or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple's iOS 7 3D Maps leave Google Earth, Nokia Maps 3D looking old fashioned
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's iOS 7 3D Maps leave Google Earth, Nokia Maps 3D looking old fashioned

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Maps in iOS 7 will gain a full screen mode that emphasizes how Apple's 3D Flyover imagery is much easier to navigate, more detailed and significantly more up-to-date than even the desktop 3D offerings of leading map vendors Google and Nokia, let alone their mobile app offerings.

iOS 7 full screen Maps
In full screen mode, iOS 7 Maps presents a view on iPhone 5 that's nearly as expansive and detailed as an iPad today


Apple Maps takes iOS from trailing to leading in 3D



At Apple's introduction of iOS 6 last fall, iOS 5 Maps had been serving up bitmapped tiles from Google, which supplied only a flat, 2D representation of the massing of modeled buildings (below left).

iOS 5 Maps vs Android Maps
iOS 5 Google Maps vs Android Google Maps


Google's own Maps+Navigation app for Android (above right) presented the same building models with the added ability to freely rotate the map, allowing users to see the shape of landmark towers from multiple angles and discern the accurate relationship of buildings and the roads around them.

iOS standard Maps
Apple 2D & 3D Standard Maps


While Apple also added 3D building massing models of its own to iOS Maps in Standard mode (above), it additionally enabled users to take Satellite maps into the modeled 3D perspective mode Apple referred to as Flyover (below).

iOS Sat & Flyover
Apple 2D & 3D Satellite Maps


Flyover gave Apple's new iOS Maps a compelling alternative to the Google Street View feature it was missing (the replication of which would be both a difficultly complicated and expensively inefficient task for Apple to attempt).

It also helped to make up for Apple Maps' other shortcomings, including having far fewer and often less sophisticated 3D building models (visible above in the Time Warner Center building, opposite Central Park in New York City; the latest Google Maps for iOS don't actually show the building in favor of instead presenting an indoor mall map, another feature Apple doesn't yet match).

Google Maps standard
Google Maps 2D & 3D Standard Maps


Flyover's alternative representation provides an additional sanity check for users trying to orient themselves on the map, and represents a feature that's still missing from even the new Google Maps for iOS.

When Google Maps' satellite imagery is taken into perspective (above), it simply appears as a flat, confusing distortion of the overhead view.

Google Maps satellite
Google Maps 2D & 3D Satellite Maps


To see realistic models, users have to leave Google Maps and launch Google Earth (below right), which lacks the same easy navigation controls and the traffic and directions of an actual mapping app.

Apple Flyover vs Google Earth
Apple Flyover vs Google Earth


Details in Flyover (above left) appear less sharply distinct in this screen shot, but in actual use it is far easier to position and read than Google Earth, and consumes a lot less memory. Google Earth frequently complains of running out of memory in actual use, and is both plodding and laggy.

The technology behind Apple's high performance photorealistic, interactive 3D Flyover map images originated at C3 Technologies, which Apple acquired in late 2011.

Nokia 3D Maps via C3



C3 had demonstrated its technology at CES 2011 (shown in the video below), eliciting the description of it being a "Google Maps on steroids."



Shortly afterward in April 2011, Nokia released a preview of its work in partnership with C3 to develop 3D Maps imagery for its web-based Ovi Maps, now branded as Nokia HERE.

Nokia stated at that time that C3's 3D mapping "uses modern camera equipment to capture as many as one image per second of the same object from up to 100 different angles. The images are then used to automatically reproduce the shape of the objects with very high accuracy. After that, an image processing software automatically drapes each shape with the texture chosen from the pictures of each object.

"The same process is being applied for all objects ? buildings, houses, trees, and hills ? the result is a seamless canvas of 3D-data where the resolution (8 to 12 centimeters per pixel) and quality is consistent over the entire model. This is the secret to C3 maps? realistic look compared to competitors? hand-made and cartoonish appearance."

Nokia said C3 had finished mapping parts of 20 different major cities in Europe and North America, promising more to come. However, Apple's acquisition of C3 has left Nokia with 3D imagery limited to just 25 cities, including parts of New York City (below).

Nokia Maps 3D
Nokia 3D Maps


Even within the limited 3D Maps Nokia offers, imagery appears to be considerably less detailed and often much older than those available through Apple Maps, and is also more difficult to position and navigate (although not as bad as Google Earth).

Nokia's 3D Maps also require a desktop web browser with support for WebGL, so they won't work on iOS devices. Nokia's HERE app for iOS doesn't include support for the company's 3D Maps either.


Dam that's bad



Outside of the select areas where it has 3D Maps, Nokia presents the same sort of unfinished landscape massing that Apple Maps do outside of Flyover supported areas. Apple's Maps were initially criticized, for example, for portraying Hoover Dam within a 3D landscape that didn't correctly render the Highway 93 bridge crossing the valley below it.

Maps


Apple has since greatly expanded and enhanced its coverage in Flyover, as shown in its updated imagery of Hoover Dam, below.

iOS Maps Hoover Dam


Nokia's 3D Maps continue to render the landmark so poorly that it's hard to even tell its a dam.

Nokia 3D Maps Hoover Dam
Source: Nokia HERE


Google Earth's portrayal of the landmark is similarly bad (below); it continues to show the same sagging highway that Apple's critics had poked fun at a year ago. That's noteworthy because Google Earth had been released seven years earlier, and regularly updated since. A year later, it still isn't accurate.

Google Maps Hoover Dam


Google Earth via Keyhole, SketchUp



Google originally introduced Google Earth in 2005, the result of the company's 2004 acquisition of Keyhole, a project that had been funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Google initially launched Earth as an interactive globe-browsing app for Macs and PCs in a limited free version, a now-discontinued paid Plus version and a $399 Pro edition intended for commercial use.

In 2006, Google acquired the 3D modeling software SketchUp, using the product to allow anyone to create building massing models that could be submitted to Google in order to rapidly populate the Google Earth landscape with interactive, 3D visualizations of cities, building data Google eventually incorporated into Google Maps. SketchUp eventually allowed users to skin 3D models with actual photos, resulting in realistic 3D imagery for Google Earth.

After Apple unveiled and then launched its own new Maps for iOS 6 with 3D Flyover last fall, Google spent the rest of the year quickly porting its Android Google Maps+Navigation app to iOS for a December release.In 2008, Google Earth and its 3D models of buildings were brought to the web via a plugin, and in 2009 the company released a native Google Earth app for iOS. However, after details began to leak about Apple's plans for C3, Google lost interest in SketchUp and announced plans to sell the software to a third party in April 2012.

After Apple unveiled and then launched its own new Maps for iOS 6 with 3D Flyover last fall, Google spent the rest of the year quickly porting its Android Google Maps+Navigation app to iOS for a December release.

To present 3D visualizations, the app launches the company's separate Google Earth app. However, like Nokia's 3D Maps, Google Earth visualizations are lower quality and based on older images than Apple's Flyover.

This year, Google also released a new beta of a separate, browser-based version of Google Maps with 3D imagery that draws from Google Earth but present it using greatly improved navigation. Like Nokia 3D Maps, Google's browser-based 3D Maps uses WebGL, so it isn't supported on iOS, or even officially on Safari (although it does work in Safari if forced).

The new Google Maps and its Earth-derived 3D views improve upon the frustrating navigation controls and other limitations of Google Earth, but it's also limited to views in just four directions, making it impossible to fluidly pan the map to the same angle we used to capture Time Warner Center in other apps.

Google Street View vs Apple Flyover



While some users have scoffed at Flyover being a suitable replacement for Street View, Google's rapid response to integrate its own Earth-based alternative to Apple's 3D imagery within its own Google Maps app indicates that the search giant is taking Apple's encroachment upon its once-uncontested mapping services quite seriously.

Apple supports a rather astonishing level of detail in Flyover, and augments its closeup 3D imagery with Yelp's user submitted photos, often yielding useful indoor and exterior pictures for many points of interest.

Flyover and Yelp
Apple Maps Flyover closeup & Yelp photos


When asked for a Street View of Time Warner Center, Google Maps zoomed into this image obliterated by a bus, illustrating the hazards of automated image collection from Google's Street View camera-equipped cars (visible in the photo).

Google Street View #Selfie
Google Street View #Selfie


Navigating to the right, the images kept following the bus, before jumping up onto a platform and peering into this open door, where something private appeared to be going on.

Google Open Door View
Google Open Door View


While it's certainly not impossible to find useful Street View images (below), navigating through Google's shots often takes time and is generally limited to vantage points available to car. Trying to approximate the same view of the Circle with the Center behind it that Flyover quickly presented was complicated by the traffic logistics of Columbus Circle itself.

Google Maps iOS app Street View
Google Maps iOS app Street View


Carbon dating the 3D Maps of Google and Nokia



While Google is sitting on years of accumulated landscape and building data related to Google Earth, its existing 3D product is hampered by constraints that include very limited viewing angles and clumsy navigation controls. Google Earth is simply frustrating to use with multitouch gestures.

Its imagery is also dated and less detailed than Apple's more modern Flyover visualizations. Note the difference (below) between Apple's current iOS 6 Maps on iPad; Google Earth on iPad; and experimental Maps 3D running in a desktop browser by Google and Nokia, each looking over the corner of Treasure Island toward the construction of San Francisco's replacement Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge.

iOS 6 Maps
iOS 6 Maps

Google Earth
Google Earth

Google Maps beta with Earth
Google Maps beta with Earth

Nokia 3D Maps
Nokia 3D Maps


The various images track the glacial pace of the Bay Bridge, now under construction. Incredibly, the project began in 2002 and is still not yet finished. Work on the tower, which only appears in Apple Maps, began in 2010. This indicates that Nokia's images date from around 2008, while Google's are from around 2009. Apple's appear to be at least as recent as late 2011, when compared to independent construction progress images.

Each product supports a different range of viewing angles; Google Earth is particularly limited in how close to the horizon you can view. It also lacks 3D perspective for the buildings on Treasure Island in the foreground.

However, due to a combination of low user expectations, sufficient "beta" warnings and much more forgiving media coverage, the public is largely unaware that the Flyover Maps that Apple deployed to millions of users last year in iOS 6 are simply much better than what Google and Nokia are showing in limited browser-based beta environments today.

Apple Maps headed to the desktop in OS X Mavericks



The upcoming release of OS X Mavericks this fall will bring Apple's Maps to the Mac desktop in the form of a native app, giving it an enormous advantage over the web-only mapping services offered by Google, Nokia and others.

As a native Cocoa app, OS X Maverick Maps is blazing fast, supports familiar multitouch trackpad gestures like pinch to zoom, directly integrates with Contacts, syncs location Bookmarks with iCloud and can share locations and directions using standard Share Sheets via email, iMessage, nearby users with AirDrop or to Twitter and Facebook.

One of the primary notable features in OS X's new Maps app, as demonstrated by Apple's head of software engineering Craig Federighi at WWDC last month, is the ability to plan a trip at home and then forward the route, via iCloud, directly to your iPhone for turn by turn directions in your car (below).

OS X Mavericks Maps
Source: Apple


Google pioneered a similar feature that allows Google Maps to forward directions or locations to a car's GPS starting back in 2007, which included support for navigation systems from Audi, BMW, Ford Sync, Mercedes-Benz, OnStar and GPS units from Garmin and TomTom.

However, the company now says that Google Maps no longer supports the option of sending maps or directions to a phone (likely because it didn't want to subsidize SMS fees; Apple will use free iMessage-style push notifications).



iOS in the Car UI


Source: Apple



Apple also plans to integrate its maps directly into automobiles via iOS in the Car next year.

Apple also has plans to add other new features to iOS 7 Maps, including night mode and new integration with Apple Data Detectors.

Introducing iOS 6.0 Maps
Using Maps Offline
2: Maps and visualizations
3: Transit directions
4: Map labels & local search
post #2 of 82
I agree about the clumsy Google navigation controls, drives me crazy. 3D Apple Maps on OS X really is a sight to behold. You need quite a vertical city to really appreciate it though:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_with_the_most_high-rise_buildings
post #3 of 82
This is all very interesting and shows that Apple have done way better than many of us imagined. Given that though, a missing point from this article, and it's a fundamental one, is that Flyover covers a tiny percentage of the area covered by Google Street View. For those of us who a) Don't live in the USA and b) Don't live in, or plan to travel to, a city then Street View wins every time.

Not a 3D issue, but one annoying feature of Apple Maps is that it doesn't tell you where you are in some places unless you drop a pin. The village in which I live has "no name" in Apple Maps, though it does in Google's. I have to drop a pin to find the name of the village. This even happens in some sizeable towns near me and that makes it quite hard to navigate around a map when you don't actually know the towns that you can see displayed.

They're getting there quickly though. Go Apple!
post #4 of 82

The 3D Hoover dam image is the perfect litmus test to portray the insane discrepency between the coverage of Apple and Google products. The distorted image was used to headline pretty much every single negative Maps article, I must have seen it posted thousands of times, accompanied with mockery and denigration. The image was supposed to show just show shitty Apple maps was. Every single fandroid and apple hater reposted it with glee, over and over again, and used it to troll about how bad the product was. Major news sites such as CNN also used it, feigning shock and contempt. 

 

Meanwhile, Google has had the SAME image with pretty much the EXACT SAME distortions- on a product they've been working on for 7 years. Noone ever noticed, and the ones who did didn't give a shit. Even now, almost a year after Apple maps was released and this imagery was mocked, Google STILL hasn't fixed theirs, and again- noone gives a shit or cares, especially Google cheerleaders. Meanwhile, Apple's version looks perfect, with an insane level of detail. 

 

This 1:1 comparison is pretty rock-solid evidence for how intellectually dishonest critisism against Apple tends to be, as well as the different standard they're held at, even by people who claim to despise the company. Its incredibly sad and childish. 

post #5 of 82
The 3D view is nice for showing off, but it really doesn't have the utility of street level photos. For example, often when I am taking a road trip, I will "drive" the route near the final destination inside of street view in order to visually memorize the landmarks I need to recognize.

Also, Google Earth is a separate product, and much more enterprise driven, it has substantially larger datasets than the consumer maps with lots more data overlay layers (KML support), even support for the Moon, Mars, and Sky Maps.

The real future of Google Maps is shown in the current Web version which offers integrated 2D, Satellite, 3D, Street View, Photo Tours, Photo Spheres, Transit, and Indoor Maps. I would expect a future version of Google Maps for Mobile to include integrated 3D, but it is probably not a priority them right now, because honestly, 3D is mostly bells and whistles. It chews up much more CPU/GPU/memory, storage, and network bandwidth and offers very little over 2D or 2D projective maps.


Remember when "Design is not about how it looks, but how it works?" Well, 3D maps, no matter how fancy they look, are less useful than 2D or first-person perspective.

What Apple ought to worry about is Google doing Photogrammetry on Street View level data to extract true 3D Street Views. This would make Street View work almost like a 3D game, provide data for augmented reality, and is not something that Apple can easily duplicate (unlike 3D mapping cities, which you can do by renting overflights with special cameras that do thousands of square miles at a time) without setting up its own fleet of cars to drive through the world's cities.
post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This 1:1 comparison is pretty rock-solid evidence for how intellectually dishonest critisism against Apple tends to be, as well as the different standard they're held at, even by people who claim to despise the company. Its incredibly sad and childish. 

 

I think the criticism against Apple for warped 3D is unfair. It's a standard artifact of Photogrammetry  and algorithmic techniques to detect things like bridges, trees, and other structures only goes so far and needs to be aided by human labor. The world is very large, so it cannot be expected that all of these would be fixed in short order.

 

On the other hand, Apple attracted some of the criticism on itself by focusing so much on the 3D aspect. It's a style-over-substance gimmick, not a competitive differentiator. Apple has other things to fix, like their POI search is inferior to Google, especially internationally. The basic function of maps is search + directions. You have to nail those first before you can screw around with fancy flyovers. IMHO, Apple thought they had a knockout punch with Flyovers to differentiate against Google Maps, the reality was, Google had already obviously been working on photogrammetry flyovers (it was not a "reaction" to IOS Maps, they had to have started years prior, because such efforts require specialized camera designs and aircraft mounts, flight plans and government permissions, months of overflights, and more months of processing and massaging datasets), which is why they beat Apple to the punch by showing off Google Earth flyovers before iOS Maps were shown. 

 

Whoever was in charge of Apple Maps simply focused on the wrong thing. It's like if Apple created a Web Search Engine, and spent all their effort on fancy animated renderings of search results looking like some hollywood Minority Report flick, and no effort on having a complete, fresh, web index, with good ranking algorithms.

post #7 of 82

Apple Maps Rock...

 

Looking forward to HopStop and WiFiSLAM integration

post #8 of 82

BTW, Google Maps beta with Earth is not limited to four directions. Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging with the left mouse and you can pan in 3D at any angle.

post #9 of 82
Quote:
Flyover gave Apple's new iOS Maps a compelling alternative to the Google Street View feature it was missing (the replication of which would be both a difficultly complicated and expensively inefficient task for Apple to attempt).

 

Flyover really isn't a compelling alternative to Street View, at least not where I live. Flyover is interesting and mildly entertaining but it's not going to help me locate a hard-to-find business. At the moment, Flyover is a gimmick to most users whereas Street View is genuinely useful. What practical day-to-day use-case does Flyover have? I've yet to hear one despite asking on AI before. Perhaps one will be found once the technology improves? 

post #10 of 82

With all those 3D views, if you are not living in the US or other prominent parts of the world, you will find Google Maps is far better. Apple Maps have so many errors that it is unusable in my city. Places are wrongly labeled, names are misspelled, POIs are misplaced. Google, on the other hand, is 90% of the time accurate.

 

Yes, Apple started almost a decade after Google but can Apple afford a decade to catch up? I think not. They need to eliminate these kind of errors before concentrating on these fancy 3D veiws. I enjoyed the Flyovers for 3 days but then went back to Googles outdated looking but working Maps. Off course, design is important but if it is not accurate, people are not gonna use it. What good is a beautiful looking building if it is not properly marked? You wanted to go to Pizza Hut but after reaching there you realize it is KFC. Yes, it is true.

 

I reported several errors just after upgrading to iOS 6 but they are still not corrected. I remember someone arguing that Apple received millions reports a day. But that cant be an excuse for a company which have more cash than most countries. Why cant Apple or partner maps ompanies employ volunteers to correct issue like the above? I am willing to correct at least 30/40 entries a day. I am sure I am not the only one and someday you will join us. That should improve Maps tremendously in a very short time.

post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

which is why they beat Apple to the punch by showing off Google Earth flyovers before iOS Maps were shown. 

They beat Apple to the punch by childishly scrambled everything to held the presenatation just a week before Apple's. LOL. See, at least they were right because one fool was already fallen for their tactic.

post #12 of 82

I guess if you're not in a downtown area with buildings or a fancy tourist place, the 3D seems like nothing but a gimmick.  I just like my Map programs to have accurate maps and directions.

post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

They beat Apple to the punch by childishly scrambled everything to held the presenatation just a week before Apple's. LOL. See, at least they were right because one fool was already fallen for their tactic.

 

You can't "childishly scramble" and put together something like 3D flyover. They obviously had already been working on it for a long time. But you are right, they did scramble to do a press conference a week before to upstage Apple's announcement, and it worked, because when Apple Maps arrived, people had already seen it, so it was less "magical", and now Apple did not have any exclusive feature anymore. 

 

But for Google, doing the 3D stuff is just icing, a hobby, since they already have working maps. For Apple, it was obviously a huge diversion of resources that they could have put into other parts of their maps product. 

post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

 

But for Google, doing the 3D stuff is just icing, a hobby, since they already have working maps. For Apple, it was obviously a huge diversion of resources that they could have put into other parts of their maps product. 

I don't think that's true. If it's a diversion then it is a good diversion since Direction is so good and POI is on par with Google Map in my country (and I'm not even in the US). I couldn't care less about it being "magical" or not, I'm just glad now I can get rid of one more Google product from my life. Bye bye.

post #15 of 82
I always use google maps over apple maps. It just has a higher level of accurate detail with better search algorithms. I wish it wasn't so - I admit I like to see apple do things the best - but you have to be practical. 1smile.gif
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

But for Google, doing the 3D stuff is just icing, a hobby, since they already have working maps. For Apple, it was obviously a huge diversion of resources that they could have put into other parts of their maps product. 

But don't you think where maps are ultimately headed is a fully functional 3d model of a place, where you can flyover, or walk around the streets (even in to some buildings) or if you like simply position yourself directly above everything, get a traditional 2D looking map (but it's really still 3d model, just your perspective makes it look flat)?

 

In that case Apple's approach is not a diversion, but progress towards the ultimate destination of all map products, "skating to where the puck is going." 

post #17 of 82
Uh. Sure it does. I'm a professional in my 30's, so guess how much of a damn I give about flyover gimmicks. Go ahead, guess.

Spoiler alert: not. much. Why do I use google maps instead of Apple maps? Easy: businesses I search for actually show up in google maps. Apple maps? Yeah not so much. But oooooo, you can entertain yourself with 3D flyovers while you're lost. Good times. Way better than an accurate and comprehensive list of destinations.
post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

But don't you think where maps are ultimately headed is a fully functional 3d model of a place, where you can flyover, or walk around the streets (even in to some buildings) or if you like simply position yourself directly above everything, get a traditional 2D looking map (but it's really still 3d model, just your perspective makes it look flat)?

 

In that case Apple's approach is not a diversion, but progress towards the ultimate destination of all map products, "skating to where the puck is going." 

 

Yes, I agree that's where we're headed -- completely modeling the whole world,  but it's going to be a while. Same thing with voice based interfaces. Obviously, one day we will have Star Trek style computer search, but Siri is a long way from that, so those things are 'slow burn' research projects.

 

Look at Google's Self Driving Cars. Google obviously knows they're 10-20 years away, so they'd be crazy to dump huge resources on it readying it for production. 

 

IMHO, Apple's differentiator with maps has to be more about getting round and accomplishing tasks. Task based planning is still pretty shitty, to say nothing of travel planning. No one has solved it well yet.

 

Imagine you want to book a date, you should be able to ask for good restaurants, input in some desired entertainment choices, and have it prepare a bunch of different complete itinerinaries, and when you choose one, have it automatically book/make reservations for everything, remind you when you have to leave, and automatically have driving directions startup as soon as you leave your house/work.

 

There's way too much "work" involved in doing anything that involves more than one destination with mapping products today.

post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

 

Yes, I agree that's where we're headed -- completely modeling the whole world,  but it's going to be a while. Same thing with voice based interfaces. Obviously, one day we will have Star Trek style computer search, but Siri is a long way from that, so those things are 'slow burn' research projects.

 

Look at Google's Self Driving Cars. Google obviously knows they're 10-20 years away, so they'd be crazy to dump huge resources on it readying it for production. 

You may say it's too soon to be taking a fully 3D approach but I don't think Apple had a choice. If you're entering a market that already has a big, competent established player with a big head start, there's no point chasing them, you'll never catch up. Your only available business strategy is to look at where they are going and try to take a more direct route ("the shortest distance between two points...").

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

IMHO, Apple's differentiator with maps has to be more about getting round and accomplishing tasks. Task based planning is still pretty shitty, to say nothing of travel planning. No one has solved it well yet.

 

Imagine you want to book a date, you should be able to ask for good restaurants, input in some desired entertainment choices, and have it prepare a bunch of different complete itinerinaries, and when you choose one, have it automatically book/make reservations for everything, remind you when you have to leave, and automatically have driving directions startup as soon as you leave your house/work.

 

There's way too much "work" involved in doing anything that involves more than one destination with mapping products today.

That would be amazingly useful. It would need some AI breakthroughs for the planning, and different company's systems to be more integrated than they are today for the booking. The integration could be done today, it would just require everyone to agree (Steve Jobs would have been good at making that happen). But the planning is a ways away. Taken as a whole it is possibly a harder problem than 3D modelling.

post #20 of 82
I am an Apple fan and shareholder who wants Apple to win. On basic functionality, I find Google Maps better. I don't really need flyover.

When I want directions, Google Maps is excellent in auto-completion. It knows I am in Montreal, so when I start inputting an address, it autocompletes with Montreal options, unlike Apple Maps.

If I am visiting NYC, it notes that the starting address I entered is in NYC, then autocompletes the next one with NYC options.

It is also much better with sites. I put in my hotel, and if I want to go to SoulCycle or Exhale Spa, I start typing that in the "To" field and it lists them all and even does this in proximity to the location entered in the "From" field. The map detail, also shows more sites.

I think little details like this, functionality things that are usually Apples strength, is where some focus is needed. Hopefully Apple will improve here. I think other things they are doing like Maps integration with email and contacts and iMac searches will make more of a difference to users than flyover.
post #21 of 82

Can't we please stop these childish articles? Flyover has one purpose, StreetView other. Flyover cannot replace StreetView because it just doesn't let you zoom up to street level. If you want street level details, Flyover cannot be used. Period.

 

Second, the world isn't the US. Maybe you need maps for the US. Well, that's fine, but most of Apple users really need maps _outside_ the US. So, until you've most of the world covered in Flyover, please stop this child rant.

post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiltedGreen View Post

This is all very interesting and shows that Apple have done way better than many of us imagined. Given that though, a missing point from this article, and it's a fundamental one, is that Flyover covers a tiny percentage of the area covered by Google Street View. For those of us who a) Don't live in the USA and b) Don't live in, or plan to travel to, a city then Street View wins every time.

Agreed. It's hard to take the article seriously when this isn't mentioned. A year after Flyover and major markets in the USA still don't have it. Are they still mapping new cities or is Flyover dead?
post #23 of 82
Although it hurts me to say it, having compared results between Google maps and Apple maps the former is still much much more accurate.

However, noone can dispute that Apple Maps look much better than any competition.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


Agreed. It's hard to take the article seriously when this isn't mentioned. A year after Flyover and major markets in the USA still don't have it. Are they still mapping new cities or is Flyover dead?

It is still growing...

http://flyovercities.com

post #25 of 82

This article is about iOS 7 Maps coming very soon.

post #26 of 82
Google Maps: 8 Years Old
Apple Maps: 1 Year Old

Is Google Maps eight times better than Apple's first effort?
post #27 of 82
Apple maps is nice, but it still doesn't do things as well as google maps sometimes. There's still work to be done. Its getting there, but its not quite there yet. There are still places that are in wrong spots, so it gives incorrect directions. I do like the interface of Apple maps better though.
post #28 of 82
Google street view still run circles around apple 3d maps in terms of coverage. For something that is scan with planes, Apple did not do much considering its much faster than doing it with cars.
post #29 of 82
Quote:
While Apple also added 3D building massing models of its own to iOS Maps in Standard mode (above), it additionally enabled users to take Satellite maps into the modeled 3D perspective mode Apple referred to as Flyover...

 

Flyover is not composed of satellite views. It's made by flying over a city with an airplane.

post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

 

I think the criticism against Apple for warped 3D is unfair. It's a standard artifact of Photogrammetry  and algorithmic techniques to detect things like bridges, trees, and other structures only goes so far and needs to be aided by human labor. The world is very large, so it cannot be expected that all of these would be fixed in short order.

 

On the other hand, Apple attracted some of the criticism on itself by focusing so much on the 3D aspect. It's a style-over-substance gimmick, not a competitive differentiator.

 

Agreed, and the Hoover Dam picture was little unfair and became the 'poster child' for what was wrong with Apple maps.  The real problem had nothing to do with the warped picture though.  The majority of people unhappy with maps were the Apple users themselves.  Yes, the Android pundits simply sat back, cracked a beer, and laughed- which didn't help things any.

 

Apple maps looked pretty, they just didn't have a lot of the information competitors had and didn't *work* as well.  That would have all been fine if Apple had simply released maps and given users a choice of picking which solution worked for them.  In that case Apple maps wouldn't have been as famously criticized, they simply would have been largely unused until they came up to speed.  The real problem was Apple tried to pull a fast one and pull the rug out from under Google by forcing Apple users to use Apple maps.  They made Apple maps the default, did not give Google a 'heads up' and wait for any alternatives to be ready. Apple users were clearly not happy at all, and when released Google maps became the number 1 download on the App store.  Apple violated its own golden rule and instead of famously focusing on user experience, they forced a product on its users that many felt were focusing more on whats good for Apple Inc. rather than what was good for Apple users.

 

I like Apple maps even though I can't use it.  The pictures are certainly pretty, the functionality is improving.  The author saying it is better because he really really wishes it were so doesn't make it truth- but I love the pace at which Apple maps is improving and the resulting competition driving improvements on all sides.

post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiltedGreen View Post
Not a 3D issue, but one annoying feature of Apple Maps is that it doesn't tell you where you are in some places unless you drop a pin. The village in which I live has "no name" in Apple Maps, though it does in Google's. I have to drop a pin to find the name of the village. This even happens in some sizeable towns near me and that makes it quite hard to navigate around a map when you don't actually know the towns that you can see displayed.

 

That's part of a larger problem that affects most mapping software to one degree or another, which is that when you zoom out enough to get some perspective on your location, the labels that provide essential specifics disappear. This is particularly annoying when the street names vanish, as happens all too often. Now you know where you are with respect to the world at large, but you may have no idea what the next cross-street is. I feel that there should be something like a user-controlled slider that would set the level of detail displayed, independent of zoom level.

 

However the 3D display is no more than a thin layer of icing on a cake of highly variable quality. Until Apple fixes Maps' underlying problems, such as ongoing location errors, scant POI's and large scale failure to implement user-supplied corrections, 3D display remains nothing more than a pointless distraction.


Edited by NeilM - 7/31/13 at 7:41am
post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

 

Flyover is not composed of satellite views. It's made by flying over a city with an airplane.

 

That may be true, but the button is labelled "Satellite" in Maps.

censored

Reply

censored

Reply
post #33 of 82
The tall buildings look beautiful, but when I'm driving what matters is seeing the danged roads! I'm sure the 3d will be easy to disable, though.
post #34 of 82

Trying to equate aerial views with street views is silly.  They have different purposes, depending on where you live.  

 

For modern maps, there's a need to include data from multiple sources:  satellite, aerial, street, and interior.   The latter collection is just starting.

 

-- Street View

 

Here in the Northeast US, street level views are very useful.

 

I use Street View all the time to preview a new destination.  I can check what kind of buildings to expect (family / office) and where building / parking entrances are (especially important in NYC).

 

For my wife, I often preview the major street intersections.with her, so she'll be familiar with the signs.  Again, a peculiarity of living in NJ and NY perhaps, but very useful along with GPS as an aid.

 

-- Web Support

 

Google Maps are accessibly by native apps or web browser.  As an HTML5 developer, the AJAX APIs are very handy to create custom overlays.

 

I think it'd be great if Apple did like Microsoft and Google, and offer a web version of their Maps.  This would also likely prompt more public feedback like Google gets.

post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post


The 3D view is nice for showing off, but it really doesn't have the utility of street level photos. For example, often when I am taking a road trip, I will "drive" the route near the final destination inside of street view in order to visually memorize the landmarks I need to recognize...

...What Apple ought to worry about is Google doing Photogrammetry on Street View level data to extract true 3D Street Views. This would make Street View work almost like a 3D game, provide data for augmented reality, and is not something that Apple can easily duplicate (unlike 3D mapping cities, which you can do by renting overflights with special cameras that do thousands of square miles at a time) without setting up its own fleet of cars to drive through the world's cities.

 

 

Your comments about photogrammetry are amusing. The paneling markers themselves would be a huge (and might I say expensive) job involving not only common plane surveying but taking into account the curvature of the earth. There is also the minor problem of foliage and inaccessible terrain. These special cameras do not get the kind of resolution you want while trying to get "thousands of square miles at a time".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

BTW, Google Maps beta with Earth is not limited to four directions. Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging with the left mouse and you can pan in 3D at any angle.

 

Interesting but my phone does not yet have a Ctrl key or left mouse.. LOL. I am interested in navigation solutions that are available for use in my car and then easily taken to the train, bus, etc. from where I might walk. I can't see any of this with a laptop and certainly not a phone.

post #36 of 82
I think your screenshots on Page 1 show exactly why I still prefer Google Maps for daily navigation. Being able to see roads and other geometry through the building wireframes on map view is extremely helpful for finding where things are and the best way to get from a-to-b.

Secondly, they have building 3D focus-centric building blueprints on the straight-up vertical view as well. This is also very helpful for biking, walking, driving, or in my case, rollerblading.

Apple's flyover is a nice looking feature they've put together; but before I switch to it they need to work on the 3D blueprint models.
Their points of interest searches could use some improvements as well.

Anyone else here like the 3D translucent blueprints of GMaps more than Flyover, or is it just me here?
post #37 of 82
Was another article really needed? Yes. It was really needed.
Why was another article really needed? Because the competitors paid for ten times this press, in lies, when the software was launched. Someone has to fight back.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #38 of 82
Apple Maps has come a long way and there's no doubt it's visually stunning. However, I find it's still not dependable as a daily map application due to it's inability to correctly locate addresses, businesses, etc. I'm hopeful that Apple has a roadmap to fix those issues.
post #39 of 82
Astounding.

It's been what, a year? and Apple Maps has already come this far.

All of this in a year, against a competitor that apparently specializes in this sort of thing, and Apple is apparently putting them to school in a number of areas within this service.
post #40 of 82
"The 3D view is nice for showing off, but it really doesn't have the utility of street level photos. For example, often when I am taking a road trip, I will "drive" the route near the final destination inside of street view in order to visually memorize the landmarks I need to recognize."

Having served in the Army and being an expert in land navigation I find the 3D view far more useful since it provides a better view of the terrain. I almost never need to use street signs and I find the shape, dimensions and elevations of terrain, street, blocks, buildings and landmarks far more useful. Of course it's a skill that requires some practice but it's far superior but anyone can master it.

Street view can be helpful but it's like a trail of bread crumbs, miss one and your next to lost. It also requires too much interaction with the screen while driving.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Apple's iOS 7 3D Maps leave Google Earth, Nokia Maps 3D looking old fashioned
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple's iOS 7 3D Maps leave Google Earth, Nokia Maps 3D looking old fashioned