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Inside Apple's new vector-based Maps in iOS 6

post #1 of 172
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Apple isn't just declaring its independence from Google Maps with its new in-house backend for Maps in iOS 6. It has developed a superior way to deliver map data that relies on resolution independent vectors rather than Google's multiple zoom levels of bit mapped images.

The previous segment, Apple wants to wipe Google off the map with iOS 6, described Apple's iOS 6 strategy of cutting ties with Google's map servers and instead powering its own iPhone and iPad Maps client apps (as well as all third party apps that use iOS' built-in mapping services) with mapping servers it manages and operates on its own.

Apple's new mapping services powering the revamped Maps app iOS 6 are based on a series of partnerships, acquisitions and internal work that are intended to not just replace the existing maps data Google has been serving up for iOS users over the past half decade, but to also expand and improve upon the features available.

Vectors are the new map



The first primary technology advancement Apple will be introducing for iOS 6 Maps relates to the use of resolution independent vector images. This allows users to smoothly zoom in with a pinch of the fingers, while details and labels pop up as space allows. Google's existing map services are based on a series of fixed zoom levels, so when users zoom in, they see the existing map turn into a blurry image that is incrementally repainted with the next zoom level as it downloads (below, during a refresh).



Each fixed zoom level of Google's map data is made up of bitmapped graphics. That results in labels (such as neighborhood or street names) being fixed in position and orientation, so when the map is rotated (such as by the compass), the labels may appear upside down. Zoomed in or out, labels may also be left illegible by rough-looking scaling or obscured by overlay information such as the direction path drawn on top of the map.

Google does a pretty good job of quickly serving up replacement map tiles as users zoom in and out, but this process can be complicated by slow data networks that don't have the bandwidth to serve up tiles fast enough.

Modern iOS devices do a pretty good job of caching a bit of Google's map data so you can load a map of the area you will be visiting and then navigate around using GPS even if you lack a mobile connection. However, while Google does support offline maps on its own Android platform, there's no way to load a specific set of maps at arbitrary zoom levels in iOS Maps, so you can only load up a relatively small area and hope the system doesn't automatically discard any of the maps you want to view offline.

When using to vector maps, all coastlines, roads, labels and other data are represented as mathematical lines rather than as fixed graphic images. This enables Apple to allow users to freely rotate the map however they want; the text of map labels dynamically reorients itself to remain legible. When users zoom in or out, the text size of labels scales smoothly, because it is being rendered live as dynamic text, not as a graphic image that includes text and must be "repainted" for every zoom level.

On page 2 of 3: I can see for miles and miles

I can see for miles and miles

Even better, highly efficient vector maps allows Apple to load up a large area of maps you can continue to zoom into even after you've entered Airplane Mode. This means that if you load a map of San Francisco then turn off network access, you can still zoom in and out all over a very large surrounding area without getting Google's zoomed in jaggies and blank grid spaces.

Apple's iOS 6 Maps app still complains when there's no data connection, but it will let you continue to zoom in and out of nearby areas you haven't even previously visited, because it can continue to smoothly render the efficiently lean vector map data it has loaded.

After loading San Francisco and going offline, one can browse over 300 miles (480 km) south (nearly to Los Angeles), 335 miles (540 km) north to the Oregon border, and 300 miles east to the middle of Nevada, down to the primary city street level (in sharp detail but with few road labels).

Attempting the same task on an existing iPad, Google's bitmapped maps run out of steam just 35 miles (56 km) away in Palo Alto (below), and on the edge of its cached area, images degrade poorly when zooming, with blurry text and jagged road lines.



Apple's new vector maps can deal far more gracefully with a lost data connection, allowing you to zoom in and see details with clarity, even when you can't load local details such as secondary road names (below, the same area offline).



After loading San Francisco and turning off data, Apple's vector data could coast offline all the way down to LA (380 miles, 611 km) before degrading to the point of not being useful (below top, vs. restored data connection below bottom).




On page 3 of 3: A brief history of Google Maps and iOS

A brief history of Google Maps and iOS

Apple originally partnered with Google to deliver maps on the iPhone, but is now taking over iOS Maps entirely, launching its own mapping servers at the critical point where vector graphics (among other technologies) have the potential to revolutionize mobile maps. Here's a brief overview of how Apple's partnership with Google has unraveled.

Google acquired Where 2 Technologies in 2004 to release its initial web app for online maps, relying heavily on JavaScript and AJAX technologies to enable map zooming and exploration features on the web that nobody had ever seen before.

Over the next two years, Google rapidly enhanced its Google Maps website and began incorporating a variety of unique features including plotting directions between multiple directions, as well as adding building outline models and subway stops for some cities. In 2006, Google launched Maps for Mobile, a mobile Java app intended for use with mobile phones (at a time when mobile devices didn't have very functional web browsers).

The next year, Apple debuted the original iPhone, running a custom Maps client app making intuitive use of touch controls for navigation and zoom. Apple's Maps app, developed in-house using the iPhone's native Cocoa Touch, relied upon Google's open API for obtaining map data, but presented and navigated that data in an entirely new way.

Within the first year, Apple's iOS Maps app added the ability to pinpoint the user's location, using GPS or WiFi/cell tower geolocation. In late 2008 Apple introduced iOS 2.2 with support for Google's StreetView as well as adding walking and transit directions. In 2009's iOS 3, Apple added APIs for developers to incorporate mapping features within their own apps.

With the release of iPad in 2010, Apple added Google's terrain view to the iPad-only iOS 3.2, but never brought that feature to iPhone users. In last year's iOS 5, Apple added alternative route options and Google's real time traffic information.

Over the same five years, Google added a variety of new features to its web and mobile mapping apps, many of which Apple did not support in its native Maps app. In fact, as Google focused its attention on delivering Android as a competitor to the iPhone, it began launching new map features exclusively on Android as differentiating features iOS didn't have.

For example, a primary marketing feature of Android 1.0 was its new compass support, which Google demonstrated as a way to navigate StreetView images by orbiting a phone around oneself awkwardly at arm's length, making for a cool demonstration, if not a very useful feature. Apple's own support for compass features and StreetView followed a few months later in iOS 2.2, but Apple used the digital compass to orient maps or drive the new Compass app, leaving StreetView as something you'd navigate with your finger.

In 2009 Google launched Android 2.0 with a series of exclusive mapping features, including voice prompted, turn-by-turn navigation features; voice search; searching for items along a plotted route and 3D models (below).



Apple appeared set to adopt those features as it had the previous year. In late 2009, a Google spokesperson told AppleInsider "Apple is a close partner. Millions of users experience Google Maps on the iPhone. We will continue to work with Apple to bring innovation, including Latitude and Navigation, to users but you'll have to speak to Apple about availability."

Instead, Apple began plotting its own next move in maps, no doubt concerned that additional dependence upon Google would eventually put it in a very difficult competitive position.

Google continued to tie its map services into other related businesses, including its Yelp-like Local search and Loopt-like Latitude services. It has also added or enhanced direction information tailored to public transit, walking or biking, added 3D building models, offline maps and has announced 3D renderings of some cities. Apple has selectively ignored many of these features in its own iOS Maps app as it worked to put together its own mapping system.

Apple puts together its own map team

Since 2009, Apple has only acquired a dozen different smaller companies. A quarter of these highly selective, strategic moves involved mapping companies. In July 2009 Apple bought Placebase, followed by Poly9 the next July. In August 2011, it bought C3 Technologies, known for work in developing 3D images based on aerial or satellite images.

It's notable that most of Apple's other known acquisitions were rapidly converted into key product features, from Lala (which made its way into iTunes Match) to Quattro Wireless (iAd) to Polar Rose (camera face recognition), IMSense (iPhone HDR) and Siri. This helped support the prediction that Apple was intently interested in replacing Google's maps services.

But Apple didn't just want to clone Google Maps. It made plans to replace it with superior technology. By delivering maps as vector graphics, rather than static bit maps, Apple realized it could enhance the navigation experience and take fuller advantage of the graphics capabilities of its newest mobile devices.

In addition to smoothly accommodating any zoom level without getting jaggies and having to download new tile data, vector map data can also draw text labels very legibly in a way that accommodates the drawing of additional layers of data on top, such as labeled businesses, building outlines, and direction path lines that don't obscure map information.

Users can also spin the map with a two-fingered rotational gesture. As the map rotates, labels can turn to remain legible. A compass icon points north; tapping it reorients the map to face north (below: two rotated views of Market Street, San Francisco. Map labels reorient to remain legible as you rotate the map; below top is rotated so it shows a compass icon, bottom image faces north).




A new battle for Maps territory

Google is also working on its own next generation Google Maps that makes use of vectors, but it has a more difficult job because it is targeting several major platforms: the web, which relies upon the experimental new MapsGL enhancements of WebGL; Android, which has a native JavaME-like platform; and its existing public API, which is rooted in how Google Maps has worked in the past.

Apple can introduce entirely new technologies very rapidly because it only has to optimize for one platform: iOS Cocoa Touch. Apple isn't serving up a public web version of its own maps as Google does, so it isn't constrained by the limits of web-based technologies.

Apple does have a public API for iOS Maps, but third parties don't just request raw map data through it; Apple's iOS takes care of the underlying complexities when a third party app requests to plot a location on a map, so it's not an extremely difficult task for Apple to adjust those APIs to work with its own map data rather than Google's.

When iOS 6 ships later this fall, Apple will essentially take away about half of Google's mobile maps users, and virtually all of its iOS users. When Apple ships its own Cocoa version of Maps for Mac OS X users, Google will likely lose another valuable segment of desktop users as well. This new competition should push Google to deliver mapping tools that iOS and OS X users will want to go out of their way to download and use.

At the same time, Apple is now on the brink of inheriting a huge new business, one that will require it to remain competitive in maps if it expects to retain users' attentions. Last fall, the company did virtually the same thing with Siri voice assistance, jumping from dead last in mobile voice services to being the top vendor with a comfortable lead that Google and Microsoft are now struggling to match with their own simpler, basic voice recognition systems.

Jumping to the next generation of maps with vector-based graphics will give Apple a similar technological lead over today's existing mapping servers. But vectors aren't the only new technology Apple is leveraging to launch its new iOS 6 Maps service, as the next segment will explore.
post #2 of 172

I can't wait. Google Maps is the last vestige of the Mountain View Ad Company that still gets used in my iOS universe.

 

Begone, Pixelated Spyware!

post #3 of 172
Vector versus raster! As an old hand at CAD, I can verify that vector is far superior.
post #4 of 172

Google's maps on Android are not bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. And just like Apple will reportedly do, Google Maps can be rotated and zoomed with two fingers, and the map or street labels don't get turned upside down. 

http://www.techoncept.com/google-maps-android-app-now-has-amazing-vector-graphics-content-available-offline

 

The maps Apple receives from TeleAtlas, Canada's DMTI and many others are also vector-based, just as Naveq/Nokia's competing maps are. That's why Apple maps are vector rather than bitmapped, not because it's an Apple development. They get most of their licensed map data as vector rather than raster.


Edited by Gatorguy - 8/3/12 at 7:38am
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post #5 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google's maps on mobile devices are not bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. 
http://www.techoncept.com/google-maps-android-app-now-has-amazing-vector-graphics-content-available-offline

The maps Apple receives from TeleAtlas are also vector-based, as are the competing maps from Navteq. That's why Apple maps are vector rather than bitmapped, not because it's an Apple development. They get most of their licensed map data as vector rather than raster.

Google has had vector maps on the web for several months now, just turn on WebGL. And this article makes it sound as if Google just discovered vector maps when Google has had them for almost 3 years.

And Google is struggling with voice dictation? Really? Please show me offline voice dictation in iOS 6. Oy, this article sounds like a fan piece. I like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, but dislike when someone is playing fast and loose with facts.

Lastly, one does not simply remove Street View or public transit directions. I don't see that going well when iOS is released to the public.
post #6 of 172
When it comes to mapping apps/software, they all 'look' good enough at this point (both are 'Vector-Based' BTW), what really matters is how fast and accurate they are, and Google Maps has long proven very strong in these areas.

It remains to be seen how well Apple's (largely outsourced) efforts fares.
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #7 of 172

I love iOS 6 Maps but there is just isn't nearly as many way points in Yelp versus Google. Most smart business owners will have their business listed on as much as possible (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp) but many places they've only done Google. There have been a few times I had to grab my business partner's iPhone to look up something on Google Maps cause it wouldn't show up in iOS Maps.

 

Not really Apple's fault, they've done as much as they could. Hopefully people realize it's crucial to get their waypoints on Yelp from here on out.

post #8 of 172

>Apple isn't serving up a public web version of its own maps as Google does, so it isn't constrained by the limits of web-based technologies.

 

This is actually something that annoys me. Right now, I can use Google Maps on my phone, iPad or computer and always get the same data, directions, street view, etc.

 

With iOS 6 I'm going to have a different mapping system on my iPad/phone than on my desktop. This is going to lead to different directions and data. This is ALREADY annoying because of the differences between TomTom on my iPhone and Google Maps; now we're going to have a third source of different information.

 

It'd be nice if Apple would release a web version of their maps, or even an app for the Mac to access them. An app would likely be easier to implement due to the use of vector data.

post #9 of 172

Kudos on a well researched and written article!

post #10 of 172
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Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Kudos on a well researched and written article!

Did you forget to include the /s tag?

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post #11 of 172

I usually love AppleInsider articles but this one smells bad, especially after reading the comments from Android users explaining that their maps have been vector for a few years now.

I hope AppleInsider corrects their errors.

post #12 of 172

I don't mind a little bit of Apple spin ladled on, but this one has a bucket poured over it.

 

DED is such a tool.

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post #13 of 172

I'm not too sure about the whole Google having vector images (I'm sure they do based on the comments above), but I really love Apple's strategies on developing their own services so quickly yet feel so finished.

 

Like Siri... Apple's iPhones had a very limited voice feature, but look. After acquiring Siri, iPhones have quite the voice-activated feature! Sure, it's not perfect. But it's for sure far better than any of Microsoft or Google's.

 

And this is just like what Apple did with Siri. Apple buys smaller companies but once put together, they make it seem as if they've been doing it for years! 

 

Sure, you can call it a "short-cut" but it's really a smart way to bring innovative features quickly.

post #14 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

.

It'd be nice if Apple would release a web version of their maps, or even an app for the Mac to access them. An app would likely be easier to implement due to the use of vector data.

Don't hold your breath. This maps service is a selling point for ios 6 and thus Apple devices. Making a web version so you can use it on your Kindle Fire or whatever messes with that game

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #15 of 172

I did my research and I agree that Google did indeed have vector based maps on Android devices back in Dec 2010, so the writer is biased. I think the writer should have focused more on the free seamless transition to Apple's maps and the HUGE loss to revenue to Google. For example, for you to experience the vector based maps on Android you need to have the right hardware/software combo, this is less of an issue when it comes to Apple. Also most mobile based traffic (web included) comes from Apple devices

post #16 of 172
Vector this, vector that. If it hasn't got streetview I'm not interested.
post #17 of 172

There's no doubt that 3D, Vector-based maps are the future.

 

However - cool new 3D and navigation features aside - in terms of basic 2D maps, Apple's current implementation in iOS 6 is pretty poor compared to the Google Maps it is replacing.

 

Compared to Google Maps: 

  • Apple's maps are often out of date (more than 10 years out of date in the case of London, UK!)
  • colours are garish (parks & water features too bright and over-emphasised)
  • many non-road features are missing (random unknown businesses names appear while significant tourist attractions and points of interest are missing)
  • building outlines are only shown in a few select cities
  • many transit features are missing. No bus stops shown, and train stations often missing or in the wrong place.
  • satellite images are poor quality (not just lacking detail but also dark washed out colours, lacking in contrast)
  • hybrid mode is sluggish on slower devices (iPad 2)

 

All in all, Apple maps shows promise, and could eventually be great, but is disappointing in the current iteration. In my opinion they are releasing it too early.

post #18 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google's maps on Android are not bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. 

 

Vector mode in Google Maps is available on desktop browsers, too. If you use Chrome on a Mac, you get 3D vector maps by clicking on the "MapsGL" option at maps.google.com. Vector mode is, apparently, not enabled for Safari.


Edited by Rennaisance - 8/3/12 at 8:22am
post #19 of 172

::retracted::

post #20 of 172
This is a very strange article, even by AI standards. As many have pointed out, Google does use vector graphics for mobile mapping, and has for a couple of years. It may not permit independent map and label rotation, and may have a different data caching extent, but it is still vector based. I'd have to guess that the article is just the result of ignorance and very poor research, rather than an attempt to mislead; that would obviously be doomed to failure.
post #21 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

There's no doubt that 3D, Vector-based maps are the future.

 

However - cool new 3D and navigation features aside - in terms of basic 2D maps, Apple's current implementation in iOS 6 is pretty poor compared to the Google Maps it is replacing.

 

Compared to Google Maps: 

  • Apple's maps are often out of date (more than 10 years out of date in the case of London, UK!)
  • colours are garish (parks & water features too bright and over-emphasised)
  • many non-road features are missing (random unknown businesses names appear while significant tourist attractions and points of interest are missing)
  • building outlines are only shown in a few select cities
  • many transit features are missing. No bus stops shown, and train stations often missing or in the wrong place.
  • satellite images are poor quality (not just lacking detail but also dark washed out colours, lacking in contrast)
  • hybrid mode is sluggish on slower devices (iPad 2)

 

All in all, Apple maps shows promise, and could eventually be great, but is disappointing in the current iteration. In my opinion they are releasing it too early.

 

I think this may be somewhat intentional.  We are only seeing Apple Maps BETA.   I think, and certainly hope, that Apple will "wow" us with current data, and great photos when Apple Maps is finally released.  The fact that it's vector based, and there are no fixed images (to finalize) it's so easy to leave out much of the data and impressive stuff in the beta versions.

post #22 of 172
Quote:
Lerxt: Vector this, vector that. If it hasn't got streetview I'm not interested.

 

+1 billion

post #23 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Kudos on a well researched and written article!

Yes, Daniel... I've been  missing your in depth analyses, as well as your roughlydrafted commentary.  I'm glad your back (with a vengence!)

post #24 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google's maps on Android are not bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. 

Vector mode in Google Maps is available on desktop browsers, too. If you use Chrome on a Mac, you get 3D vector maps by clicking on the "MapsGL" option at maps.google.com. Vector mode is, apparently, not enabled for Safari.

Presumably that mode requires WebGL, which you can enable manually in Safari.
post #25 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

I can't wait. Google Maps is the last vestige of the Mountain View Ad Company that still gets used in my iOS universe.

 

Begone, Pixelated Spyware!

 

Ditto.  Looking forward to dumping Google. 

 

The lack of street view and the walking/transit directions is still bad though.  The thing that bothers me the most about it is that even with all the dozens of articles floating around about the new iOS maps, we still don't really know if the new 3D view can replace Streetview.  

 

In talking with my friends about their typical usage and in analysing my own, it seems to me that the main use of streetview other than simple voyeurism, is to see where you are going to go.  For example, you want to go across town to a store so you look it up and then switch to streetview to get your visual bearings.  You want to see the storefront so when you walk up the street later you can recognise it, and place it from the visual landmarks surrounding it etc. You also need the transit and walking directions to figure out how long it's going to take you to get there.  You might want to look at streetview of some particular corners as well to see if there is in fact a pedestrian path there as well since there is always a fair number of errors in the map data no matter what.  

 

It's also my impression from my little unofficial survey that if you use a car, none of this is really important to you and since most people in North America use cars, a lot of them won't see the value of street view.  While the makers of the new Apple app are extremely likely to be "car people" (they not only live in North America, they are rich, southern Californian US citizens), it's easy to see why they dont' see this as a required feature.    

 

The thing that I want to know is:  Does the new iOS maps 3D view allow you to do these kinds of things? (assuming the fuckup of not including transit directions is fixed)  

 

If I can zoom in in 3D view to a point where I can clearly see the stores lining the street and the intersections and associated details, even from a sort of pigeons eye view, then streetview is not necessary.  If I can't then I see huge problems for anyone who doesn't drive a gas guzzling vehicle of some kind.  

post #26 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Agreed. I am a former Android user and now iPhone 4S user and the vector news was pretty well known. It is hard to believe they could make such a huge and well-known mistake by accident. Google maps on Android is a very good product and sets the bar very high for Apple which is a good thing. I hope they can get a map app on iOS that can compete well, but no reason to lie about it to make it look more advanced or unique when that has been around for several years on the Google version. Just makes AI look bad and not Google maps. 

 

I think the article focuses on Google Maps on iOS....
 
post #27 of 172

Incredibly poorly written and researched article.  Google and Nokia/Navteq are still years ahead of Apple Maps.  Apple has licensed Tom Tom maps.  Offline Maps is far superior on Nokia Maps and then Google, vector has been around for a long time - Nokia for years and Google in the last year or so. Also, underlying data and other APIs needless to say fully cross-platform for Web, native and mobile web are lacking.  

 

I love Apple too but you are writing with blinders on.  Perhaps you should do your own research before writing a fluff and inaccurate piece like this.  Have you seen the article "Apple Maps will kill you?" TomTom maps are cheaply licensed and inferior compared to the competition.  Mapping the world is NOT easy and it will take Apple a lot more time to be up to parity. Right now, all they Apple Marketing can do is market the 'beautiful layers" - btw, not that beautiful.  3D Maps comes from C3 - those are very nice. But Nokia has 3D Maps from C3 too - London Olympics on CNN are doing 3D map flyovers of London - that is amazing.  

 

I could go on and on. Speak to some real map developers before putting garbage and false article like this out.

post #28 of 172

" ...comfortable lead that Google and Microsoft are now struggling to match with their own simpler, basic voice recognition systems..."

 

LOL What ?

 

Google voice action / Google Now is whipping the floor with Siri

 

http://youtu.be/kDsOtdRtG0Q

 

http://youtu.be/hEfZCeQdRXs

 

I can link you tons of these .... Siri is taking so long, it's not even worth asking it anything.

 

Apple makes awsome hardware and Software, but one thing they always sucked at is cloud computing.

post #29 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

This is a very strange article, even by AI standards. As many have pointed out, Google does use vector graphics for mobile mapping, and has for a couple of years. It may not permit independent map and label rotation, and may have a different data caching extent, but it is still vector based. I'd have to guess that the article is just the result of ignorance and very poor research, rather than an attempt to mislead; that would obviously be doomed to failure.

Google Maps does allow for independent map and label rotation. Doing a 180 on the map still leaves the street labels right side up.

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post #30 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google's maps on Android are not bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. And just like Apple will reportedly do, Google Maps can be rotated and zoomed with two fingers, and the map or street labels don't get turned upside down. 

http://www.techoncept.com/google-maps-android-app-now-has-amazing-vector-graphics-content-available-offline

 

The maps Apple receives from TeleAtlas, Canada's DMTI and many others are also vector-based, just as Naveq/Nokia's competing maps are. That's why Apple maps are vector rather than bitmapped, not because it's an Apple development. They get most of their licensed map data as vector rather than raster.

 

And yet, the Google maps on iOS behave exactly as described in the article. So, apparently, what GG is telling us here is that Google has been intentionally dumbing down it's maps on iOS, presumably so that the iOS user experience will suck.

 

All the more reason for Apple to divest itself of any dependencies on Google technology. The bottom line here is that Apple made the right decision in ditching Google Maps and creating its own service, that isn't dumbed down because Google decided to be evil.

 

Thanks GG for making it clear why Apple needs to clean house of everything Google.

post #31 of 172
1) This article is all sorts of wrong.

2) Apple has a long way to go before it's iOS 6 Maps app is a true competitor to Google's Maps on iOS 5 and earlier. I'm not sure the major kinks can be worked out before it's released. At this point I wish Apple would have just worked on it silently until iOS 7 or made it a Settings options you can choose from if they wanted to get it tested and allow those that everything Google tracks to be wiped from their devices.

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post #32 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

>Apple isn't serving up a public web version of its own maps as Google does, so it isn't constrained by the limits of web-based technologies.

 

This is actually something that annoys me. Right now, I can use Google Maps on my phone, iPad or computer and always get the same data, directions, street view, etc.

 

With iOS 6 I'm going to have a different mapping system on my iPad/phone than on my desktop. This is going to lead to different directions and data. This is ALREADY annoying because of the differences between TomTom on my iPhone and Google Maps; now we're going to have a third source of different information.

 

It'd be nice if Apple would release a web version of their maps, or even an app for the Mac to access them. An app would likely be easier to implement due to the use of vector data.

 

This sounds to me like you are trying awfully hard to find a problem where one doesn't really exist.  

 

The differences in map data are going to be small at best.  Also, the number of occasions where one would need or want to compare the map data on a computer with the map data on a mobile device for the same journey must be vanishingly small.  I mean I'm trying really hard to think of a scenario where this would even be a good thing, let alone necessary.  

 

What do you do, look it up on your computer, print it out and then get confused when you have the printout on your lap while driving and the turn by turn is giving you a different story?  How stupid would that be (to print it out), when you have a mobile device with mapping capabilities anyway?  Do you drive around with your laptop and your mobile phone in your car and compare the two?  Again, stupid.  

 

I think it would be great if Apple made a web version available if only because the web version of Google maps is atrocious and almost impossible to use.  But the real problem here is that you are trying to use three tools when only one is necessary.  It's like watching the same show on three TV sets lined up side by side and complaining that they get out of sync because the commercial breaks are timed differently on each.  

post #33 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

This is a very strange article, even by AI standards. As many have pointed out, Google does use vector graphics for mobile mapping, and has for a couple of years. It may not permit independent map and label rotation, and may have a different data caching extent, but it is still vector based. I'd have to guess that the article is just the result of ignorance and very poor research, rather than an attempt to mislead; that would obviously be doomed to failure.
Google Maps does allow for independent map and label rotation. Doing a 180 on the map still leaves the street labels right side up.

I must have missed that.
post #34 of 172

1) POI data is easy to add.  

2) Walking directions is in IOS6.  Folks even posted pictures of this.

3) Bike directions have never existed in iOS maps.  Look on your iphone if you don't believe me. 

4) Transit information did get dropped but are expected to be filled by 3rd party apps.  Not optimal but can be fixed.

5) Streetview is indeed gone thus far and was very useful at times.  A critical feature that you wont update to iOS6 for?  LOL...whatever makes you happy.

post #35 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Agreed. I am a former Android user and now iPhone 4S user and the vector news was pretty well known. It is hard to believe they could make such a huge and well-known mistake by accident. Google maps on Android is a very good product and sets the bar very high for Apple which is a good thing. I hope they can get a map app on iOS that can compete well, but no reason to lie about it to make it look more advanced or unique when that has been around for several years on the Google version. Just makes AI look bad and not Google maps. 

 

problem with your reading comprehension: this is AI, describing how Apple is changing iOS Maps to use its own new vector maps from the bitmapped maps currently obtained from Google. It's not a fanboy piece about how iOS is better than Android. 

 

The article clearly states that Google has added a variety of features, including navigation, vectors and offline maps, to its own Android platform that Apple has opted not to support on its own iOS Maps app. It even quotes Google as hoping that Apple would use its new features.

 

So when you Android fanboys show up and start going into hysterics about how your phone has vector maps, it isn't relevant at all, because your experience is irrelevant to iOS users. You should be furiously posting how your phone is superior to your Android fan blogs so that your fan friends can read them and get excited about how they agree with you. iOS users don't care, because they're busy using their phone and Android software updates don't benefit them in that regard.

 

Do you guys get it yet, or do you need a number of additional comments to explain the situation to you?   

post #36 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It's like watching Formula 1 on Speed Channel.  

 

There, I fixed it for you.

post #37 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

... Do you guys get it yet, or do you need a number of additional comments to explain the situation to you?   

 

I'm afraid not even additional comments will help.

post #38 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

problem with your reading comprehension: this is AI, describing how Apple is changing iOS Maps to use its own new vector maps from the bitmapped maps currently obtained from Google. It's not a fanboy piece about how iOS is better than Android. 

The article clearly states that Google has added a variety of features, including navigation, vectors and offline maps, to its own Android platform that Apple has opted not to support on its own iOS Maps app. It even quotes Google as hoping that Apple would use its new features.

So when you Android fanboys show up and start going into hysterics about how your phone has vector maps, it isn't relevant at all, because your experience is irrelevant to iOS users. You should be furiously posting how your phone is superior to your Android fan blogs so that your fan friends can read them and get excited about how they agree with you. iOS users don't care, because they're busy using their phone and Android software updates don't benefit them in that regard.

Do you guys get it yet, or do you need a number of additional comments to explain the situation to you?   

Give them a break. They're all feeling pretty battered and bruised over the Samsung trial, so they need to troll over nonsensical issues in order to try to make themselves feel better.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #39 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill42 View Post

I usually love AppleInsider articles but this one smells bad, especially after reading the comments from Android users explaining that their maps have been vector for a few years now.

I hope AppleInsider corrects their errors.

 

Not actually "a few years now" however.  

 

As recently as a few months ago, Google maps on the web still required flash and was pixel based.  Also the article pointed to by the Android defenders is from the very end of 2010 and talks about moving to vector as a process that's going to be taking place, not a "done deal."  

 

So in fact, Android and Google maps in general have only just implemented vector graphics and may not even be completely free of pixels yet.  Google typically doesn't just shift everything to one side and present something new like Apple does.  They often take years to transition their technology from one thing to another.  I don't have any inside information, but I would not be surprised at all to find out that their Android maps use vector in some places or layers and still use pixelated images in others. 

 

Also, to all the complainers ... yes, this article appears to be wrong about vector mapping on Android maps.  This doesn't equate to "this article is all liiieeess!!!!" or "AppleInsider always lies!" etc. etc.  

post #40 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

There, I fixed it for you.

 

Wuh? 

 

What is "Formula 1"?  For that matter, what is "Speed Channel"?  

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