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

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  • Reply 21 of 184
    [greg][greg] Posts: 78member


    ::retracted::

  • Reply 22 of 184
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    This is a very strange article, even by AI standards. As many have pointed out, Google does use vector graphics for mobile mapping, and has for a couple of years. It may not permit independent map and label rotation, and may have a different data caching extent, but it is still vector based. I'd have to guess that the article is just the result of ignorance and very poor research, rather than an attempt to mislead; that would obviously be doomed to failure.
  • Reply 23 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rennaisance View Post


    There's no doubt that 3D, Vector-based maps are the future.


     


    However - cool new 3D and navigation features aside - in terms of basic 2D maps, Apple's current implementation in iOS 6 is pretty poor compared to the Google Maps it is replacing.


     


    Compared to Google Maps: 



    • Apple's maps are often out of date (more than 10 years out of date in the case of London, UK!)


    • colours are garish (parks & water features too bright and over-emphasised)


    • many non-road features are missing (random unknown businesses names appear while significant tourist attractions and points of interest are missing)


    • building outlines are only shown in a few select cities


    • many transit features are missing. No bus stops shown, and train stations often missing or in the wrong place.


    • satellite images are poor quality (not just lacking detail but also dark washed out colours, lacking in contrast)


    • hybrid mode is sluggish on slower devices (iPad 2)


     


    All in all, Apple maps shows promise, and could eventually be great, but is disappointing in the current iteration. In my opinion they are releasing it too early.



     


    I think this may be somewhat intentional.  We are only seeing Apple Maps BETA.   I think, and certainly hope, that Apple will "wow" us with current data, and great photos when Apple Maps is finally released.  The fact that it's vector based, and there are no fixed images (to finalize) it's so easy to leave out much of the data and impressive stuff in the beta versions.

  • Reply 24 of 184
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member

    Quote:


    Lerxt: Vector this, vector that. If it hasn't got streetview I'm not interested.



     


    +1 billion

  • Reply 25 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post


    Kudos on a well researched and written article!



    Yes, Daniel... I've been  missing your in depth analyses, as well as your roughlydrafted commentary.  I'm glad your back (with a vengence!)

  • Reply 26 of 184
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Google's maps on Android are [SIZE=14px]not[/SIZE] bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. 

    Vector mode in Google Maps is available on desktop browsers, too. If you use Chrome on a Mac, you get 3D vector maps by clicking on the "MapsGL" option at maps.google.com. Vector mode is, apparently, not enabled for Safari.

    Presumably that mode requires WebGL, which you can enable manually in Safari.
  • Reply 27 of 184
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    I can't wait. Google Maps is the last vestige of the Mountain View Ad Company that still gets used in my iOS universe.


     


    Begone, Pixelated Spyware!



     


    Ditto.  Looking forward to dumping Google. 


     


    The lack of street view and the walking/transit directions is still bad though.  The thing that bothers me the most about it is that even with all the dozens of articles floating around about the new iOS maps, we still don't really know if the new 3D view can replace Streetview.  


     


    In talking with my friends about their typical usage and in analysing my own, it seems to me that the main use of streetview other than simple voyeurism, is to see where you are going to go.  For example, you want to go across town to a store so you look it up and then switch to streetview to get your visual bearings.  You want to see the storefront so when you walk up the street later you can recognise it, and place it from the visual landmarks surrounding it etc. You also need the transit and walking directions to figure out how long it's going to take you to get there.  You might want to look at streetview of some particular corners as well to see if there is in fact a pedestrian path there as well since there is always a fair number of errors in the map data no matter what.  


     


    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.    


     


    The thing that I want to know is:  Does the new iOS maps 3D view allow you to do these kinds of things? (assuming the fuckup of not including transit directions is fixed)  


     


    If I can zoom in in 3D view to a point where I can clearly see the stores lining the street and the intersections and associated details, even from a sort of pigeons eye view, then streetview is not necessary.  If I can't then I see huge problems for anyone who doesn't drive a gas guzzling vehicle of some kind.  

  • Reply 28 of 184

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    Agreed. I am a former Android user and now iPhone 4S user and the vector news was pretty well known. It is hard to believe they could make such a huge and well-known mistake by accident. Google maps on Android is a very good product and sets the bar very high for Apple which is a good thing. I hope they can get a map app on iOS that can compete well, but no reason to lie about it to make it look more advanced or unique when that has been around for several years on the Google version. Just makes AI look bad and not Google maps. 



     

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

    I think the article focuses on Google Maps on iOS....


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     
  • Reply 29 of 184


    Incredibly poorly written and researched article.  Google and Nokia/Navteq are still years ahead of Apple Maps.  Apple has licensed Tom Tom maps.  Offline Maps is far superior on Nokia Maps and then Google, vector has been around for a long time - Nokia for years and Google in the last year or so. Also, underlying data and other APIs needless to say fully cross-platform for Web, native and mobile web are lacking.  


     


    I love Apple too but you are writing with blinders on.  Perhaps you should do your own research before writing a fluff and inaccurate piece like this.  Have you seen the article "Apple Maps will kill you?" TomTom maps are cheaply licensed and inferior compared to the competition.  Mapping the world is NOT easy and it will take Apple a lot more time to be up to parity. Right now, all they Apple Marketing can do is market the 'beautiful layers" - btw, not that beautiful.  3D Maps comes from C3 - those are very nice. But Nokia has 3D Maps from C3 too - London Olympics on CNN are doing 3D map flyovers of London - that is amazing.  


     


    I could go on and on. Speak to some real map developers before putting garbage and false article like this out.

  • Reply 30 of 184


    " ...comfortable lead that Google and Microsoft are now struggling to match with their own simpler, basic voice recognition systems..."


     


    LOL What ?


     


    Google voice action / Google Now is whipping the floor with Siri


     



     



     


    I can link you tons of these .... Siri is taking so long, it's not even worth asking it anything.


     


    Apple makes awsome hardware and Software, but one thing they always sucked at is cloud computing.

  • Reply 31 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post



    This is a very strange article, even by AI standards. As many have pointed out, Google does use vector graphics for mobile mapping, and has for a couple of years. It may not permit independent map and label rotation, and may have a different data caching extent, but it is still vector based. I'd have to guess that the article is just the result of ignorance and very poor research, rather than an attempt to mislead; that would obviously be doomed to failure.


    Google Maps does allow for independent map and label rotation. Doing a 180 on the map still leaves the street labels right side up.

  • Reply 32 of 184
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,675member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Google's maps on Android are not bit-mapped (raster). The desktop maps version may still be, I'm not sure, but Google swapped over to vector-based maps for Android back in 2010. And just like Apple will reportedly do, Google Maps can be rotated and zoomed with two fingers, and the map or street labels don't get turned upside down. 


    http://www.techoncept.com/google-maps-android-app-now-has-amazing-vector-graphics-content-available-offline


     


    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.



     


    And yet, the Google maps on iOS behave exactly as described in the article. So, apparently, what GG is telling us here is that Google has been intentionally dumbing down it's maps on iOS, presumably so that the iOS user experience will suck.


     


    All the more reason for Apple to divest itself of any dependencies on Google technology. The bottom line here is that Apple made the right decision in ditching Google Maps and creating its own service, that isn't dumbed down because Google decided to be evil.


     


    Thanks GG for making it clear why Apple needs to clean house of everything Google.

  • Reply 33 of 184
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) This article is all sorts of wrong.

    2) Apple has a long way to go before it's iOS 6 Maps app is a true competitor to Google's Maps on iOS 5 and earlier. I'm not sure the major kinks can be worked out before it's released. At this point I wish Apple would have just worked on it silently until iOS 7 or made it a Settings options you can choose from if they wanted to get it tested and allow those that everything Google tracks to be wiped from their devices.
  • Reply 34 of 184
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post


    >Apple isn't serving up a public web version of its own maps as Google does, so it isn't constrained by the limits of web-based technologies.


     


    This is actually something that annoys me. Right now, I can use Google Maps on my phone, iPad or computer and always get the same data, directions, street view, etc.


     


    With iOS 6 I'm going to have a different mapping system on my iPad/phone than on my desktop. This is going to lead to different directions and data. This is ALREADY annoying because of the differences between TomTom on my iPhone and Google Maps; now we're going to have a third source of different information.


     


    It'd be nice if Apple would release a web version of their maps, or even an app for the Mac to access them. An app would likely be easier to implement due to the use of vector data.



     


    This sounds to me like you are trying awfully hard to find a problem where one doesn't really exist.  


     


    The differences in map data are going to be small at best.  Also, the number of occasions where one would need or want to compare the map data on a computer with the map data on a mobile device for the same journey must be vanishingly small.  I mean I'm trying really hard to think of a scenario where this would even be a good thing, let alone necessary.  


     


    What do you do, look it up on your computer, print it out and then get confused when you have the printout on your lap while driving and the turn by turn is giving you a different story?  How stupid would that be (to print it out), when you have a mobile device with mapping capabilities anyway?  Do you drive around with your laptop and your mobile phone in your car and compare the two?  Again, stupid.  


     


    I think it would be great if Apple made a web version available if only because the web version of Google maps is atrocious and almost impossible to use.  But the real problem here is that you are trying to use three tools when only one is necessary.  It's like watching the same show on three TV sets lined up side by side and complaining that they get out of sync because the commercial breaks are timed differently on each.  

  • Reply 35 of 184
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    muppetry wrote: »
    This is a very strange article, even by AI standards. As many have pointed out, Google does use vector graphics for mobile mapping, and has for a couple of years. It may not permit independent map and label rotation, and may have a different data caching extent, but it is still vector based. I'd have to guess that the article is just the result of ignorance and very poor research, rather than an attempt to mislead; that would obviously be doomed to failure.
    Google Maps does allow for independent map and label rotation. Doing a 180 on the map still leaves the street labels right side up.

    I must have missed that.
  • Reply 36 of 184
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member


    1) POI data is easy to add.  


    2) Walking directions is in IOS6.  Folks even posted pictures of this.


    3) Bike directions have never existed in iOS maps.  Look on your iphone if you don't believe me. 


    4) Transit information did get dropped but are expected to be filled by 3rd party apps.  Not optimal but can be fixed.


    5) Streetview is indeed gone thus far and was very useful at times.  A critical feature that you wont update to iOS6 for?  LOL...whatever makes you happy.

  • Reply 37 of 184
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    Agreed. I am a former Android user and now iPhone 4S user and the vector news was pretty well known. It is hard to believe they could make such a huge and well-known mistake by accident. Google maps on Android is a very good product and sets the bar very high for Apple which is a good thing. I hope they can get a map app on iOS that can compete well, but no reason to lie about it to make it look more advanced or unique when that has been around for several years on the Google version. Just makes AI look bad and not Google maps. 



     


    problem with your reading comprehension: this is AI, describing how Apple is changing iOS Maps to use its own new vector maps from the bitmapped maps currently obtained from Google. It's not a fanboy piece about how iOS is better than Android. 


     


    The article clearly states that Google has added a variety of features, including navigation, vectors and offline maps, to its own Android platform that Apple has opted not to support on its own iOS Maps app. It even quotes Google as hoping that Apple would use its new features.


     


    So when you Android fanboys show up and start going into hysterics about how your phone has vector maps, it isn't relevant at all, because your experience is irrelevant to iOS users. You should be furiously posting how your phone is superior to your Android fan blogs so that your fan friends can read them and get excited about how they agree with you. iOS users don't care, because they're busy using their phone and Android software updates don't benefit them in that regard.


     


    Do you guys get it yet, or do you need a number of additional comments to explain the situation to you?   

  • Reply 38 of 184
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,675member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    It's like watching Formula 1 on Speed Channel.  



     


    There, I fixed it for you.

  • Reply 39 of 184
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    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.    

    Apple is not socal, at least not in the way we use the term. Apple's and Google's HQs are actually separated by less than 15 miles (about 25km)
  • Reply 40 of 184
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,675member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Corrections View Post


    ... Do you guys get it yet, or do you need a number of additional comments to explain the situation to you?   



     


    I'm afraid not even additional comments will help.

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