|iOS Maps and China|
|By Thom Holwerda, submitted by someone on 2012-09-25 23:51:55|
|"It seems like people really hate the new Maps in iOS 6. Now, I'm not disputing that Maps does give a lot of strange results to a lot of people all around the world, but for a large, large number of people, iOS 6 Maps has been a huge improvement over Google Maps. I'm talking about those of us who live in China (you know, the place with 1.3+ billion people and the second-largest economy in the world)." Fascinating.|
|Comment by superhyper|
|By superhyper on 2012-09-26 00:55:42|
|What about Open Street Maps? I'm curious how accurate their Chinese data is in comparison to the commercial providers.|
|- Score: 2|
|The sad thing is ...|
|By WorknMan on 2012-09-26 01:24:25|
|You know, it's sad... I've spent about half an hour every day since iOS6 came out, muting posts on Google Plus about how terrible Apple maps are. The sad thing is though, these posts are being made by Android users. I think they're even more pissed off about it than most iPhone users are :-||
|- Score: 3|
|What a rubbish article|
|By MasterNayru on 2012-09-26 02:46:34|
A quick Google search brought up this: |
This page seems to suggest that the map layer which displays place names changes depending on the language of the user. To test, I changed the language on my Galaxy Nexus (running Android 4.1) to Chinese, pulled up the map in the same location as given in the article and all of the names are in Chinese. Ah, the people of China are saved!
Let's test what Australia's maps look like to a Chinese person. I change the language on my phone to Chinese, go to Sydney, Australia and I'm seeing maps in both Chinese and English for the names of main POIs. Looks to me like the people of China aren't in such peril as we first thought.
The only thing that looks like it needs fixing is that an English speaker doesn't get POI info in Chinese for these maps, which Google should fix, but how does this affect 1.3 billion Chinese people? Is it more damaging a bug than Apple's abysmal map search results or completely missing POIs in major cities?
|- Score: 6|
|RE: What a rubbish article|
|By Radio on 2012-09-26 06:35:39|
Same here. But even worse: on my Android device, I see both english and chinese names. A "killer feature": |
> The killer feature, though, is that iOS 6 Maps shows both English names and Chinese characters for everything, whereas Google-powered Maps only shows the English translation (on iOS devices whose language is English).
I am so, so happy that the rich Chineses who scrambled to buy a status-symbol iPhone are now on part with the Android proles.
|- Score: 2|
|Comment by Radio|
|By Radio on 2012-09-26 07:13:58|
My god, it is getting worse and worse: |
This idiot hasn't realized (or is willfully lying) that one can get as many PoI in Google Maps as in iOS Map... By zooming in more.
Look for yourself:
There is even the "Liguozhu Yishi Clinics" listed in Google Maps where the iOS Map sees only the "Bahe Drug Store". Pitiful.
Yeah, "fascinating". Fascinating how stupid or deluded or fibbing Anthony Drendel is.
|- Score: 4|
|too much China :>|
|By azrael29a on 2012-09-26 07:58:16|
|Does that explain why places in Europe have titles in Chinese? (in iOS6 maps)|
|- Score: 0|
|RE: too much China :>|
|By Radio on 2012-09-26 08:49:15|
I think you're onto something... |
...Has Apple given iOS Maps development to a Chinese subcontractor? :P
|- Score: 2|
|Two mapping strategies|
|By Tony Swash on 2012-09-26 10:21:11|
What this report about China touches on is a fundamental difference between the mapping strategy of Google and Apple. |
Google's core business is collecting data about user behaviour and then using that data to sell targeted advertising. That core business represents 90%+ of Google's revenue and everything Google does, all the cool stuff is gives away, who it partners with, works with, competes with or is threatened by, relates to that core function. Anybody who collects lots of data about user activity on the net and who does not share that data with Google is a competitive threat to Google because not having comprehensive data about end user activity undermines the value of Google's core product (targeted advertising) and undermines Google's USP (we collect and organise most of the world's user activity data).
Obviously the big global scale collectors of data who won't let Google's data mining bots have access (the prime example is Facebook) are perceived correctly by Google to be competitive threats (hence is huge investment in pumping up Google+) but crucially, in regards to mapping, regional collectors and generators of localised user data are also competitors of Google. So Google's ability to partner with local collectors and providers of regional data in relation to it's mapping service is constrained by it's strategic business function. Why would, as an example, Baidu the Chinese search engine allow it's data to be used in relation to Google maps in China. It's not going to happen because Baidu and Google are competitors. As well as the data collectors collecting data from regional sources there are also specialist sectoral sources of data (Yelp is an example) who collect data about a particular topic and which are also a threat to Google's core business and who are thus also unlikely to enter into any agreements to share user data for use in Google's maps.
So Google has to, by and large, use it's own enormous and impressive data gathering operation to supply data for it's maps. That works very well on the whole but it is weakest precisely in those areas where entities other than Google own the best data.
Apple's approach to mapping is different and that difference relates to it's different core business model compared to Google. Apple's core business is not data collecting or advertising, it's core business is selling devices and everything else Apple does is about adding end user vale to those devices. Everything. iTunes, the App store, iCloud, Apple retail, Apple TV, etc etc, it's all about adding to the value stack that comes with Apple hardware.
This means that Apple's core business is not threatened by companies who are collecting specialist end user data, and this means Apple is much, much freer than Google to enter into partnership with holders of localised and specialist data holders and collectors. In fact Apple positively wants to enable those holders and collectors of data to work through it's devices because it will all add value to Apple devices and because Apple itself lags far behind Google in it's ability to collect data directly itself.
So Apple's mapping strategy is different to Google's, Apple maps are a mapping platform, much like the App store and iOS SDK is a platform, and Apple wants lots of data gatherers and holders to come aboard it's mapping platform, it wants third parties to develop apps and uses for it's maps and it wants local data holders to exploit it's maps and in the process make them better. Of course Google also offers ways for others to use it's map but that use is much more constrained than the way Apple can offer it's maps because Google cannot allow others to use it's maps to collect data about users if that data is not shared with Google. So Apple can partner with Yandex the Russian search engine to supply local data for Apple's maps in Russia and let Yandex collect local data because neither Apple nor Yandex are threatened by that data sharing. In contrast Yandex would be very threatened if it had to share it's data with Google.
So what you have is a fascinating experiment with two mapping strategies. Google's is far more monolithic, 'all your data is ours or we cannot work together' (which means local or specialist search engines cannot easily work with Google maps) and Apple's model where it facilitates and thus depends on others to populate it's maps with useful and accurate data in the hope that because it does not compete with local or specialist search engines that the local data owners will sign up because they are not in competition with Apple's core business.
The best way to view Apple's mapping initiative is as a project a bit like the Apple store. Apple builds the structure, in this case the core mapping functionality, but other make almost all the content. So Apple maps will succeed or fail as a result of it's ability attract third parties to supply uniquely useful specialist data as well as to build lots of great add-on mapping apps.
If Apple maps is an enabling platform like the App Store then Apple maps currently are like the App Store was in week one. Back then no one knew whether the App Store would work or how big it would get. In week one it's content looked a bit thin. Similarly we don't know now whether Apple's new approach to mapping will succeed and whether in the medium term it can go places that Google maps cannot.
What' so exciting and interesting is that a couple of weeks ago there was just one strategy for mapping on the mobile net. Now there are two.
|- Score: 0|
|By progormre on 2012-09-26 10:24:13|
With google maps I could find 7 Walmarts in my city but with iOS Maps I can only find 2 Walmarts in the entire country, and one of those hits are in Hongkong (the other one is in Shanghai). |
Other than that it seems to find the same things as before.
[correction! the iOS map search required a "-", so it should have been "Wal-mart", not "Walmart". Now I can find 10 wal-marts in my city, google map does the same. Still I give the upper hand to google for finding at least 7 "walmarts" where iOS maps found 0.]
Edited 2012-09-26 10:32 UTC
|- Score: 2|
|RE: Two mapping strategies|
|By darknexus on 2012-09-26 12:12:36|
> This means that Apple's core business is not threatened by companies who are collecting specialist end user data, and this means Apple is much, much freer than Google to enter into partnership with holders of localised and specialist data holders and collectors. |
Excellent. Then they can enter into an agreement with Tomtom to license their map data and end this ridiculous farce. Apple do not have enough data to even come close to competing with Google maps. They could get it. If, in fact, Apple are more free to license such data then why the hell do we even have this problem? They're already licensing Tomtom's turn-by-turn engine, after all.
Remember, just because Apple might be more free to enter such agreements doesn't mean they want to enter said agreements.
|- Score: 2|