including SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall and Maps manager Richard Williamson.

    Apple has since posted a number of job listings in order to add to its Maps teams, and has improved 3D flyover coverage in a number of cities. Both of Apple's upcoming operating system updates for Mac and iOS will include a number of mapping improvements, including a new app in OS X Mavericks.

    Article Link: Newly Published Apple Mapping Patent Details Route Feedback System, Real-Time Accident Reporting
  2. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
    Or you could just use Google Maps...which actually works.

    In all fairness, crowd sourcing this isn't a bad idea. I do it for DarkSky. But to think people will do it while driving seems unsafe.
  3. WAM2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2011
    United States
    Gotta kick out of the "Protesters" Button. lol.
  4. WatchTheThrone macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2011
  5. jonnysods macrumors 601


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I'd be impressed if Apple Maps would just get me to the right place that I typed in. They should patent and implement that. Had some frustrating experiences of late....
  6. JarJarThomas macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2013
    Although using google maps is not possible for me (to many errors in my region), the idea of rating is basically good.
    But if you read the text you see the rating of the route is done AFTER you reached your destination.

    But I am not so sure it makes sense to manually ask the user.
    Because why should be take the effort?
    Unless you can give him a good incentive to rate (like we find a better route for you if you drive it daily and you are unhappy with it), I think most of the informations could be collected automatically.
    If the street allows 50mph but you are driving with 10 there are some traffic conditions.

    I don't know how it is in us, but we also have tmc in Europe. That tells the navigation system about road problems. I am not sure why (or if) apple and google doesn't use these informations. (I know for sure that google doesn't use these informations because it even ignores if a highway is closed here).


    Would you be so kind to give these addresses ? So we can see if you are talking the truth? I am a heavy driver and not once apple maps lead me wrong.
  7. Risco macrumors 68000


    Jul 22, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Implemented properly with Siri and you won't need to worry about taking your eyes off the road.
  8. gluckett macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2009
    I don't know what good this will do - they still haven't fixed the problems I reported with incorrect locations when the maps app was first introduced.
  9. HiVolt macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Oooh, such an interesting "technology" that it requires a patent? wow...

    When is the patent office gonna stop giving out patents for obvious ideas?
  10. Bargle macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2012
    Wow, you can patent putting the "done" button on the top left corner of a screen...
  11. Marrakas macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2012
    So basically they are copying waze and patenting it?
  12. binaryskies macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2008
    Washington DC
    I actually uninstalled Google Maps after using the two side by side. There are some things that are gonna take some getting used to and there are things I miss but they aren't major. I miss seeing each route option and the amount of traffic and travel time in a list form like Google Maps does (Apple Maps just shows the highlighted route and time). I have discovered that it does show pretty accurate traffic maps on the overview screen. I currently use Apple Maps as my GPS instead of my Garmin and I have uninstalled Google Maps. They really improved the app and cannot wait for the future updates and new features.
  13. krithikb007 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Why apple is applying patent for each & everything recently :eek:
  14. notjustjay, Jul 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013

    notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    What, you think he's lying? Lots of people have reported problems with Apple Maps. To be fair, it's not really Apple that's to blame so much as whatever mapping company they bought. And to REALLY complain, I wish these companies would share their data. I know everyone wants to keep their own IP to themselves for profits' sake but in an ideal world, everyone would share and everyone would benefit.

    As for real-world situations, I got led astray just last week because I needed to go into a newer neighborhood in my city. Apple Maps hadn't a clue and thought I was driving into vacant land. Google Maps found what I needed right away.

    To be fair, Google Maps definitely has its flaws too. My favorite was the one where it told me to get off the eastbound highway, travel 1 mile south to the nearest intersection, do a U-turn, travel 1 mile north, and get back on the highway. Huh? (Actually, I know exactly why it did it. Flawed optimization algorithm or bad map metadata. It was trying to keep me in an express lane, and instead of routing me to the next collector-to-express merge point, it figured the best thing to do was get off the highway completely and re-enter it onto a ramp that went directly into the express lane.)

    I think Apple could really pull this off well if they wanted to. They have a huge userbase who could probably be convinced to send Apple location data -- many of us are already doing it for features like Find My iPhone. They've integrated mapping and search (and Siri) that much more in iOS 7. So they know exactly where we are, how fast we're going, and what road we were supposed to be on. It could even start predicting where we are going (home, work, address book contacts, local restaurants we just searched for, etc.)

    I can imagine all kinds of cool scenarios that could happen automatically, behind the scenes. Apple could monitor your traffic habits and collect data about the average speeds on the same streets at different times of day, and notice anomalies due to accidents, construction, etc. It could even watch one user reroute him/herself around a long term obstacle (construction, daily traffic jams), and then recommend the same route to the next user navigating to the same area. You could say "Siri, there's a traffic jam ahead, give me a route around it" and it would do so, and flag the spot for the next guy.

    Or how about a mapping algorithm that learns from its users. Say the GPS tells you to take route X, but you know that route Y is better. Say that you do this repeatedly (and/or other users do the same thing). The system could learn to suggest route Y instead without having to be specifically told. Automatically add new streets, or remove old ones that seem to be incorrect. This could be huge!

    Waze is onto something good but I hate the interface. Apple is in a great position to do something great in this space.
  15. APlotdevice, Jul 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Except when it doesn't.

    Seriously, Google Maps has plenty of flaws. On numerous occasions it has been off by a block or two. Sometimes more. And I can recall at least two times where it told me to take a path that did not exist.
  16. donutbagel macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2013
    Way too much lag. I tried both a lot, and both have flaws, but they end up being about equal in accuracy.
  17. VanillaCracker macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
  18. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Yeah, that was one thing I found disconcerting about Google Maps.

    "In 500 meters........................ turn left onto First Street."

    Uh, ok, thanks...
  19. CrazyForApple macrumors 6502a


    Dec 31, 2012
    Buffalo, NY
  20. jmsait19 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    I find the biggest flaw in Maps is really the directory. So I take a little responsibility and make sure the pin is located in the actual destination... Then the app guides me perfectly. I truck across the country and this has never failed me... And I'd do the same with google maps. Technology is cool but you have to take a little responsibility to make sure it's doing what you want.
  21. donutbagel macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2013
    That too, almost forgot about that.
  22. Dulcimer macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    That's how things work in the tech. industry. If they didn't have patents, they'd be toast.
  23. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Someone has the stop the patent office giving these things out. This is getting stupid now, where is the innovation in this idea? They are just applying basic crowd sourcing voting on information. This time, that information is traffic info! Wow!! Big achievement!!
  24. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I know right. Waze should sue apple

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