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Apple hiring Maps experts, iOS 7 will recruit users to 'Help Improve Maps' with Frequent Locations

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
While Apple is actively recruiting for scores of new full time jobs related to Maps, it also plans to enlist the support of its installed base of 400 million iOS users with an opt-in invitation to "Help Improve Maps" in iOS 7.

iOS 7 Maps


Part of the initial setup of iOS 7 includes an option to "Help Improve Maps," which as Apple explains, ties into Frequent Locations, a new feature of iOS 7.

Frequent Locations remembers places you've been, similar to the the bookmarks history of your web browser, is are presented next to Maps Bookmarks and locations attached to Contacts (below left).

Users who choose to activate both features will have their Frequent Locations linked to their iCloud / Apple ID account so the system can automatically calculate driving (or walking) directions to locations as users select them in Maps (below right, directions to Mavericks).

iOS 7 Maps


Apple also benefits from anonymously storing coordinate information because it helps the company verify how accurate its driving time estimates are, by comparing them to the actual time it takes users to arrive.

The release of OS X Mavericks, which brings Apple's Maps to the Mac, will also include new tools for facilitate end users reporting of errors.

So far this year, Apple has also acquired indoor mapping service WiFiSLAM, crowdsourced mapping data startup Locationary and transit app HopStop, all apparently aimed at improving its mapping services.

Apple hiring dozens of full time mapping experts in the field



Apple's Jobs website currently returns dozens of open positions related to Maps. Among these are a series of Maps Ground Truth Local Experts, in listings that state that "the Maps team is looking for people with a passion for mapping, great testing skills, and deep regional knowledge to help us build better and better maps.

"In this position, you will be responsible for the quality assessment of Apple Maps for your region, including both data and map services. You will monitor changes to our maps, provide?feedback on unique local map requirements, collect ground truth information, and evaluate competing products."

Apple currently lists openings for ground truth local experts in Washington D.C., Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles in the U.S., as well as European positions in Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Istanbul, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, the U.K. and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, Australia and Southeast Asia, China, and specific Asian cities that include Beijing, Hong Kong, Sapporo, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Osaka.

Additional openings for map experts at Apple HQ



The company also lists a series of open positions based in or around Apple's Cupertino headquarters, ranging from scientists to pour through its reams of geodata to QA staff to find bugs and a variety of specialized engineers to develop new features. These include:



Maps Bug Triage Engineer: "Maps problems are challenging to triage and debug. When a business is in the wrong location on the map, the issue could be anything from the address being wrong in our data to the conversion of the address to a latitude and longitude not working properly. We're looking for engineers to help triage internal problem reports, reproduce problems, and help us learn how to diagnose and triage problems better"

Maps Services QA Manager: "To test Maps well, we need to understand how the world is reflected in code and data, and also how to build great QA systems. Some tests can only be done manually, while other areas can only be covered adequately through large-scale automation."

Maps Process QA Engineer: "Maps is an interconnected series of services that each have their own teams working to create the best user experience possible. It can be challenging to understand all the working pieces let alone understand their QA needs. We?re looking for individuals who can help bridge the gap and document the unique QA requirements needed for each service."

Maps Process QA Analyst: "In this role you'll work directly with Process QA Engineers and you'll learn something about how every part of Maps works. You?ll be testing and documenting the QA processes involved in qualifying every component. " "Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Large Scale Data Mining, Network Analysis, Information Retrieval, Probabilistic Modeling. These skills are required for developing models for identifying patterns and anomalies and for mining structured, semi-structured and unstructured data."

Maps Senior Data Scientist: "The Maps Data Insights team has an opening for a craftsman skilled in Large Scale Data Mining and Machine Learning for making significant contributions in improving Apple Maps, involving the following techniques: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Large Scale Data Mining, Network Analysis, Information Retrieval, Probabilistic Modeling. These skills are required for developing models for identifying patterns and anomalies and for mining structured, semi-structured and unstructured data."

Software Engineer - Maps Navigation: "The Maps team is looking for a proactive and motivated software engineer to focus on Apple's turn-by-turn navigation experience."

Maps Web Applications Engineer: "If you are motivated by building applications that will be used by millions of people and have a penchant for visual details, this is an opportunity to build web applications that will help engage the community and internal teams to visualize maps data and to solicit input to improve the maps quality."

iOS Software Engineers - Maps (multiple positions): As an engineer on the Maps team, your responsibilities will be working with advanced dynamic label layout of road labels, points of interest and other labels on the map; rendering of 3D flyover models, mesh generation of terrain, road rendering; implementing real-time rendering techniques, creating new and innovative features, solving challenging algorithmic problems and fixing problems. You will be working both on the client and the server to create a state of the art map."

"The MapKit team is looking for a proactive and hardworking software engineer to join our team. We are looking for an engineer that's skilled with algorithms related to mapping. Familiarity with different spatial algorithms and data structures, such as R Trees, Quad Trees, BSP Trees are a big plus."

Maps Software Engineer - Hadoop: "The Maps Data Insights team is chartered to look at various data signals, derive insights regarding map quality, and use those insights to drive improvements in Maps. Combining disparate signals such as community feedback and probe data to validate our maps is an opportunity that combines large scale data processing, analytics and visualization."

Maps POI- Big Data Engineer: "Use Big Data technologies to extract data from existing NoSQL systems into system that can generate reports needed by business. Create unique ways to visualize and move our data."

Maps Raster Data Domain Expert: "You'll be guiding maps and LBS quality measurement, visualization, and analysis to derive actionable insights through raster analysis, classification, and feature extraction. You will approach map data and location-based service (LBS) quality metrics with the creativity and inquisitiveness of a scientist -- identifying and incorporating various geospatial, big data, and other resources. You will collaborate with excellent developers, system architects, regional experts, project managers, and other domain experts."

Maps Traffic Accuracy Domain Expert: "The Maps Community and Data Insights team is chartered to analyze various data signals, generate insights, and leverage them to improve Apple Maps. In this role, you'll be guiding maps and LBS quality measurement, visualization, and analysis to derive actionable insights on traffic data quality."
post #2 of 39

Dang. Wish I was a skilled enough programmer to apply to one of these positions!

post #3 of 39

Nice.  I just wish they had started hiring for these jobs the day they decided to give Google Maps the boot.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #4 of 39

Good idea, but I can't help but notice that there is no job listing to help improve maps for my city, and there is almost nothing about my city that is currently active. It's a really big north american city also so I pity the folks who live in a small town anywhere else on earth.  

 

If only Apple and Google could bury the hatchet.  If Apple maps had access to Googles data and street view it would blow them out of the water and become the new default. 

post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Good idea, but I can't help but notice that there is no job listing to help improve maps for my city, and there is almost nothing about my city that is currently active. It's a really big north american city also so I pity the folks who live in a small town anywhere else on earth.  

 

If only Apple and Google could bury the hatchet.  If Apple maps had access to Googles data and street view it would blow them out of the water and become the new default. 

 

Apple has already hired ground truth experts for lots of cities. Being on the list means the position is open. 

 

If you use iOS, you do have access to Apple and Google Maps already. Competition means both will be working to improve, rather than Google Maps stagnating on iOS as Google shifted its resources to Android. Pretty clearly, if Android where were all the money was, Google wouldn't have let the door hit their ass on the way out, the same way Microsoft abandoned Macs with a third rate, old version of Office after Windows took off.

 

The fact the Google is desperately trying to improve Google Maps (and that MS is being forced to bring Office to iOS) shows who owns mobile right now.  

post #6 of 39
Apple should build (or hire) a fleet of drones that will, on a monthly basis, fly over and scan the major cities AND have additional fleets of drones-for-hire to fill out the rest of the map. Without constantly refreshed data, maps change and become far less usable.

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post #7 of 39

The Mobile Maps war is on!  The Google has the advantage of quite a head start.  But Apple has most of the high value customers.  Well, Google can always seek solace in its hundreds of millions of Android device owners.  Someday they will start buying all the stuff being sold and advertised on their devices.  Unless they move up to iOS once they become more affluent.

post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

Apple has already hired ground truth experts for lots of cities. Being on the list means the position is open. 

 

If you use iOS, you do have access to Apple and Google Maps already. Competition means both will be working to improve, rather than Google Maps stagnating on iOS as Google shifted its resources to Android. Pretty clearly, if Android where were all the money was, Google wouldn't have let the door hit their ass on the way out, the same way Microsoft abandoned Macs with a third rate, old version of Office after Windows took off.

 

The fact the Google is desperately trying to improve Google Maps (and that MS is being forced to bring Office to iOS) shows who owns mobile right now.  

 

Thanks for that insight, it's alway nice to hear from someone in the know.

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple should build (or hire) a fleet of drones that will, on a monthly basis, fly over and scan the major cities AND have additional fleets of drones-for-hire to fill out the rest of the map.

 

They have:

 

 

Also available in black, with up to 128 GB storage capacity.

Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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post #10 of 39

Competition is good, but Google was putting huge amounts of work into improving maps far before iOS maps, as most of the improvements are not client specific, but on the backend. Google launched it's Ground Truth project in 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsbLEtS0uls) and you can see from this video how much farther ahead of Apple Maps they are. They've been constantly refining this data for 5 years with thousands of workers and a fleet of cars with sensors. 

 

Google Maps as a product has consistently improved since it was launched. Competition with Apple has no doubt improved the mobile UI, but the backend is where the real action is.

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Competition means both will be working to improve, rather than Google Maps stagnating on iOS as Google shifted its resources to Android.

 

Your use of the past tense ("shifted") seems to indicate that you think that the original iOS Maps app was written by Google. It was not. It was an Apple-developed application that used Google's mapping data. Google didn't shift any resources away from iOS as there were none to begin with.

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

They have:

 

 

Also available in black, with up to 128 GB storage capacity.

 

That's the stuff.

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post #13 of 39
How about apple give something back to the users who opt in to help Apple profit, rather than take the Google approach approach of exploiting their users data for free.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

How about apple give something back to the users who opt in to help Apple profit, rather than take the Google approach approach of exploiting their users data for free.

You get a better Apple Maps app just by clicking on a button to activate "Help Improve Maps".  Isn't that reward enough?  Okay, you get the chance of a better app in the future.

post #15 of 39

Every UPS driver should be given a free iPad with UPS routing info that enables Apple to track data. Within 6 months Apple will have exact positions on most every business and most residents. 

post #16 of 39
That is a great idea Richard!
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

Competition is good, but Google was putting huge amounts of work into improving maps far before iOS maps, as most of the improvements are not client specific, but on the backend. Google launched it's Ground Truth project in 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsbLEtS0uls) and you can see from this video how much farther ahead of Apple Maps they are. They've been constantly refining this data for 5 years with thousands of workers and a fleet of cars with sensors. 

In my area, I still have some problems with Apple Map. I still have some problems with Google Map. There is not much difference.

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

How about apple give something back to the users who opt in to help Apple profit, rather than take the Google approach approach of exploiting their users data for free.

Subscribe to Ground Truth crews. Problems solved.

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Every UPS driver should be given a free iPad with UPS routing info that enables Apple to track data. Within 6 months Apple will have exact positions on most every business and most residents. 

Very good idea.

post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Very good idea.

Thirded. Excellent idea, and it could also be used for other delivery companies.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

Thirded. Excellent idea, and it could also be used for other delivery companies.

Yup, FedEx, etc. Great ideas!
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave MacLachlan View Post

Dang. Wish I was a skilled enough programmer to apply to one of these positions!

 

I would dearly love to QA for Apple, but I live practically on the other side of the country.  Last time I checked, it looked like all the positions were local to Cupertino.

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm929 View Post

That is a great idea Richard!

your comment immediately made me remember one of my favorite cartoons ...

"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Your use of the past tense ("shifted") seems to indicate that you think that the original iOS Maps app was written by Google. It was not. It was an Apple-developed application that used Google's mapping data. Google didn't shift any resources away from iOS as there were none to begin with.

Because The original iOS map was basically dependent on Google mapping data, I believe it's more of Google restricting Apple's iOS on new key features at that time like turn by turn. Google was reluctant to give up a key competitive advantage for Android which led to Apple rethinking their dependency on Google's mapping data. Point is competition brings good things to both iOS and Android users.
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple should build (or hire) a fleet of drones that will, on a monthly basis, fly over and scan the major cities.

Obama has that covered.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

You get a better Apple Maps app just by clicking on a button to activate "Help Improve Maps".  Isn't that reward enough?

Seeing as you would already know what's wrong with the map in your area you're helping others and Apple, not yourself.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Obama has that covered.

Heh, heh... I should've said "privately owned" drones. 1wink.gif

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post #28 of 39
Tried to apply for Ground Truth Expert in Los Angeles but it doesn't appear on the site.
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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Obama has that covered.
Yes, I'd much rather it was Al Qaida that was flying planes over me. /s/
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


your comment immediately made me remember one of my favorite cartoons ...

 

sigh, my life's story lol 

post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Yes, I'd much rather it was Al Qaida that was flying planes over me. /s/

That'd be funny except for NORAD and the fact that it's an entirely different argument.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #32 of 39

All well and good, but until all of these acquisitions and hirings make substantial headway in reducing the errors in Apple Maps, the product itself remains well short of what Apple's users need?  Apple's making it easier to report problems and now wants to involve users with the "Help Improve Maps" function.  But, what good is better problem reporting when the errors in the Maps app persist for months and months after being reported?  I've submitted numerous corrections on business listings in my area, but to date, Apple has only corrected one of the errors that I reported.

 

Even though Google Maps also have a large number of errors, my experiences indicate that they are much more responsive in correcting erroneous data. 

 

Yes, Apple has made a lot of progress with the maps app and improved things to a point where I prefer the turn-by-turn directions over Google.  But, the business listings remain the major issue, and progress on that front has been minimal at best, in my experience. 

post #33 of 39

Because I want to use Apple's app and not Google's I always try Maps first to gauge progress and then switch to Google if Maps fails. In the areas I travel, Maps is frequently wrong.

 

This week I was looking for a location in a more affluent neighbourhood. Maps recognized the obscure name of the LANEWAY between two buildings (not even a real street) and showed its location with pinpoint accuracy.

 

Hmmm...

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Tried to apply for Ground Truth Expert in Los Angeles but it doesn't appear on the site.

It's there on the 2nd page

https://jobs.apple.com/us/search?#specs&ss=ground%20truth&t=1&so=&pN=1&openJobId=28264350

 

 

 

Both L.A. and New York.

post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

How about apple give something back to the users who opt in to help Apple profit, rather than take the Google approach approach of exploiting their users data for free.

 

 

What Google does is worst. It extracts data from users for free to turn around and sell ads that will be shown to the users based on that data.

 

With that said, I think it would be interesting to turn providing map data improvements into a game whereby users get points for providing not previously provided corrections. Points could be redeemed on iTunes.  I also think it would be cool to allow users to take pictures that could somehow be attached to specific locations, and perhaps voted on inclusions by users. 

post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post

All well and good, but until all of these acquisitions and hirings make substantial headway in reducing the errors in Apple Maps, the product itself remains well short of what Apple's users need?  Apple's making it easier to report problems and now wants to involve users with the "Help Improve Maps" function.  But, what good is better problem reporting when the errors in the Maps app persist for months and months after being reported?  I've submitted numerous corrections on business listings in my area, but to date, Apple has only corrected one of the errors that I reported.

 

Even though Google Maps also have a large number of errors, my experiences indicate that they are much more responsive in correcting erroneous data. 

 

Yes, Apple has made a lot of progress with the maps app and improved things to a point where I prefer the turn-by-turn directions over Google.  But, the business listings remain the major issue, and progress on that front has been minimal at best, in my experience. 

 

Apple's directions, in my view, is better than Google. Apple's biggest weakness is point of interest data, which is provided by Yelp. I suspect Yelp is responsible for making the corrections. Apple either needs to get Yelp to make corrections quicker, look for another company, or work on acquiring the data itself. 

post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


Yes, I'd much rather it was Al Qaida that was flying planes over me. /s/

 

Why would they? Even the US government now claims al Qaida has pretty much been defeated. Boogeymen remain for power-protecting politicians and governments to blame whenever they desire to act unopposed and in their own interest.

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post #38 of 39
I do not understand Apple...they are spending money improving there maps while one the partners the Dutch Tom Tom allready has this info.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter4711 View Post

I do not understand Apple...they are spending money improving there maps while one the partners the Dutch Tom Tom allready has this info.

Even Tom Tom's data is not perfect.

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