Apple looking to improve its Maps service, hiring full time mapping experts
Apple’s homegrown Maps service, which replaced Google Maps on iOS devices, didn’t get off to a good start. It appears that the company is hard at work to make the service better, it is currently in the process of hiring many full time experts in the mapping field.
When Apple announced iOS 6 last year, it revealed that Google Maps would no longer be the default provider of the mapping service, as it had been since the very first iPhone was launched back in 2007. Apple presented its own offering, simply called Maps. However the service didn’t have a flawless launch. Users complained of bad experiences, so much so that Apple CEO Tim Cook had to issue a public apology in September 2012 for the substandard mapping experience in iOS 6.
Fast forward one year and it appears that the company has made some progress. Moreover, it plans to invite over 400 million iOS users to “Help Improve Maps,” a feature that users will have to opt-in to when they’re initially setting up the yet to be publicly released iOS 7 firmware on their iOS devices. Basically the company will anonymously store a device’s coordinate information, with the user’s consent. This will aid the company in figuring out how accurate are the driving time estimates that Maps shows to users, among other things.
As spotted by AppleInsider, the company’s jobs website has dozens of open positions on the Maps team. One such position is the Maps Ground Truth Local Experts, who are going to be tasked with quality assessment of Apple Maps in their region as well as with providing feedback on unique requirements for local maps and the collection of ground truth information. Other positions include that of a software engineer for Maps Navigation, Maps Senior Data Scientist, Traffic Accuracy Domain expert and a lot more. It remains to be seen how long will it take for the changes and improvements to trickle down, but one thing is for sure, the mapping experience on iOS is going to get a lot better in the near future.