Apple asks TomTom to help it fix its Maps

Karen Haslam
29 November, 2012
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Apple is said to be asking TomTom for help as it tries to improve its Maps app.

According to a Bloomberg report, Senior Vice President Eddy Cue is “prodding digital maps provider TomTom to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.”

It seems unfair to single out TomTom as that company is not the primary source of the point of interest (POI) data in Apple’s Maps; that data is currently provided by a number of sources including Yelp.

However, TomTom’s data is crowd sourced so increasing the TomTom data it uses may help Apple fix its POI data.

According to the report, Apple is also “seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts”.

As we reported back in September: “The issue plaguing Apple Maps is not mathematics or algorithms, it is data quality,” according to TeleMapics.

TeleMapics blames the third-party data suppliers, but also Apple for not recognizing that this data would be insufficient. “The companies that it (Apple) has assembled to create its application is that they are, as a whole, rated C-grade suppliers,” according to the TeleMapics blog.

The data used by Apple included “business listing data from Acxiom and Localeze (a division of Neustar), supplemented by reviews from Yelp,” explained the blog author.

In that report TomTom wasn’t blamed for the issues: “I suspect that the data and routing functionality that they have from TomTom, while not the best, is simply not the source of their problems.”

TomTom signed a deal in June this year to supply mapping information to Apple, and quick to defend itself in the uproar against Apple Maps. TomTom issued a press release claiming that its maps data provides only the “foundation” of the Apple’s mapping software, while Apple “create their own unique application, which defines the user experience,” reports Business Insider.

Cue has dismissed Richard Williamson, the man in charge of the mapping software project, according to reports.

One Comment

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  1. Tony says:

    I notified Apple of errors in my local area when the app was released and they haven’t bothered to fix them. I am in Victoria and one of the POI addresses near me is actually a Queensland address. Maybe they could resolve most of these issues if they listened to their users.

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