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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39


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

  • Reply 2 of 39
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member


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

  • Reply 3 of 39
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    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. 

  • Reply 4 of 39
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member

    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.  

  • Reply 5 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,768member


    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.

  • Reply 7 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.

  • Reply 8 of 39
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 39
    rjc999rjc999 Posts: 69member


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 39
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


     


    They have:


     



     


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



     


    That's the stuff.

  • Reply 12 of 39
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,768member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 39
    richard getzrichard getz Posts: 1,142member


    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. 

  • Reply 15 of 39
    That is a great idea Richard!
  • Reply 16 of 39
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    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.


  • Reply 17 of 39
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    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.


  • Reply 18 of 39
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    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.


  • Reply 19 of 39
    glubengluben Posts: 21member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    Very good idea.

    Thirded. Excellent idea, and it could also be used for other delivery companies.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    gluben wrote: »
    Thirded. Excellent idea, and it could also be used for other delivery companies.

    Yup, FedEx, etc. Great ideas!
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