Apple Maps mislabeling locations in rural Canada

Posted:
in iPhone
While similar problems have been resolved in other parts of the world, Apple Maps is continuing to use mislabeled places in much of rural Canada, according to user complaints and a check by AppleInsider.




AppleInsider reader, Paul, noted that some areas appear to be using the sort of names found on electoral maps, such as "Cumberland, Subd. B" and "Sunshine Coast F" instead of common ones. This can potentially cause havoc not just with Apple Maps but any other Apple app dependent on location data, such as Weather or Photos.

Problems cited with the substitution include navigation, Siri features dependent on addresses, Apple's Weather app, and photo geotagging.

In an exchange with an Apple support team, the company promised Paul that it would work to address the situation "as soon as possible," while simultaneously admitting that it could "fall into the category of being a longer-term fix."

Courtesy of AppleInsider reader Paul.
Courtesy of AppleInsider reader Paul.


Apple has coped with missing or mislabeled locations since it rolled out a Google-less version of Maps in 2012's iOS 6, substituting Google content with data from various other parties. Apple scrambled to make corrections, but drivers using navigation sometimes found themselves getting lost -- perhaps most infamously veering into the Australian desert where they had to be rescued.

Public backlash led to the firing of multiple people at Apple, most notably iOS chief Scott Forstall. Since then Apple Maps has been largely cleaned up, given back public transit directions, and even expanded with features like indoor mapping at airports and train stations.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    geirnoklebyegeirnoklebye Posts: 37unconfirmed, member
    The problem described in the article is similar to what I have observed in locations where a city or town has the same name as the county it is located in. Then both Apple and Google map have a tendency to display the county name and place it in the geographical center of the county, rather than the city you were looking for.  For large counties like you have in rural areas, then the name can be placed significantly offset from the city with the same name. 
    jony0
  • Reply 2 of 18
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 298member
    I am pretty sure that google still directs people trying to come to our home to the next subdivision east of us. Apple never had a problem.
    dws-2
  • Reply 3 of 18
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 445member
    Lost, eh?
    space2001
  • Reply 4 of 18
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 525member
    Apple Maps doesn't understand that a city near me incorporated 10 years ago and changed it's name. If I type in my cousin's address using the new name, it directs me to a similar sounding street name in an entirely different city hours away. If I use the old name, it finds the address no problem. However, the new name is right there on the map and if I just search for the city by new name, it's found no problem.
    cecil444dws-2caladanianjony0
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Apple Maps/Navigation is still not ready for Prime Time.

    Out in rural America, it will try to route you over unimproved (read dirt or gravel) roads instead of paved arterial roads as it apparently cannot discern the difference to a passenger car at highway speed.

    Not sure who Apple needs to hire, but the crew on Maps currently are not getting the job done. I know they buy data from TomTom, maybe they can get better data.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,404member
    jabohn said:
    Apple Maps doesn't understand that a city near me incorporated 10 years ago and changed it's name. If I type in my cousin's address using the new name, it directs me to a similar sounding street name in an entirely different city hours away. If I use the old name, it finds the address no problem. However, the new name is right there on the map and if I just search for the city by new name, it's found no problem.
    So what. I’m sure every mapping system on the market has individual, anecdotal screwups. See a post above. Things like that don’t invalidate or prove failure of an entire system. The Ford navigation software on my 2016 Ford F-150 truck (updated current) still doesn’t know about the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial bridge (now four years old) over the Mississippi river in St. Louis. When I’m driving over that bridge my Ford navigation screen shows me floating over the Mississippi river in thin air. Apple Maps knows it’s there. 
    edited May 24 jony0
  • Reply 7 of 18
    cecil444cecil444 Posts: 40member
    I love Apple Maps, and it’s beautiful 3D Flyovers, but I do regularly spot and submit corrections on missing and mislabeled locations. It’s a huge data integrity problem for Apple. Google Maps is not without its flaws, but it has far more data and far fewer errors. I still use Apple Maps primarily, because I find the UX for Google Maps frustrating and unintuitive (and most other Google products, frankly), but I do wish Apple would sink some of their billions into improving their data, and adding a streetview competitor (which is sounding likely).
    aegeanwillcropoint
  • Reply 8 of 18
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Every other map has all kind s of problems too. But Apple maps has the best look and feel of all of them. Nobody can compete like Apple.
    edited May 24 aegeanwillcropoint
  • Reply 9 of 18
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 196member
    nunzy said:
    Every other map has all kind s of problems too. But Apple maps has the best look and feel of all of them. Nobody can compete like Apple.
    Yes, they do, but in my experience Apple Maps has at least 10 times more problems than Apple Maps. And that's not even counting the much better detail for knowing exactly where something is (outlines of buildings, names of fountains in parks, etc). I agree that Apple Maps has the best look, but the quality of information is, for me, so, so, so, so much better with Google Maps.
    nunzy
  • Reply 10 of 18
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,285member
    Apple Maps is still my go-to app for navigation, but there are times where it's left me puzzled. I occasionally switch to Google Maps to have a feeling of more confidence.

    As one example, Apple Maps always sends me along a route that involves a U-turn, whereas Google sends me along a more logical route that has simple right- and left-turns. No idea what logic Apple Maps uses to choose its recommended route.

  • Reply 11 of 18
    ktappektappe Posts: 753member
    I made the mistake of trying to use Apple Maps to find national parks in Panama last year. Maps would guide me to the edge of the park and just dump me there in the middle of nowhere instead of taking me to an actual *entrance* to the park. I was left numerous times having to navigate by the seat of my pants even though I had a "smart" phone with me.

    I understand maps is not a simple problem to solve. But Apple is a big company with lots of resources. They need to decide if they're going to fix this or not; leaving it half-assed is not good.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 18
    I’m using Apple Map, Google Map and Waze. Since I’m living in the Philippines, outside the Capital, Apple Map is mostly a white map, like North Korea.
    We have regularly Google Cars driving around and nearly a seemless street view map available.
    While driving, I’m mostly using Waze, which is more accurate than Google Map. But Waze guided me ones thru a terrorist infested area, far off the main road. I think the people there never saw a car before.
    Kopfschmerzenpatchythepirate
  • Reply 13 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,580member
    This is why men never ask for directions....   /s
    buzdots
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Apple Maps clearly beats the others in aesthetics and UI IMO.

    But again, Apple's "intelligence"/proactive/siri etc is the weak point. So many examples of incomplete or inaccurate information for businesses. Also, blatant gaps in basic functionality..

    Recently, I was in boston and trying to find my brother's apartment on apple maps. I typed in the street address and it gave me a location 45 minutes away instead of the actual location which was 10 min away. This was DESPITE the fact that I already had my brother's full address already in my contacts. Totally fucking pathetic, Apple.

    Apple's hardware, core software, and company ethics keep me in their ecosystem. But it's a continual slap in the face when Apple services suck so incredibly bad and on such a regular basis.

    And thank you mr eddie cue, mr "how hard could it [Maps] be." And it looks like you can substitute "it" for pretty much anything he's done. I don't like singling people out, but apple services under his leadership are just incredibly frustrating, with the solutions to nearly all the problems painfully obvious, yet inexplicably neglected.
    edited May 25 cgWerks
  • Reply 15 of 18
    FolioFolio Posts: 382member
    Last year AppleMaps, instead of directing me to Sequoia National Park to see the gargantuan trees, took us on a scenic route to a nearby lake in the Sierras. It was pleasant enough, but we didn't have time to see the big trees. I hope that mishap (which I reported here in AI soon afterward) is fixed by now. We stayed overnight in a nearby hotel, when originating the direction request, so I can't easily replicate it now.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,630member
    ktappe said:
    I made the mistake of trying to use Apple Maps to find national parks in Panama last year. Maps would guide me to the edge of the park and just dump me there in the middle of nowhere instead of taking me to an actual *entrance* to the park. I was left numerous times having to navigate by the seat of my pants even though I had a "smart" phone with me.
    Yeah, I was looking for a playground to take my son to that I knew existed, but couldn't find it with Apple Maps. After switching to Google or Waze, I discovered that the whole area was un-mapped by Apple, but there on Google and Waze. And, we're not talking remote here, either... just a few kilometers from a heavily populated area (though to be fair, it is in a Provincial park... maybe Apple's vehicles just don't go into parks?).

    But Waze guided me ones thru a terrorist infested area, far off the main road. I think the people there never saw a car before.
    Yikes! We just have to worry about it routing us through little neighborhoods, or often (for any of these apps) really non-sensical routes in terms of turns or intersections. Terrorists are a whole other level.

    macxpress said:
    This is why men never ask for directions....   /s
    Heh. What's interesting though, is that when you really know driving in an area well... and then start using one of these GPS systems... you're like, why the heck would you go that route? When I got my phone and started experimenting, it would get us places, but not at all the route I'd have picked, nor the best route. It often had me making odd (difficult or more dangerous) turns that weren't the most efficient at all.

    It has been handy since moving to an area we don't know. I hate trying to look for the little street name signs when I don't know an area, so having it let me know the street is coming up in a couple hundred meters is really nice. That said, I have no idea if it is taking me the best route or not, yet. :)
  • Reply 17 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,284member
    Apple Maps is still my go-to app for navigation, but there are times where it's left me puzzled. I occasionally switch to Google Maps to have a feeling of more confidence.

    As one example, Apple Maps always sends me along a route that involves a U-turn, whereas Google sends me along a more logical route that has simple right- and left-turns. No idea what logic Apple Maps uses to choose its recommended route.

    That's not uncommon with TomTom's routing algorithm which I suspect Apple is using at least in part. 
  • Reply 18 of 18
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 323member
    lkrupp said:
    jabohn said:
    Apple Maps doesn't understand that a city near me incorporated 10 years ago and changed it's name. If I type in my cousin's address using the new name, it directs me to a similar sounding street name in an entirely different city hours away. If I use the old name, it finds the address no problem. However, the new name is right there on the map and if I just search for the city by new name, it's found no problem.
    So what. I’m sure every mapping system on the market has individual, anecdotal screwups. See a post above. Things like that don’t invalidate or prove failure of an entire system. The Ford navigation software on my 2016 Ford F-150 truck (updated current) still doesn’t know about the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial bridge (now four years old) over the Mississippi river in St. Louis. When I’m driving over that bridge my Ford navigation screen shows me floating over the Mississippi river in thin air. Apple Maps knows it’s there. 
    Do you have Sync 2 or Sync 3?

    If it's Sync 2, I understand that Ford may be replacing under warranty all 2016 Sync 2 hardware with Sync 3, if you bug your dealer enough about it.  If it's already Sync 3, well, pretty much all auto manufacturer map systems are sadly awful, but Sync 3 is somewhat better than Sync 2, and if you replace the USB ports on a 2016 you can use CarPlay with Sync 3.  2017 and later are supposed to include the upgraded USB hub.

    The A9 and B9 nav cards have now been released for Sync 2, if you've got A8 or B8, you're not up to date.
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