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

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  • Reply 61 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by You Smell View Post


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



     


     


    Its always that way.  Apple finally catches up with stuff that has been standard elsewhere for years, and the AppleFans act like it is something new and different and better and unprecedented.


     


    Cut and paste is a decent example.


     


    If Apple sold cars, the AppleFans would brag that it came with 4 tires.

  • Reply 62 of 184
    bdblackbdblack Posts: 146member


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

  • Reply 63 of 184
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

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


     


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

  • Reply 64 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

    The maps Apple receives from TeleAtlas, Canada's DMTI and many others are also vector-based, just as Naveq/Nokia's competing maps are. That's why Apple maps are vector rather than bitmapped, not because it's an Apple development. They get most of their licensed map data as vector rather than raster.


     


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


     


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


     


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

  • Reply 65 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BDBLACK View Post


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



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

  • Reply 66 of 184
    While Google has updated the GoogleMaps for Android, as stated in the article, Google has not given equal access to non-Android devices as a way of differentiating Android's OS, or punishing non-Android users. Hence, iOS still uses the original layered maps. It's important to note that Google also began charging higher fees for clients reaching certain usage levels. This has clearly been great for Google & expensive for Apple, as they would be Google's biggest customer. Which is also why 3rd party iOS apps will be served Apple's new maps data rather than Google's. That said, Apple appears to be sourcing their map data for iOS from TomTom, so that leaves them with a well established map data supplier, even more established than Google. As soon as iOS is released later in the fall, no doubt Apple will have any kinks fixed. Since Apple controls the map data & the APIs, no doubt that OS X will serve up the same mapping experience as iOS 6 is released. Thar's just how Apple does things

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

    Cheers !
  • Reply 67 of 184
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,366member
    Does this article ever say that Android doesn't have vector maps? Does it say that google maps isn't vector on desktops?

    I read it as ONLY referring to google maps on iOS.
  • Reply 68 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    It's also my impression from my little unofficial survey that if you use a car, none of this is really important to you and since most people in North America use cars, a lot of them won't see the value of street view.  While the makers of the new Apple app are extremely likely to be "car people" (they not only live in North America, they are rich, southern Californian US citizens), it's easy to see why they dont' see this as a required feature.    



     


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


     


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


     


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

  • Reply 69 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post



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

     


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


     


    From the article:


    Google is also working on its own next generation Google Maps that makes use of vectors, but it has a more difficult job because it is targeting several major platforms: the web, which relies upon the experimental new MapsGL enhancements of WebGL; Android, which has a native JavaME-like platform; and its existing public API, which is rooted in how Google Maps has worked in the past.


     


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

  • Reply 70 of 184
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    sandman619 wrote: »
    Plus, Apple's Siri is an AI which Google is much less experienced at. Voice search & AI are very different techs
    Cheers !

    I would argue its the other way around. Google is actively researching AI, whereas i haven't heard about anything beyond SIRI at Apple. And to be honest, in terms of AI, Siri is not that impressive.

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/technology/in-a-big-network-of-computers-evidence-of-machine-learning.html?_r=4&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=1&adxnnlx=1344017347-flEmJ+Pq4Q0Pb9yt/I5S6w
  • Reply 71 of 184
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    Oh look, DED caught with his pants down again.


     


    When is Apple Insider going to dump this clown?

  • Reply 72 of 184


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

  • Reply 73 of 184
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,800member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by majjo View Post





    I would argue its the other way around. Google is actively researching AI, whereas i haven't heard about anything beyond SIRI at Apple. And to be honest, in terms of AI, Siri is not that impressive.

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/technology/in-a-big-network-of-computers-evidence-of-machine-learning.html?_r=4&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=1&adxnnlx=1344017347-flEmJ+Pq4Q0Pb9yt/I5S6w


    I also think people get tired of just one voice. I would imagine Apple might eventually add a male and possibly other female voices as alternative choices. Check out some of the voices AT&T labs produced for examples of what we could have for Siri in the future. It has a live demo so you can type then hear what you like. Those voices are pretty amazing, 


     


    http://www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php

  • Reply 74 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post


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



     


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


     


     




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post


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



     


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

  • Reply 75 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by techrider View Post


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



     


    Google Earth app

  • Reply 76 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chazwatson View Post


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




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

  • Reply 77 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chazwatson View Post


     


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



     


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


     


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

  • Reply 78 of 184
    macosxpmacosxp Posts: 152member


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

  • Reply 79 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post



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


     


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


     


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

  • Reply 80 of 184


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


     


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


     


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


     


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


     


    The capability seems to be there!


     


    (Click image to enlarge)


     


    image

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