Originally Posted by mstone
Originally Posted by Gatorguy
Anyway as Tomtom has been quick to point out (once the complaints started), while they stand behind the quality of the map data they've sold to Apple, it's Apple's job to figure out how to properly use it as they didn't buy any support or development to go along with it.
So Apple went in to the data base and renamed towns, streets and landmarks, put dining and shopping icons on stores that no longer exist? Why would Apple do that? Not saying that Apple hasn't made many errors in execution of the new maps but the data is supposed to be correct to begin with.
I've been doing some checking...
Apparently TomTom has a proprietary database format that they don't reveal -- even to licensees like Apple.
iOS 6 Maps uses OSM (Open Street Maps) format.
Apparently, the conversion between TomTom and and OSM is not an exact science.
Now, here is a case where you may be proven right... If Apple saved some money by not buying any development or support from TomTom.
Knowing Apple, though, I bet it was more of an ego thing than doing it on the cheap -- the money savings was just a bonus!
The Apple I've known for 34 years thinks that:
- anything can be done in software
- hardware is just a means to showcase the software
- they are better at software than anyone else *
So, I can envision someone like Scott Forestall and/or his minions saying "Support? Support? We don't need no stinkin' support!".
* They seem to be right more than 80% of the time
The story goes that Apple was considering buying Commodore for the superior (at the time) Amiga hardware. Steve, Bill Atkinson and a few others were given a run-through by Commodore... Atkinson was heard to remark "We can do that in software"...
Edit: There are some database formats out there based on XML. I wouldn't be surprised if TomTom or OSM (or both) have an XML database... or XML is used in the conversion process.
XML has several weaknesses! One of the worst is that you can slap together something quickly without really considering overall design, additional future capabilities, etc. What happens, over time, is you get a can of worms -- where you are afraid to change anything... you just add a new substructure. Misnamed and misplaced items could easily occur if you don't understand the intricacies of a complex XML structure.
Edit 2: The more I think about it, I can almost visualize what is happening:
- An iOS 6 device makes a map request to Apple's Cloud servers
- Apple's Cloud servers make a request to TomTom's Map servers (locally or remotely)
- TomTom returns XML containing the requested map data
- Apple's servers parse the XML and combine it with OSM Data
- Apple's servers format the results for efficient transmission to the iOS 6 device
- The iOS 6 Maps app generates the map
Steps 3 & 4, likely are the problem areas... I'm surmising that the XML packet contains some oddball data (like a revised name or location that should replace the prior data (in the same XML packet). Apple doesn't know how to handle this -- so it just ignores it and sends the original (erroneous) data back to the iOS 6 Maps app... Where it is presented in all its glory
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 9/21/12 at 11:07am