The iOS 11 Maps Thread

Discussion in 'iOS 11' started by MozMan68, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. MozMan68 macrumors 68000

    MozMan68

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    #1
    There is nothing I love more than a thread discssing the pros and cons of Apple Maps versus all the other map apps out there. Always a highjly emotional subject for some reason...so have at it!

    Would love to hear everyone's thoughts on the new features, improvements, issues....screen shot side by side comparisons are always welcome.

    I'm starting a month of purely Apple Maps use to see myself with a lot of travel/driving coming up acoss the US...and maybe overseas. With only one commute under my belt this morning with iOS11, I hae to say I was impressed with the lane guidance, voice prompts, speed limit info and the UI in general.
     
  2. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

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    #2
    I dont need maps a lot but I have used it a few times recently. Only thing I noticed so far was the speed limit jumping from 30 to 45 and back several times before settling in on 30, the real speed for that road. Otherwise it has been a good maps update.
     
  3. CopyChief macrumors regular

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    #3
    I have only tested it on my well-worn commute, but it seems like a solid app update. The lane guidance is great, and the UI updates are solid. Searching for POIs is still questionable, but they need a new data set for that to improve.
     
  4. MozMan68 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MozMan68

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    #4
    Well...one day complete...and even though I know where I'm going on my commute, I never thought seeing lane guidance would be such a welcome addition.

    Doing 2,000 miles of driving next week and going to use Apple Maps....I'm familiar enough to where I'm going, so should be low risk.

    The only thing I miss from commuting with Waze is the police location alerts. I don't pass a cop on the highway in months, and then yesterday, the first day not using Waze since I can remember, I see one as I'm coming up on 95 mph.

    Yeah...I shouldn't be going that fast...blah blah blah....but I guess he didn't tag me. Was able to slow down to 72 mph as I passed him and he didn't budge. Maybe using Apple Maps will force me to slow down??
     
  5. joesegh macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I use a lot of both Apple and Google Maps. I have a car with CarPlay, so I'm somewhat forced to use it for driving navigation. When I travel with a rental car and it doesn't have CarPlay, I end up going back to Google ASAP. For walking around and taking public transit, Google is still my go-to. If I'm out of the country, again Google tends to reign supreme.

    While I think Apple Maps is generally beautiful, easy to read, and very capable for routing around the highly populated areas of the US that I'm traveling in, I have a few major issues and a few things I'm excited for in iOS 11.

    I'm looking forward to
    • Lane guidance! This is a great feature when driving in unfamiliar territory, particularly because the glyphs for the turn-by-turn directions are not always super accurate for the actual roads.
    • Airport/mall maps - I really love using the indoor airport maps in particular, so I'm excited for this.

    My biggest gripes, in order of their annoyance:
    • Bad data, and slow corrections. I have submitted probably 10 different requests to add a lane in front of LGA airport in NYC. This is a major airport in the largest city in the country, and they are still missing an exit ramp that has now existed for virtually two years. They've still never done anything with it.
    • Slow routing. Google seems to deliver a route in under a second, where Apple Maps typically takes 5-10 seconds. This is one of the more annoying day-to-day issues.
    • Offline map areas. This feature is a godsend in Google Maps. I just traveled to Scotland and there's many areas with poor cell service. I downloaded the entire country's map and was able to get turn-by-turn directions even when I had no data service at the start of my trip, with traffic data automatically downloading when I got back in to an area with service.
    • Building data. Apple has data for buildings in large cities, but Google has data for tons more places, including plenty of small towns. The building data gives you an excellent sense of place when you're navigating around the map, and Apple just has such a deficit in this area.
    • Street view. Self explanatory, but it's another great feature for finding your way in a new place.

    The speed limit feature seems interesting but largely pointless. A well-designed road properly signs the speed limits on regular-enough intervals that I rarely find myself speeding without knowing it.
     
  6. yngrshr macrumors regular

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    #6
    Frankly, offline maps need to happen. I despise not having them available.
     
  7. stulaw11 Suspended

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    Jan 25, 2012
    #7
    Will give you all of those except Apple is using Tomtom data. How much Apple gets to actually update the data on their side is unknown.

    Tomtom data is notoriously out of date. Obviously Google maps themselves and their own data.

    The few second difference is also really negligible in reality too.
     
  8. joesegh macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The time to generate a route is very nit-picky, I'll agree.

    But I am not willing to accept the Tomtom data argument. It's called Apple Maps. Apple is responsible for the current state of the product, and its improvement over time. They're the ones who put themselves in the situation of relying on Tomtom and not being able to make the product better as quickly as their competition. They've known the problems with relying on third parties since iOS 6 came out, so what have they been doing the past five years?
     
  9. stulaw11, Jun 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017

    stulaw11 Suspended

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    #9
    You realize the nearly 100% of the GPS out there except Google Maps app rely upon others' mapping data right? Just how it works.

    There are very few companies that create and update mapping software; 2 that I know of for years and years. Garmin and Magellan use NavTeq (which Garmin bought out), TomTom has been using TeleAtlas (which they bought out).

    Google is the only other one creating mapping data of their own. Even Google used TeleAtlas until 2009 when it went on its own; and previously used Navteq.

    The POI and traffic data are all done by different smaller companies.

    Apple has no obligation to do the same as its not part of their business model. Unless you are implying all of the Tomtom, Garmin, in car units etc, nearly all of the GPS units out there not using Google Maps, are all in the same boat as Apple and not "legit"
     
  10. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

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    #10
    I never really had a lot of luck with Waze. Felt like I was the only one ever reporting seeing anything because most of the time I would see one sitting with no mark on the map or a mark and they are gone. I think it all depends on the area and the people in that area to care enough to post an update.
     
  11. joesegh macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Yes I realize that. But Apple Maps having bad data and a poor track record of updating that data in a timely fashion is on them, and no one else.
     
  12. stulaw11, Jun 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017

    stulaw11 Suspended

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    #12
    Again, untrue. Apple likely has no control over the data streaming into their app.

    Apple does not own the data stream. Almost like an RSS feed is how I understand it reading about it, and the maps app uses that data to form what you see. Apple seems to have some minor control to add data to the stream to tweak issues on their own end, but how much is unknown.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14...th-user-corrections-every-day-at-3-am-eastern

    You should research the topic a bit.

    Unlike the POI, from whatever companies it gets that data from, which Apple seems to have the ability to add to and edit the database either on its own level, or the provider's level via agreement; but it appears a you can add your business to Apple Maps for example, that they have some type of POI database of their own.
     
  13. joesegh macrumors 6502

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    #13
    We are talking past each other. My point is that if Apple wants to call their product "Apple Maps", they should have given themselves more fundamental control, or a route to get that control over time. Otherwise they could have just called it "Apple Maps but Blame Tomtom For Any Problems". Their name, their brand, their problem. Customers don't care about the underlying data sharing agreements, they want the best experience. Apple knows this is a problem.
     
  14. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #14
    Wherever Apple is getting their data now, I'm hoping that the Apple Mapping Vehicle that drove past my house 2 weeks ago (in NW CT, not in a major city) will mean that is changing, and soon.
     
  15. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #15
    at least when using CarPlay, It is really nice how alternate routes are a lighter shade of blue with the estimated ETA showing. You can actually get a live look if another route is faster.
     
  16. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #16
    This is useful, but maybe not for every possible route at every corner. Gets a little distracting.
     
  17. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #17
    I don't think it is every possible alternate route, but it is major ones. I also notice maps is faster to suggest a faster route earlier on the trip.

    As others have said, the lane information is awesome.
     
  18. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #18
    Yes, I like the lane info, too. Also, the abilty to toggle between turn-by-turn view and "overview" modes simply by touching the direction bar at the top. Much easier than swiping up and selecting the right toggle.
     
  19. mpavilion macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Do you still need to swipe up (or tap) into bottom submenu, then tap another button, to see turn-by-turn details of current route (in list form)? It's an odd UI choice for that to be buried... only takes one tap in Waze.
     
  20. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #20
    Nope. Just tap the area with the upcoming turns and it toggles right back.
     
  21. mpavilion macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Thumbs up!
     
  22. stulaw11 Suspended

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    #22
    Except by your logic then Apple is responsible for say a gmail outage when Apple Mail app cannot retrieve email because "it has Apple's name on the app." If it's icloud outage and their own system, then sure it's on Apple. But its not their back end absent icloud mail.

    That is directly analogous to maps. They have an app aggregating 3rd party data.

    You're right though, people may say that but it doesn't make it any less ignorant.
     
  23. MozMan68 thread starter macrumors 68000

    MozMan68

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    #23
    So....I've asked this question before:

    Why doesn't Apple in particular, with its rabid fan base, do a "user updated" Map model (with heavy Apple oversight) a la Waze??
     
  24. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    #24
    A correction: Garmin never bought/owned Navteq. Garmin and Navteq shared data layers, the extent of their partnership. Philips sold Navteq as an acquisition to Nokia a decade ago, and now Navteq is part of the HERE entity that is owned by the Audi/Daimler/BMW consortium.

    Not entirely correct in perspective. I've been in this business for about 25 years, presenting to my clients and managers. Think of what you see in Apple Maps as a flattened AutoCAD/Photoshop/Illustrator file in appearance, layered over a searchable series of data sets - that's what is presented to us.

    What goes into that "presentation" is definitely up to Apple. When I buy a SHAPE file subscription from an agency - just like Apple would - I can enable/disable hundreds of data types using a control panel. Building on this, in some areas we will find overlap in area coverage - TomTom's Tele Atlas, MapBox, Navteq, Verizon's MapQuest will try to sell me mapping data, POI's, GIS data, and more - and it's literally a bidding war by those companies to sell me their data and attract customers to the information that they pay for. I have to factor the accuracy of that data, often by sending a survey crew out to verify survey monuments. I may use Navteq in Portland and MapBox in Wahkiakum County - and I have to verify everything (something Apple/Google/Verizon/MS definitely would get fired for not doing if they worked in my company!) Apple absolutely pits data providers against each other - I see a typo in Maps that exists only in Mapquest in one area and a misaligned roadway that exists only in Navteq in another area but they're both in Maps, and knowing the surveyors and GIS techs gives me a bit more insight here than most Maps users.

    Those SHAPE files are not cheap. And, if I need an aerial it's likely another $15k cost for my client, just for a localized area and not an entire geographical area. Mr. SID aerial TIFF files aren't cheap…

    My point here is that Apple picks and chooses data they want to display, generally based on cost and general interest in an area. They enable layers at different zoom levels. They tag aerial data and their 3D images depending on zoom and perspective.

    Don't hold your breath. Look up Skamokawa WA, I'll wait. An Apple vehicle drove by a friend's B&B in October 2015. She wanted her B&B in every iPhone. I told her to not hold her breath - geotagging takes a massive effort and plenty of time. I created an entry for her with Apple and told her to create an account with Yelp and TripAdvisor, and how her B&B has those two review/recommendation portals tagged to Maps.

    A MS Bing vehicle preceded Apple by about 6 weeks. MS has had those street view and geotagged bits online for about 8 months, and they're using their own mapping data to supplement them (they were found in their Maps Preview but they're widely available now on Windows and Windows Phone (I use a Lumia 640 too) and their mapping in the US and Canada on Windows platforms posterizes Apple and Google (BB fan here…). Bing Maps blows chunks two ways - on iOS they use Apple Maps as a base and their aerials in the PNW are ancient.

    Money. The cost of base mapping is still ludicrously expensive - my budget for a 7 county area runs $100k every year for subscriptions, I don't own any of it and I have to mail the last-quarter data back to the agencies. The cost of potential liability is expensive - I shed tears when I write my liability insurance check every quarter - and Apple gets to "foist" the liability of accuracy to the mapping data owners when, not if, accidents occur.

    Google spent billions on HD satellites (which they just sold a few months ago) for aerial data and likely tens of millions on drivers and the cars they were in. I'm seeing newer aerials from Apple Maps for iOS only in my area in 2D view but not in 3D view (August 2011 aerials, I know who consigned them) or in the macOS app AND those newer aerials are different than the local "reseller" is offering in their paid-for offerings, which leads me to surmise that Apple has consigned their own aerials from a satellite imaging company (I just checked my GIS SHAPE file and compared it to the local agency ("reseller") and they are indeed different. I can offer that those images I'm seeing now, with the detail I'm seeing, were not cheap.

    It's basically money and liability. I have engineers and surveyors working for me, people with lots of experience - and I still redline drawings every single day - there's no way I would use a "crowdsourced" map and expect complete accuracy. I check DOT cameras before I leave a location as I've learned to not trust those little green lines. I call ahead to make sure a restaurant is still in business - snow and ice here put dozens of small businesses out of business this past year, but they're still in Apple/Google Maps. I still carry a newer Thomas Guide with me everywhere I go - I know they're right and the Guide doesn't need an internet connection!
     
  25. thefourthpope macrumors 6502a

    thefourthpope

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    #25
    That analogy would be direct if the user was deciding to use TomTom or Garmin or whatever inside the map app. Like the user can decide which email to use inside the Mail app. But that's not a user choice within Apple Maps.

    And Apple is certainly a powerful enough company to press for more consistent updates if they seriously wanted to.
     

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