Apple overhauling data services 'front-to-back' for future version of Maps, job listing reveals

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
Apple is planning major changes to Maps that will involve radically overhauling the data services behind the platform, according to a job listing posted on Thursday discovered by AppleInsider.




The company is searching for a senior software engineer to join its Maps Data Services team, which is tasked with behind-the-scenes data infrastructure. The company is specifically asking for someone with experience in large-scale distributed systems, as well as skill in technologies like Java, Scala, Kafka, and/or Zookeeper.

Towards the end of the listing, the company states that it has "big plans," and is hunting for "engineers and leaders that can design and build clean, scalable, and performant data services."

More significantly, Apple says it is "overhauling things front-to-back," and wants "engineers that live and breath [sic] data and distributed services."

The full extent of Apple's plans is unknown. The company could conceivably be shaking up Maps for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 -- both of which should arrive this fall -- but if so the new hire would likely be joining a project well underway. Apple is due to showcase the new operating systems at WWDC 2015, which starts June 8, and it will need at least some basics in place by then to share with developers.

In April, AppleInsider learned that Apple has a team working to restore public transit directions, a feature that has been missing in Maps since Google content was stripped out in 2012. That could be one reason for a major data services revamp.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    I like to take adventure hikes and Apple Maps never has any of the most popular adventure areas in the world searchable on their site. Going on an Everest Base Camp hike and flying into Lukla, Nepal to what National Geographic calls the most dangerous airport in the world. Maps informs you that "No Result Found." Ditto Everest Base Camp, Nepal. Wasn't that just recently in the news? Well Cupertino is clueless on that location as well. And the list goes on and on even as I have reported the locations of what I want to see on Maps.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    It hasn't been mentioned here at all, but Apple recently completed a full top to bottom redo of Siri's backend, which is why she's much better these days. My guess is they're planning a similar effort here.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    esaruohoesaruoho Posts: 60member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    It hasn't been mentioned here at all, but Apple recently completed a full top to bottom redo of Siri's backend, which is why she's much better these days. My guess is they're planning a similar effort here.



    So.. where has it been mentioned?

  • Reply 4 of 25
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,307member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    More significantly, Apple says it is "overhauling things front-to-back," and wants "engineers that live and breath [sic] data and distributed services."

    Perfect.

  • Reply 5 of 25
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esaruoho View Post

     



    So.. where has it been mentioned?




    One article:

    http://************/2015/04/27/siri-backend-mesos/

     

    (I see AI doesn't allow linking to other Mac sites. You'll have to Google it, when you get home from your 9 to 5 job.)

  • Reply 6 of 25
    mgcsoonermgcsooner Posts: 13member
    About time. Apple Maps continues to fall behind other sources. I live in a new area in fastest growing metro region in the country, and Apple maps is more than a year behind Google, and has no user edit capabilities to add missing data. I can't even send them a pic of the current map. I love their products but this one is not good. I sure hope they address this.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    nagromme wrote: »

    One article:
    [URL=http:/2015/04/27/siri-backend-mesos/]http://************/2015/04/27/siri-backend-mesos/[/URL]

    (I see AI doesn't allow linking to other Mac sites. You'll have to Google it, when you get home from your 9 to 5 job.)

    Hahaha are you serious? That's pretty funny. A bit insecure don't you think ai?
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mgcsooner View Post



    About time. Apple Maps continues to fall behind other sources. I live in a new area in fastest growing metro region in the country, and Apple maps is more than a year behind Google, and has no user edit capabilities to add missing data. I can't even send them a pic of the current map. I love their products but this one is not good. I sure hope they address this.

     

    Apple's Maps app, on both OS X and iOS, allow you to "Report a Problem" by clicking on a POI (point of interest) or dropping a pin and clicking on it. Scroll down to the bottom of the pop-up window if you don't see the selection button. Options listed may include: "Location is missing", "Wrong location on map", "Location details incorrect", "Location or information incorrect", "Location is closed", and "My problem isn't listed" depending upon the OS and whether a POI or dropped pin. Selecting one of these choices allow you to reposition a pin, add or correct details, and add a photo.

  • Reply 9 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,994member
    eightzero wrote: »
    Perfect.

    But did that spelling error originate here or with Apple?
  • Reply 10 of 25
    d4njvrzfd4njvrzf Posts: 797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

     



    One article:

    http://************/2015/04/27/siri-backend-mesos/

     

    (I see AI doesn't allow linking to other Mac sites. You'll have to Google it, when you get home from your 9 to 5 job.)


    Test http://************/2015/05/14/find-my-iphone-glitch/

     

    http://bit.ly/1PJGHBX

  • Reply 11 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,994member
    Or just use TinyURL... ^^^
  • Reply 12 of 25
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Hahaha are you serious? That's pretty funny. A bit insecure don't you think ai?

    then what is your explanation for the link blocking?
  • Reply 13 of 25
    iamnemaniiamnemani Posts: 64member

    In a related topic, has anyone else observed that any user  reported map problems are getting solved much quicker nowadays? Also they give a notification on the iphone/ipad when they have fixed it.

     

    I have had quite a few issues fixed within a week, and sometimes within a day even. I think this is wonderful.

  • Reply 14 of 25
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    iamnemani wrote: »
    In a related topic, has anyone else observed that any user  reported map problems are getting solved much quicker nowadays? Also they give a notification on the iphone/ipad when they have fixed it.

    I have had quite a few issues fixed within a week, and sometimes within a day even. I think this is wonderful.

    I live on a new development of 1000 houses in the UK constructed between 2006 and 2012, The aerial map images for both Apple and Google were the same, showing an incomplete development missing at least 100 newly built homes. This helped to date the aerial to around 2010. About 3 months ago I reported the out of date satellite image to both Apple and Google. It probably took about 3 or 4 weeks before Apple replaced the aerial view with one of the completed development tat show all house. Google still have the out of date 2010 satellite image.

    Not sure if this in anyway connected but yesterday I did see the Google street view car 2 miles away in the next town. I wonder if they are updating street view where I live. As an aside, it was interesting to see people's reaction to the Google street view car. Many of them waved at the cameras.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,646member
    mgcsooner wrote: »
    About time. Apple Maps continues to fall behind other sources. I live in a new area in fastest growing metro region in the country, and Apple maps is more than a year behind Google, and has no user edit capabilities to add missing data. I can't even send them a pic of the current map. I love their products but this one is not good. I sure hope they address this.
    Actually I find that sometimes Apple is more up to date than google, most often with satellite imagery. The point is sometimes one is more up to date than the other, and other times it's the other way around.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    gbdocgbdoc Posts: 59member
    Re maps: unless Apple can shake up/change from TomTom (who, I think, is Apple's map/navigation partner), the maps will never be great. TomTom's a curious mix of a great product with innumerable snags, which they're unwilling/unable to address (or, often, even acknowledge).
  • Reply 17 of 25
    xixoxixo Posts: 421member
    It hasn't been mentioned here at all, but Apple recently completed a full top to bottom redo of Siri's backend, which is why she's much better these days. My guess is they're planning a similar effort here.

    Yes, here's evidence of Siri, before and after her back end overhaul:
    47d0924523e8c3c38a5d284e45ec60c4.jpg
  • Reply 18 of 25
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 877member
    d4njvrzf wrote: »

    Hahah really AI? Seeing how you are quite happy to copy stories from these other sites, blocking links to them is pretty low...

    I wonder what other Apple sites are blocked:

    macrumors.com - Mac Rum0rs

    ************ - 9 to 5 Mac

    macosrumors.com - Mac 0S Rumors

    macdailynews.com - Mac Daily News

    cultofmac.com - Cult of Mac

    Weird. Maybe Kasper(?) fell out with 9to5Mac.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    elijahg wrote: »

    Hahah really AI? Seeing how you are quite happy to copy stories from these other sites, blocking links to them is pretty low...

    I wonder what other Apple sites are blocked:

    macrumors.com - Mac Rum0rs

    ************ - 9 to 5 Mac

    macosrumors.com - Mac 0S Rumors

    macdailynews.com - Mac Daily News

    cultofmac.com - Cult of Mac

    Weird. Maybe Kasper(?) fell out with 9to5Mac.

    The story is much longer than a simple fallout. But that's not for discussion here.

    If people want to link to 9to5 simply replace a dot with %2e, like so:

    http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/14/find-my-iphone-glitch/

    [@]mgcsooner[/@] Google has an 8 year headstart. Keeping that in mind I'd say Apple has done an outstanding job in creating such a feature rich product in -for all we know- just one year development.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,607member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esaruoho View Post

     



    So.. where has it been mentioned?




    I know that they bought Novauris in 2013 to fine tune SIRI but I think they still partner with Nuance.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-acquires-speech-recognition-firm-novauris-for-siri-help/

     

    I also know Apple has a dedicated team in Boston focused on enhancing SIRI.

    http://www.betaboston.com/news/2014/09/08/apple-is-growing-the-cambridge-research-team-focused-on-improving-siri-speech-recognition/

    http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2013/07/26/apples-boston-area-team-working-on-speech-in-nuances-backyard/

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