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Apple reportedly tasks retail employees with highlighting iOS 6 Maps errors

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Store managers at Apple's retail locations are said to have begun asking employees to report errors in the mapping database in iOS 6.

The voluntary initiative was revealed on Wednesday by Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore.com. The details indicate that Apple is hoping its more than 40,000 retail employees can help improve the Maps application introduced with iOS 6.

However, Allen also noted that not necessarily all Apple retail employees can afford an iPhone. He also questioned whether 40,000 employees could "really put a dent in Maps app errors."

After it debuted in iOS 6, Apple's new Maps application was met with widespread criticism from users who complained of incorrect positioning data, poor routing and Flyover rendering issues. Apple's new mapping solution is widely viewed as inferior to the product it replaced, which was powered by Google Maps.

iOS6Maps.92512.12.jpg


Apple first issued a statement last month to say it was "working hard" to rectify Maps issues, while the company's Maps team was said to be "under lockdown" to fix some of the larger errors seen at launch. As criticism continued, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook issued a public apology last week in which he said his company is doing "everything we can to make Maps better."

Cook also noted that Maps will improve with use, as customers can report errors in the mapping database. He also recommended a number of potential alternative mapping applications that can be used to replace iOS 6 Maps.

Users can help to improve iOS 6 Maps by selecting an incorrect location and scrolling down to select the "Report a Problem" option. From there, the choices are "Information is incorrect," "Pin is at incorrect location," "Place does not exist," or "My Problem isn't listed." Users can also enter a correct name and address for the faulty data.
post #2 of 62
Not a bad idea - at least those 400 cities or so might see some improvements. Couldn't hurt, at least. Maybe in the next iOS update, they can make it super easy for all users to improve the accuracy.
post #3 of 62
As soon as Apple said the Map team was on "lockdown" to fix the problems, I knew Cook and clan are incompetent.

"Lockdown" is management-speak for management's view that their employees are miscreants, and must be chained to their desks to get work done. Oh, and that the CEO's and other management were not at fault, say, forcing employees to perform work against their advice that their was not enough support for getting the job done and the time frame demanded by management was unrealistic.

Apple stock is overpriced at $400/share.
post #4 of 62
Hey! Apple. You got billions. Why don't you spend that to hire thousands of people to fix your maps instead of all those lawsuits and lawyers? Then send them out to the world, on foot, in cars, planes, whatever it takes. That's how Google maps got to where its at now. Quit being lazy and relying too much on Yelp, users to report problems, and other 3rd parties.
post #5 of 62
the apple store Canadian employees should be highlighting the Tim Hortons locations compared to the competitor Google maps... (specifically in the brampton, hwy 10 and mayfield area... what a mess that is...
post #6 of 62
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post
…instead of all those lawsuits and lawyers?

 

"Innovate, don't litigate" immediately renders everything you'd have to say otherwise invalid.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

As soon as Apple said the Map team was on "lockdown" to fix the problems, I knew Cook and clan are incompetent.
"Lockdown" is management-speak for management's view that their employees are miscreants, and must be chained to their desks to get work done. Oh, and that the CEO's and other management were not at fault, say, forcing employees to perform work against their advice that their was not enough support for getting the job done and the time frame demanded by management was unrealistic. ...

 

I think the real problem is that Apple historically *never* does anything with a big team of workers.  They like small groups of people all working intently on this or that software problem which works for most things but doesn't actually work at all for things like maps.  

 

For maps to work, they need to set up a separate office of people, probably numbering in the multiple hundreds, just to work on maps.  This is completely antithetical to the way they have always worked and thus will likely either not happen or will be very problematic to achieve.  

 

I feel this is the key problem that Apple faces moving forward on this and many fronts.  To move forward as the huge company they now are, they will have to change how they do things, and Apple hasn't changed how they do anything since the return of Steve Jobs.  These internal struggles will either pull them apart or turn them into the next Sony IMO.  

post #8 of 62
No problems here in Maryland with the maps at all for me. The turn by turn works beautifully, and reroutes very well. I miss street views but will use turn by turn more.

I only wish traffic was shown stronger.
post #9 of 62

In Miami, the year old Marlin's Park stadium didn't come up when I searched for it over the weekend.  I looked up the address and reported the error.  -- Maps also took me to the wrong (closed) airport in Panama City a few weeks ago.  The new one (2 years old) didn't even show up. 

post #10 of 62

Why don't just copy the Google Maps??? Just look at Google Maps, and copy all Points of interest from there! By the way, in my city, the capital of a European country there are no Points of interest, absolutly none. Google Maps is full of Points of interest. So, where do I report this tiny "error"?

post #11 of 62

From my own experience getting from A to B is not really the problem with Apple Maps, I do a lot of driving for work up and down the country and I've found it pretty accurate.

 

The problem is lack of data with regards to points of interest such as shops, restaurants, cinema's etc and this sadly is one area where Google really seemed to excel.

 

Having said that I reported the large supermarket near me to Apple last week and as of yet it has not been added..... So I would not expect a few thousand employees reporting missing locations to make a difference any time soon.

 

Also, the fact that Apple does not fix glaring, news reported errors like Doncaster being renamed to Duncaster by Apple and you've got to wonder what the hell is going on. Surely a simple rename is not difficult to do.


Edited by saarek - 10/3/12 at 8:03am
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #12 of 62
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post
…Points of interest…

 

What are these supposed to represent or mean?

 

…in my city, the capital of a European country there are no Points of interest, absolutely none.
 

You're doing wonders for tourism. lol.gif

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #13 of 62

Frankly this doesn't make much sense when you have millions and millions of users who have and will continue to report issues...but if that is what they are doing...the more fixes the better.

 

It would seem it might be more helpful if Apple tried to leverage its large number of store employees (and their location specific knowledge) to verify / approve or help process the mountain of update / fix requests that users have submitted to Apple since iOS 6 was released.

post #14 of 62

Every IOS6 owner can already improve the accuracy now. The "reporting" feature is already included in the maps app.

post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

Why don't just copy the Google Maps??? Just look at Google Maps, and copy all Points of interest from there! By the way, in my city, the capital of a European country there are no Points of interest, absolutly none. Google Maps is full of Points of interest. So, where do I report this tiny "error"?

 

Use the same "Report a Problem" link from within maps, choose "My problem isn't listed" and add a generic comment.

What major capital by the way?

 

J.

post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I think the real problem is that Apple historically *never* does anything with a big team of workers.  They like small groups of people all working intently on this or that software problem which works for most things but doesn't actually work at all for things like maps.  

For maps to work, they need to set up a separate office of people, probably numbering in the multiple hundreds, just to work on maps.  This is completely antithetical to the way they have always worked and thus will likely either not happen or will be very problematic to achieve.  

I feel this is the key problem that Apple faces moving forward on this and many fronts.  To move forward as the huge company they now are, they will have to change how they do things, and Apple hasn't changed how they do anything since the return of Steve Jobs.  These internal struggles will either pull them apart or turn them into the next Sony IMO.  

I look forward to your forthcoming book on how Apple works, a view from the inside. Don't start from the past, though—just a tip from an ex-book editor. Start from the case of Siri, which is said to be the project with the largest software staff within Apple.

Let's have some detail on that project to see how Apple is working NOW on an entirely new area of mobile assist, for them. Then go on to show how the company's operations are constantly evolving as it takes on new technology.

First rule of reporting: throw out your naive presuppositions. But I forgot—you like to throw those in, not out.
post #17 of 62

That "lockdown" comment was pretty funny. This is California, not China. There is no lockdown.
 

post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

What are these supposed to represent or mean?

 

You're doing wonders for tourism. lol.gif

No banks, no restaurants, and almost no buildings. Just the streets.

post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

As soon as Apple said the Map team was on "lockdown" to fix the problems, I knew Cook and clan are incompetent.
"Lockdown" is management-speak for management's view that their employees are miscreants, and must be chained to their desks to get work done. Oh, and that the CEO's and other management were not at fault, say, forcing employees to perform work against their advice that their was not enough support for getting the job done and the time frame demanded by management was unrealistic.
Apple stock is overpriced at $400/share.

 

I read "lockdown" more as hey we have an issue, you are all to drop everything else, including vacations and any thought of speaking to the media about this issue, until we address the primary concerns.

 

As an earlier post asking if 40,000 people can make a difference - 40,000 is quite a lot more than 0 - and should prove sufficient for Apple to streamline the process by which they put corrections into effect - which might involve feeding info back to the sources from which they derived the data in the first place. Also, encouraging those folks who have a vested interest in the product to contribute seems prudent, the faster they can make improvements the better and as a first step I think it is better than appealing to 100m people to provide the feedback. Not that I am suggesting they don't want feedback form everyone - just that the approach should be different to all users the message would be more along the lines of Did you know you can submit reports to make our service even better? which is phase 2 after imploring employees to provide feedback so that when the message goes out to all users it is "Help make it the best service available" vs "Make it work well enough to stop being a source of embarassment" and if you don't think all Apple employees have a vested interest in improving Apple products and services then just see what happens to payroll and headcount should Apple encounter really tough times.  

post #20 of 62

I have made over 40 corrections so far within the last few months since the first beta of iOS 6. So far, not a single one has been accepted. This is pretty disappointing!

post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

 

Use the same "Report a Problem" link from within maps, choose "My problem isn't listed" and add a generic comment.

What major capital by the way?

 

J.

 

Bucharest. I know, third world country does not matter for Apple. But they did liked my money!

post #22 of 62
Although Google's POIs are often outdated and misplaced as well, Apple will never be able to keep their own database as accurate as Google's, because Google has access to a lot more sources.

I recommend a deal with Foursquare. They have a very good system in place already, it's pretty well categorised and in many regions of the world (surely not all), Foursquare's POIs are very accurate and up to date.

I've reported lots of errors to both Apple and Yelp myself on the day iOS 6 was released and none of the points have been changed yet.

Bare one thing in mind: Even if people report errors, who will make the actual change and who will decide if a report is valid or not? Either Apple waits until lots and lots of people report the same error and then the system decides that it will calculate some sort of "average" of reports or someone will manually go through all reports and validates by doing research (googling?). This would be so much work, that it's almost impossible.

Foursquare on the other hand have users (like me) with local knowledge who can review reports or make changes to the database directly. Without such a system it seems impossible to me that Apple will make any progress quickly.

Even reporting an error to Google Maps usually takes many weeks until it gets reviewed.
Edited by nickUK - 10/3/12 at 8:26am
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

Not a bad idea - at least those 400 cities or so might see some improvements. Couldn't hurt, at least. Maybe in the next iOS update, they can make it super easy for all users to improve the accuracy.

Yep. Even if only half those folks have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch that's a lot of eyes helping them. These folks have a vested interest in helping since they get the griping face to face.

And as long as it is voluntary and/or something they can apply to do for a temp pay bonus, who are we to gripe. We are putting in corrections without a bonus after all.

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post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickUK View Post

I've reported lots of errors to both Apple and Yelp myself on the day iOS 6 was released and none of the points have been changed yet.

it's been out for what two weeks and they have thousands of reports to go through. I think we can forgive them that they didn't out yours on some priority list. Guess they didn't get the memo about how important you think you are.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #25 of 62
The Maps database will likely not be updated on the Fly, each and every time they fix a single address.

This is the sort of database that will only get updated once a month (or every couple of months), due to the massiveness of it, and the fragility of databases in general.

I would look for updates at each Apple event throughout the year -- they will likely even announce them as they are released (particularly while they sort out some of the glaring issues).
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Hey! Apple. You got billions. Why don't you spend that to hire thousands of people to fix your maps instead of all those lawsuits and lawyers? Then send them out to the world, on foot, in cars, planes, whatever it takes. That's how Google maps got to where its at now. Quit being lazy and relying too much on Yelp, users to report problems, and other 3rd parties.

Damn right. Forget the other problems in ios 6. Forget the issues with Mountain Lion. Don't worry about working on new deals for content or better pricing in iTunes, making new iMacs etc. just spend all your money on fixing the maps so you can be as awesome as
Google who spent so much money on privacy violating photos and maps that still needed users to send it updates that sometimes took years to be corrected and routes that send folks the wrong way down streets that have been one way for decades

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post #27 of 62
One nice feature of the new Maps app is that it lets you suggest improvements/point out errors. So I reported the mislabelling of my very own street (A situation that existed as well for 2 years in Google Maps but has since been corrected. The error was extremely difficult to report, not to Google Maps, but to the local mapping data owner).

The question is: how quickly will the user feedback be attended to? This delay will determine the speed with which Apple's Map database will improve.
post #28 of 62
I hope they get a pay raise for doing this.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

.

The problem is lack of data with regards to points of interest such as shops, restaurants, cinema's etc and this sadly is one area where Google really seemed to excel.

Google uses paid placements programs to get that info. Is a form of advertising for them. Apple doesn't want to go that route to that degree so they are working with companies like Yelp to layer on data since the licensed Tom Tom maps lack such things.

The whole thing is two weeks old. Geesh. Even after buying a 2-3 year old map company Google wasn't any better at that point in their history. Folks need to chill.

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post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


it's been out for what two weeks and they have thousands of reports to go through. I think we can forgive them that they didn't out yours on some priority list. Guess they didn't get the memo about how important you think you are.

 

And exactly that is the problem. Apple must receive thousands upon thousands of reports every day. It's the wrong system.

 

I just extended my post #22 to explain what I mean.

post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

it's been out for what two weeks and they have thousands of reports to go through. I think we can forgive them that they didn't out yours on some priority list. Guess they didn't get the memo about how important you think you are.

Now, now, be nice. It's his first post, from the UK where people can actually be civil to each other, and he's offering that one little fact only as part of the information in his post. You're confusing him with a typical U.S. whiner.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

Why don't just copy the Google Maps??? Just look at Google Maps, and copy all Points of interest from there! By the way, in my city, the capital of a European country there are no Points of interest, absolutly none. Google Maps is full of Points of interest. So, where do I report this tiny "error"?

?? Vaduz; Lichtenstein ??

 

There is really not much to be found in Apples Maps app. apart from the Hospital.

post #33 of 62

I'd be curious to know, if I spent some time making markers for all the shops, supermarkets etc in my area, the next time I sync, will all that data be sent to Apple for inclusion in their Maps? 

 

I also don't understand, if Apple use TT maps, then if I'm not mistaken TT also has a database of POI's. At least my TT in the car can find quite a few local shops. Then there are a lot of users POI lists that could be quickly assimilated in to Maps.

post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

I hope they get a pay raise for doing this.

I was hoping you had the day off.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasparilla View Post


It would seem it might be more helpful if Apple tried to leverage its large number of store employees (and their location specific knowledge) to verify / approve or help process the mountain of update / fix requests that users have submitted to Apple since iOS 6 was released.

No way would they risk system security by giving all employees access to the actual database. Some peeves yahoo that just got warned about being late one time too many could start pranking. Plus they would be pulling folks from the floor which is their job.

Plus how would they verify it. They would have to go to the place if they wont know theplace which means having access to it. And if they know it or go to it and report a problem that is the potential for duplicate entries and thus verification.

If they were really smart they would create some kind of private app where the employees could volunteer to put it on their iPhones etc and go to areas around them and drop pins where they are and label them. Get some kind of bonus for doing it. Even if it was iTunes cards for many that might be enough. If I was an employee l'd take a couple of hundred dollars in iTunes credit for pinning the places around me if it meant less griping from customers. Especially if it was voluntary and not deemed a part of my job.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #36 of 62

They do seem to be working on it as an ongoing thing. I submitted a problem report for a location on Sunday and noticed it was fixed next time I looked at the map on Monday. Mind you it had the potential to be a serious problem - the spot the map had identified as a local hospital is in fact a large pile of rubble. The hospital moved years ago. (They did have the new hospital listed as well.)

post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

I was hoping you had the day off.

Why?
If I did I'd have more time to post. lol.gif
post #38 of 62

I spotted a problem with the isle of Skye being shown as being 100 miles away on the mainland GB

- it got fixed yesterday

- but the town of Uig was equally misplaced

- will be interesting to see how long it takes to fix

 

I've done perhaps about 10 reports up & down the UK

- misplaced towns, not existent towns, unknown businesses, park land where there should be built-up areas

- all the usual stuff

 

It's incredible just how bad the underlying data is

 

I've installed the Google map link just in case I need a real mapping solution, and will keep using the Apple Map app for occasions when I don't.

post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

As soon as Apple said the Map team was on "lockdown" to fix the problems, I knew Cook and clan are incompetent.
.

Words and phrases can have vastly different meanings. We have seen folks incorrectly define retina as 300+ dpi or doubling the current highest resolution even after Appr published the math. We have seem folks misinterpret post-PC era as Apple thinks you don't need a computer when Tim Cook clearly defined the term at its first use as something very different.

Lockdown is not just management speak and that might not be the way Tim was using it. Versions of software can be locked down, for example. And I suspect that is what Tim was meaning. His statement wasn't likely 'I cancelled all breaks, vactions etc and niled them to their seats until this is fixed' but rather 'all work on less vital features such as adding more flyover areas has been frozen until the current issues are cleaned up or at least very well underway'.

That said, if you prefer to think otherwise and call them incompetent then it would seem the only thing for you to do is sell all your Apple stock and products and get out while you can.

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post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbine View Post


I also don't understand, if Apple use TT maps, then if I'm not mistaken TT also has a database of POI's. At least my TT in the car can find quite a few local shops. Then there are a lot of users POI lists that could be quickly assimilated in to Maps.

We don't know the legal conditions to that information. It may be that it is actually licensed from someone else and thus not directly a part of Tom Tom's database.

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