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Inside Apple's new vector-based Maps in iOS 6 - Page 2

post #41 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

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.  

One thing I was scratching my head about was how Apple was going to deal with sharing a route with non-iOS users when there mapping is only for iOS users.

It turns out, if you share a route with someone you can send it as an iMessage, SMS, email, etc. and it comes through more like a vCard but it also contains a link to http://maps.apple.com/ but there is no such site for Apple. Right now it redirects to Google Maps website, at least if you click the link on a Mac in any browser. (I apologize if that was covered in the article, I stopped after the first page)

Do you think Apple will create their own maps website? I can't think of a good reason for them not to.

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post #42 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?   

Perhaps you were less than clear on that in the article itself, which makes it an issue created by the author. It's some number of paragraphs in before there's any hint that you're only referring to Google maps as they exist on iOS and not in general. Even then the inference is that Apple has created a new way of rendering maps, leading casual readers to believe Google Maps are natively raster unlike Apple's.

 

If you aren't trying to be misleading and simply were inadvertently unclear, perhaps it would be appropriate to clarify what's being compared within the first paragraph of the article. It would certainly help avoid a misreading, evident by the numerous comments by Apple fans and foes alike that the article is wrong.

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post #43 of 172

Indeed. AI really dropped the ball on this article. Android having had Vector based maps FOR TWO YEARS very much makes the focal theme of this article change from "iOS beats google with new maps" to "iOS finally catches up to Google maps"

post #44 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Do you think Apple will create their own maps website? I can't think of a good reason for them not to.

 

 

I think the main reason we won't see this soon is engineering resources. Apple will want to be focusing their energies on the iOS implementation, not worrying about a web variant.
 
That said, if Apple Maps is ever truly going to be competitive with Google, expanding the scope beyond iOS may be necessary. For one thing, more and more maps data is crowd sourced these days. Check out Google's MapMaker: it's hard to imagine Apple keeping their maps up-to-date without something like that.

Edited by Rennaisance - 8/3/12 at 9:44am
post #45 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

I think the main reason we won't see this soon is engineering resources. Apple will want to be focusing their energies on the iOS implementation, not worrying about a web variant.

That said, if Apple Maps is ever truly going to be competitive with Google, expanding the scope beyond iOS may be necessary. More and more maps data is crowd sourced these days. Check out Google's MapMaker: it's hard to imagine Apple keeping their maps up-to-date without something like that.

You're probably right but I will certainly don't want to hear that.

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post #46 of 172

Looks great.  The big question is, will the map of every country be available upon release or am I going to have to wait a year or more before the service becomes available in my country...like most other Apple's recent services.  

post #47 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira4u View Post

Looks great.  The big question is, will the map of every country be available upon release or am I going to have to wait a year or more before the service becomes available in my country...like most other Apple's recent services.  

 

 

It seems to have pretty good worldwide coverage, at least as far as basic road layout goes. I tried a few obscure/remote places, and North Korea is the only country I could find where roads are obviously missing.

 

Quality and comprehensiveness when it comes to features other than just roads is another issue, however. IMO, its way behind Google for that.

post #48 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by You Smell View Post

Indeed. AI really dropped the ball on this article. Android having had Vector based maps FOR TWO YEARS very much makes the focal theme of this article change from "iOS beats google with new maps" to "iOS finally catches up to Google maps"

That's not entirely true, either.

"Apple Maps surpasses Google on iOS" would be accurate.

"Apple Maps on iOS catches up to Google Maps on Android" would also be accurate.

But the way you described it, it sounds as if Google offers vector maps on iOS, as well as on Android.
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post #49 of 172

Apple Maps is also outdated in curious ways. eg:

 

  • The town of Wanaka, New Zealand, was renamed over 70 years ago. Yet in Apple Maps it is shown with its old name?
  • Aldwych Tube station in London closed in the mid 1990s, yet is still shown in Apple Maps. It's not in the correct place, either!
post #50 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

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?   

Fair enough, but the article was definitely misleading, even if unintentionally, so blaming poor comprehension skills is disingenuous. Towards the end it says:
Quote:
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.

which, at least to me, clearly suggests that Google does not have vector-based maps on Android or any other platform. Nowhere, that I can see, does it mention that the comments about Google's data apply only to those data that iOS uses.
post #51 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That's not entirely true, either.
"Apple Maps surpasses Google on iOS" would be accurate.
"Apple Maps on iOS catches up to Google Maps on Android" would also be accurate.
But the way you described it, it sounds as if Google offers vector maps on iOS, as well as on Android.

That may be due to Apple restrictions rather than a preference by Google. Unclear who's held the key.

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/blogs/press-here/Google-Would-Like-to-See-an-Updated-Version-of-Maps-for-iPhone-117828563.html

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post #52 of 172

Another spectacular article D.E.D.  Keep up the great work. 

 

Re: "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."

 

And it would be easy to add a heuristic to maintain rendering performance, no matter what the zoom level is.  In other words, as you zoom out, details below a certain point size could be ignored and not rendered.  And as you zoom in, details that become bigger than the point size threshold would be rendered.

 

Starting in the 1980s, this kind of vector-based graphics allowed the low-powered processors of the time to draw things fast enough for interactive computer games.  Asteroids, Star Wars, Battlezone, etc. all had that "wire frame" look, and were fast enough for compelling game play.  Later, Adobe used vector-based graphics in their PostScript font technology and PDF page description language.  All modern computing devices, more or less, now use vector-based fonts.  Looking forward to seeing this technology in the Maps app.

 

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post #53 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That may be due to Apple restrictions rather than a preference by Google. Unclear who's held the key.
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/blogs/press-here/Google-Would-Like-to-See-an-Updated-Version-of-Maps-for-iPhone-117828563.html

That's true - and I didn't say anything different.

The point is that the article is misleading, but so is the post I was responding to.
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post #54 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

"Apple Maps surpasses Google on iOS" would be accurate.

Since Maps.app is developed and maintained by Apple, this is really a case of Apple surpassing Apple.  Google doesn't make the app, and their back end certainly hasn't been surpassed, as has been said many times over - they do vectors, and they have better data.

 

The article is very disingenuous as painting the lack of vector graphics in Maps.app as a Google problem.

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post #55 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Vector this, vector that. If it hasn't got streetview I'm not interested.

 

Yeah, real shame Apple abandoned QTVR. I wouldn't mind some higher resolution non-Flash (on OS X) street panoramas, especially if they're done with a single shot at a time so they don't have the stitching problems Streetview panoramas sometimes have.

post #56 of 172

Apple Maps is very 1.0 at the moment. The question for me is whether they will stick with it (in which case it could eventually be as good as Google's), or whether it's not an instant hit so they abandon it (e.g. Ping).

post #57 of 172

Maps on android is actually a mixture of raster and vector based graphics. The current iOS maps only serves up raster based graphics. This made sense when you had no CPU power to work with, but now we have dual and quad core chips in our tablets and phones so that is no longer a concern. I guess Apple wants to do maps themselves rather than becoming reliant on Google who can make the best features Android exclusive. Give Apple time, and they will make is very competitive. They have the cash for it.

post #58 of 172
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
The question for me is whether they will stick with it (in which case it could eventually be as good as Google's), or whether it's not an instant hit so they abandon it (e.g. Ping).

 

You don't just abandon something like this. Especially when it already looks better than the long-standing solution.

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post #59 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
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.

 

Actually, map data is not vector based data, it's descriptive data. What you get is a collection of data layers describing geographic features and where they are located.  You do not get a bunch of vectors that you can just draw. This is why there is such a huge variation in quality between maps which are all typically using one of two data sources (Navteq or TeleAtlas). Drawing a map image from provided map data is far more of an art form than it is a science.  TeleAtlas and Navteq (TomTom and Nokia) are almost identical from a data quality perspective. It's what the licensee does with the data that matters.

 

The move to vector graphics instead of bitmaps has nothing to do with any changes in the underlying map data. Those formats haven't significantly changed in 20 years. The choice of bitmap was driven by lack of processing power in the clients and ease of caching on the servers. It is also very efficient in that you can send just the area being viewed which reduced network use. Vectors require a lot of client processing and can result in larger transfers as you have to send a lot of information to control drawing rather than just a flat image.  Of course, vectors are way better from a UI perspective.

 

Clearly both Google and Apple have decided that most clients can handle the processing load well enough. That's what is driving the move to vectors.

post #60 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDBLACK View Post

Maps on android is actually a mixture of raster and vector based graphics.

Where did you see raster maps on Google Maps for Android. Just curious and not at all saying they don't exist.

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post #61 of 172
While Google has updated the GoogleMaps for Android, as stated in the article, Google has not given equal access to non-Android devices as a way of differentiating Android's OS, or punishing non-Android users. Hence, iOS still uses the original layered maps. It's important to note that Google also began charging higher fees for clients reaching certain usage levels. This has clearly been great for Google & expensive for Apple, as they would be Google's biggest customer. Which is also why 3rd party iOS apps will be served Apple's new maps data rather than Google's. That said, Apple appears to be sourcing their map data for iOS from TomTom, so that leaves them with a well established map data supplier, even more established than Google. As soon as iOS is released later in the fall, no doubt Apple will have any kinks fixed. Since Apple controls the map data & the APIs, no doubt that OS X will serve up the same mapping experience as iOS 6 is released. Thar's just how Apple does things

As for voice, clearly Google has been working on voice recognition since the days of Google's 411 service, now defunct since they only offered it for voice recognition training. That said, Nuance has been at this voice recognition thang for a while too, much longer than Google & Apple's Siri uses Nuance's tech therefore giving Google real competition in the voice rec area. Plus, Apple's Siri is an AI which Google is much less experienced at. Voice search & AI are very different techs

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post #62 of 172
Does this article ever say that Android doesn't have vector maps? Does it say that google maps isn't vector on desktops?

I read it as ONLY referring to google maps on iOS.
post #63 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

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.    

 

Yup, this is a great point, and it is a concern for me too. The things that are important to the suburban car driver in California are not the same things that are important to a pedestrian, an urban user in London/New York/Paris, or a cyclist in Copenhagen. I think this skewed perspective really comes through in Apple Maps.

 

Google, at least, have developer teams all around the world so they can get different perspectives on what is important in mapping.

 

That said, I think the way they are supporting transit and other routing apps by launching them directly from maps is a pretty good solution. 

post #64 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Does this article ever say that Android doesn't have vector maps? Does it say that google maps isn't vector on desktops?
 

Does it ever say that they do? The implication of the article is that Google Maps are raster. Period.

 

From the article:

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.

 

How would you interpret that sentence? Next-generation might be vector-based but not now?

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post #65 of 172

Oh look, DED caught with his pants down again.

 

When is Apple Insider going to dump this clown?

post #66 of 172

I'll miss street view and transit maps, but mostly all of the edits I and others made using http://www.google.com/mapmaker.  I added all of the bike and pedestrian trails for my neighborhood which won't exist on the iOS6 maps.  Hopefully Google will choose to (or even be allowed to) publish a competing map application for iOS6.  Maybe Apple will create a mapmaker like solution.

post #67 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

Yup, this is a great point, and it is a concern for me too. The things that are important to the suburban car driver in California are not the same things that are important to a pedestrian, an urban user in London/New York/Paris, or a cyclist in Copenhagen. I think this skewed perspective really comes through in Apple Maps.

 

Speaking towards what the new Maps app supports, you seem to expect a Beta release, of what's essentially a 1.0 product, to have every bell and whistle imaginable.  Apple's MO is always to release a new product that does a limited set of things really well and then improve on it over time.  Sounds like what we have here.  You'd be a fool assume that, because it doesn't have a feature, Apple is unaware or thinks it's not something important.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

Google, at least, have developer teams all around the world so they can get different perspectives on what is important in mapping.

 

I'm fairly certain Apple does something called Market Research, instead of solely relying on it's developers' worldly experiences.

post #68 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by techrider View Post

I'll miss street view and transit maps, but mostly all of the edits I and others made using http://www.google.com/mapmaker.  I added all of the bike and pedestrian trails for my neighborhood which won't exist on the iOS6 maps.  Hopefully Google will choose to (or even be allowed to) publish a competing map application for iOS6.  Maybe Apple will create a mapmaker like solution.

 

Google Earth app

post #69 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazwatson View Post

I'm fairly certain Apple does something called Market Research, instead of solely relying on it's developers' worldly experiences.

Yes, but it's not very important to the decision-making. ;)

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post #70 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazwatson View Post

 

Speaking towards what the new Maps app supports, you seem to expect a Beta release, of what's essentially a 1.0 product, to have every bell and whistle imaginable. 

 

No, I don't expect it to have every bell and whistle. But I expect it to be a good replacement for Google Maps, since they're dumping that for this. And in many basic aspects, I don't think it is, yet.

 

If anything, they've been focusing too much on bells & whistles (3D flyover, anyone?) and not enough on high quality basic data.

post #71 of 172

One minor but VERY important detail: The labels on Google's maps all have outlines/borders around the letters. Apple's maps don't have this, so text is often difficult to read on Apple's maps.

post #72 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

This article sounds like a fan piece. I like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, but dislike when someone is playing fast and loose with facts.

 

Yup. Everything this guy writes sounds like a fan piece. Someone should take away his pen.

 

Clearly people are entitled to their opinion - but when they present distorted facts as objective and unbiased, that's pretty disingenuous.

post #73 of 172

Here's the closest I could get to the front of a building at Mission and Fremont in SF.

 

It helps that the lots across the street are vacant -- no buildings to block the low-level view.

 

I also noticed as I was moving around positioning for a low-level view of a building that at first you could see the buildings entrance, sidewalks... then, as the new maps app rendered other buildings -- they would block the previous view...

 

This tells me  that if the photo is adequate... the maps app (or a 3rd-party app) could approximate street view by not rendering additional buildings.

 

The capability seems to be there!

 

(Click image to enlarge)

 

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post #74 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Wuh? 

 

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

 

 

It came before Formula Jr.

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post #75 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post

 

 

I think the main reason we won't see this soon is engineering resources. Apple will want to be focusing their energies on the iOS implementation, not worrying about a web variant.
 
That said, if Apple Maps is ever truly going to be competitive with Google, expanding the scope beyond iOS may be necessary. For one thing, more and more maps data is crowd sourced these days. Check out Google's MapMaker: it's hard to imagine Apple keeping their maps up-to-date without something like that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


You're probably right but I will certainly don't want to hear that.

 

The resource issue may not be as restrictive as you think -- I believe Apple still uses Web Objects internally for its online store and developer sites.  If so, the new maps app could be developed with Web Objects in mind and modularized so that much of the source code (UI excepted) could be used on the web.  It appears that the maps app is pretty much complete -- and they are awaiting, more, more robust and more up-to-date data.

 

Here's a partial link to the login at the developer site:

 

https://daw.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/DSAuthWeb.woa/wa/login?appIdKey=zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

the woa suffix stands for Web Objects App -- this indicates that DSAuthWeb.woa is an Web Objects app written to authorize a user login.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebObjects

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post #76 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Since Maps.app is developed and maintained by Apple, this is really a case of Apple surpassing Apple.  Google doesn't make the app, and their back end certainly hasn't been surpassed, as has been said many times over - they do vectors, and they have better data

The article is very disingenuous as painting the lack of vector graphics in Maps.app as a Google problem.

 

I normally read a DED article with a lot of skepticism --- he tends to quote himself, presents opinion as fact, omit challenging or contrary opinions and facts -- and tella Apple fans what he thinks they want to hear...

 

He tricked me with this article -- the way it was presented lead me to believe that the Google-written maps apps were bitmapped-based the way the Apple-written [current] maps app is bitmapped-based.   And that with iOS 6 the Apple-written, vector-based maps app was superior to anything that Google had... and Google was struggling to catch up!

 

...shame on me!

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post #77 of 172
Attention Apple Fanboys: if you still want to be fanboys of Apple products, this is at least proof that you should at least go somewhere else for your information. At least read factually correct information, even if it is slanted. I literally come to this site for laughs.
post #78 of 172
Originally Posted by Adam Foosaner View Post
I literally come to this site for laughs.

 

Please don't. That's just a personal request.

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post #79 of 172
Originally Posted by majjo View Post
Traffic is traffic.


And trolling is trolling. Would you prefer I stop banning the spambots and let them overrun the site, too?

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post #80 of 172

One thing I can't stand on the Apple/Google maps app is using the compass. If you're using it and then touch the map to zoom out/in or check out another area the map it does this rotating adjusting thing then the compass shuts off. You totally lose your orientation. So you click to enable the compass again but the app automatically takes you out of the previous zoom level you were in (takes you to the default zoom level). That default zoom level is quite far out so then you touch the map to try to zoom in again but because you've touched the map the compass shuts off again. It's completely bonkers. It has worked like this since the beginning. I sure hope it's fixed with the new Apple Maps.

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