October 1, 2009 Apple purchased Google Maps competitor Placebase
"In 2008, Placebase was profiled by GigaOm. At the time, a new product called PolicyMap was revealed. Using the PushPin API, PolicyMap would aggregate data on subjects such as demographics, home sales, crime, mortgage lending, school performance and more. The company reportedly earned millions of dollars in revenue and survived without any venture capital funding, successfully competing with Google's free Maps.
"Waldman thought differently," the report said. "He decided to compete with Google and other free mapping services by doing two things: One, by offering customizations and tons of features that integrated private and public data sets in many diverse ways. (He knew it would be a while before Google would get around to offering customization). His other twist was to offer a way to layer commercial and other data sets (such as demographics and crime data) onto the maps using an easy-to-use application programming interface (API).""
November 29, 2009 AppleInsider reports Evidence of Apple's new iPhone model, Maps application uncovered
"Also revealed this weekend was a new job listing from Apple for a software engineer to work on the iPhone Maps application. The listing seeks a full-time employee to work in Cupertino, Calif., on the software.
"The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people's lives and we want to continue to do so," the listing reads. "We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We've only just started.""
June 30, 2010 AppleInsider reports that iOS now uses its own Maps location database.
"For devices running iPhone OS versions 1.1.3 to 3.1, Apple relied on (and still relies on) databases maintained by Google and Skyhook Wireless ("Skyhook") to provide location-based services," Sewell wrote. "Beginning with the iPhone OS version 3.2 released in April 2010, Apple relies on its own databases to provide location-based services and for diagnostic purposes."
However, the default Maps application within iOS still reads "Google" in the lower left corner, showing that Apple continues to on the search giant for the maps themselves. In addition, all iOS devices still rely on Google's Street View feature as well."
July 14, 2010 Apple acquires online mapping company Poly9 - report
"Among its products is Poly9 Globe, described as a "cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe which does not require any download." The interactive software allows users to spin a three-dimensional rendering of the Earth, while providing real-time statistics on the user's virtual location, including altitude.
The total application, which includes high-resolution imagery for U.S. metropolitan areas, is just 303kb. It is now listed as discontinued on the official website, though the interactive demo remains. It can also be seen in action on a number of other websites, including Skype and Surveys.com."
April 27, 2011 AppleInsider reports that Apple say's its building 'crowd-sourced traffic' service for iPhone users
"The revelation came as part of Apple's list of questions and answers related to iOS security and location tracking. The iPhone maker revealed in its answers that it is "collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database."
The company went on to say that it intends to provide iPhone users with an "improved traffic service in the next couple of years." It offers no more detail on what the service is, or what it could mean for iPhone users.
The answer does not clarify whether its use of the word "traffic" is related to the network data kind, as connected devices like the iPhone send and receive, or the vehicular form of traffic. Either, of course, would be applicable to a mobile device like the iPhone."
June 1, 2011 AppleInsider reports that Google, Apple renew partnership for maps, search in iPhone
"Apple does, however, appear to still be working on building out its own Maps team. In March, AppleInsider discovered a job listing for an iOS Maps Application Developer that would help "radically improve" Apple's location-based services. Last year, Apple began using its own Maps location databases, though it still relies on Google for the maps themselves.
Last month, Apple revealed that it is collecting anonymous traffic data in order to build a "crowd-sourced traffic database," though it was not immediately clear whether the use of the word "traffic" referred to network data or transportation."
June 23, 2011 MacRumors reports Evidence in iOS 5 that Apple is Building Its Own Mapping Solution (sorry AppleInsider)
"This entire section is new in iOS 5's legal section and does not appear to be related to Google's own mapping data licenses. Google's own legal terms for their map data is distinct, and many of the companies do not overlap. In fact, one of the listed traffic-data companies is a competitor to Google's Maps.
The companies listed in iOS 5's legal notices include the following diverse companies under the "Map Data" section:
• CoreLogic offers Parcel data which marks boundaries for of properties to provide positional accuracy in location-based solutions.
• Getchee provides location and market data on China, India and Southeast Asia.
• Increment P Corp provides location and traffic data for Japan.
• Localeze provides local business listings.
• MapData Sciences Pty Ltd. Inc provides mapping data for Australia and New Zealand.
• DMTI provides postal code data for Canada.
• TomTom offers global TeleAtlas mapping data which is also licensed by Google for their map solution.
• Urban Mapping provides in-depth neighborhood data such as crime, demographics, school performance, economic indicators and more.
• Waze offers real-time maps and traffic information based on crowd sourced data.
The last two companies are perhaps the most interesting. Urban Mapping offersextensive additional data over traditional mapping products. The company was even a partner of Placebase's back in 2007 before Apple's acquisition. Meanwhile, Wazeseems to be exactly what Apple was talking about when they hinted at crowd-sourced traffic data. Waze offers mobile apps that can be used to send data back to a central database to show realtime traffic data."
August 11, 2011 AppleInsider reports Inside IOS 5: new Maps features
"Apple's iOS Maps app is a front end client to the Google Maps web service. While it was rumored that Apple might build its own mapping service or switch to another provider like Microsoft Bing, iOS 5 continues to use Google Maps for its data.
Apple's cleverly easy to use iOS Maps app with direct multitouch manipulation has been confused for being a Google invention. Instead, it simply pulls data from Google and presents it in a way that's simple and fast to browse, making it about as essential as Mobile Safari, and of course much easier to use (particularly for mobile users) than the generic web client Google offers within the browser.
Apple has incrementally added features to its iOS Maps client, including transit and walking directions. The newest version in iOS 5 ads the ability to print maps via AirPrint, as well as emphasizing its suggested directional paths using a glossy, three dimensional tube line.
The new iOS 5 Maps app also has a new feature that suggests multiple routes, allowing the user to chose between a few options before stepping through the directions to the destination. Below, there are three options given for driving from Pixar to Apple, and selecting between them shows distance and approximate driving times. after selecting a route, Maps' directions will then fetch detailed instructions.
iOS Maps vs Google Maps for Android
Apple's Maps client doesn't do everything Google Map's own web client can do, and even lacks some of the features of Google's Android mobile maps client. For example, there's no way to browse in "Google Earth" perspective view, taking advantage of the 3D buildings Google has on its servers. Google has promoted this as a unique feature of tablets running Android 3.0 Honeycomb as part of that operating system's overall 3D interface.
On the iPhone, there's no terrain view showing topography (although the iPad version currently offers this). There's also no support for Google Maps Navigation, a turn by turn service Google began similarly promoting as a unique feature of Google Maps for Android smartphones.
Google's own Maps client for Android also incorporates the company's Places (a clone of Yelp) and Latitude (a clone Loopt). Apple is unlikely to ever add support for either of Google's map add-on services, and also looks unlikely to add Google Navigation support, all of which would directly encroach upon third party iOS developers.
In contrast, Google created Android primarily with the intent of making sure that mobile users were using its services. It therefore has little concern for third party developers of GPS or other location based apps that its Google Maps Navigation app for Android has essentially pushed out of the market."
August 11, 2011 AppleInsider reports that Apple looking to simplify Maps on iPhone with dynamic emphasizing, exaggerating
"The proposed invention, discovered by AppleInsider, is found in a U.S. patent application entitled "Schematic Maps.". It describes a method in which a mapping application would present users only with information that is most relevant to a given situation.
Apple believes that this concept could provide navigators with a "simple and clear representation sufficient to aid a user in guidance or orientation."
In the application, Apple notes that online mapping services have continued to add information over the years, including satellite imagery, 3D buildings and street views. While this data can be very helpful, the company also believes mapping software has become increasingly complicated, full of information that may not be useful to users.
In addition, Apple believes that mapping software is often not properly displayed on devices with smaller screen sizes, like the iPhone. This small amount of screen real estate, coupled with the plethora of information provided by services like Google Maps, can make mapping software confusing and inefficient for users.
Apple's solution would dynamically generate maps for users based partially on the attributes of the display on which they are presented, to optimize for that screen size. By emphasizing certain landmarks or roads, Apple could allow users to glean necessary information more quickly and accurately than with a heavily populated map.
For example, Apple could modify the Maps software for iPhone to automatically "distort" a displayed map when a user requests directions to a certain location. Though the distorted map may not necessarily recreate the real landscape, it would emphasize areas of interest of users to make navigation easier."
August 18, 2011 AppleInsider reports that Apple investigating augmented reality for improved iPhone maps
"Apple's interest in the feature was revealed this week in a new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filing entitled Augmented Reality Maps. Using an iPhone camera and its wide array of sensors, including GPS, compass and gyroscope, mapping data can be used to visually augment live video.
This process, known as "augmented reality," is already found in many iPhone applications, such as Layar (iTunes link), which can be used for finding local businesses and other locations. Augmented reality presents data to a user in real time by augmenting images of the real world that are displayed via a device's camera.
In Apple's concept, streets, locations and other map data would be overlaid onto the live images being displayed through the iPhone camera. Standing along a street, users could see the street name and individual street addresses displayed in front of them, just by holding up their iPhone and pointing its camera at a location.
Apple's application notes that augmented reality programs are already available, but are typically separate from mapping applications that offer users directions to a location.
"Such systems can fail to orient [users] with a poor sense of direction and force the user to correlate the directions with objects in reality," the filing reads. "Such a transition is not as easy as it might seem.
"For example, an instruction that directs a user to go north on Main St. assumes that the user can discern which direction is north. Further, in some instances, street signs may be missing or indecipherable, making it difficult for the user to find the directed route."
Apple's solution would interpret data describing the surrounding areas, and determine what objects are being viewed by the iPhone at present. This information would be overlaid onto the live video screen, and other features, like searching for locations, would also be accessible from this screen.
"In one form of interaction, a device can receive input from the user requesting directions from a present location to a selected search result," the filing reads. "Directions can be overlaid onto the presently displayed video feed, thus showing a course and upcoming turns."
The system could also give users indications that they are headed in the wrong direction. For example, if they must walk north to find a certain restaurant, and they are headed south, the system could inform them there is "no route" to their selected destination."
October 29, 2011 AppleInsider reports Apple rumored to take on Google's 3D maps with superior technology
"In August, MacRumors noted that, according to local reports, a "company in the Western world" had purchased Sweden-based 3D mapping company C3 Technologies. At the time, Apple was among those speculated to be the purchaser, with Microsoft and Google also named as possible buyers.
It has now been suggested that Apple was indeed the company that snatched up C3. The mapping company uses once classified military targeting technology to create 3D maps. Technology Review reported in April of this year that C3's 3D mapping method entailed using planes equipped with angled digital SLR cameras to take aerial photos that capture the sides of buildings as well as the tops. Those images were then supplemented with photos from additional camera angles to create a full 3D rendering of a city.
"Unlike Google or Bing, all of our maps are 360° explorable," C3 Chief Strategy Officer Paul Smith said earlier this year. "Everything, every building, every tree, every landmark, from the city center to the suburbs, is captured in 3D—not just a few select buildings.""
November 2, 2011 AppleInsider reports that Google to charge partners who heavily use its Maps API
"According to the BBC, Google will charge $4 per 1,000 views for "hits" that reach more than 25,000 per day. The new charges will apply to partners who use the Google Maps API service to power their own products.
On the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the map data and Street View content available in the iOS Maps application is provided by Google. Apple has been using its own location databases since April of 2010, but still relies on Google for supplemental data.
Google's plan to charge partners for heavy use of the Google Maps AI will take effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and the company has said it will only affect 0.35 percent of users. Thor Mitchell, product manager of Google's Maps API, said the charges are necessary to ensure the "long-term future" of the product."
May 4, 2012 AppleInsider reports that Apple adds OpenStreetMap attribution to iPhoto for iOS
"When iPhoto for iOS was released in March, the software lacked required attribution to the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The organization highlighted Apple's switch to OSM, and the missing necessary credit, in an official company blog post.
But this week's update to iPhoto rectified the error, and viewing the software's "Acknowledgements" in the iOS Settings application shows the proper attribution.
The change was made after OpenStreetMap reached out to Apple directly through the foundation, and also through a third-party developer, according to Talking Points Memo. Richard Fairhurst, a board member at the foundation, said he believes it was the involvement of an iOS developer, who is also one of the group's volunteer mappers, that led to Apple adding the attribution.
"Obviously we'd rather that Apple had attributed right from the start, but nonetheless this is a big step forward," Fairhurst said. "If the biggest computer company in the world, one with a perfectionist instinct, feels that OpenStreetMap data meets its needs and is happy to publicly attribute us, then that's a great vote of confidence in our community's work.""
Edited by MacBook Pro - 6/1/12 at 12:39pm