Apple's new Maps best Google's at places, but still cover just 3% of the US

Apple's new Maps best Google's at places, but still cover just 3% of the US
After the whole Apple Maps fiasco, the gang from Cupertino set out to replace the TomTom database it was using with homebrew mapping acquired by good ol' driving around, combined with satellite images. Four years later, the effort is starting to give results in the form of the updated Maps app with details that even Google Maps doesn't have at places.

Unfortunately, the pieces released so far comprise just 3.1% of America's land area and only 4.9% of Americans, in California and the Bay Area in particular. The new Apple Maps, however, where updated, are a totally different beer than the old misunderstanding - a craft local brew versus Giants Stadium Budweiser on game day, if you will.

Apple has not only ditched TomTom's mapping, replacing it with its own input there but improved on it greatly in the process, as a TechCrunch deep dive noted back in the summer. As you can see from Justin O'Beirne's examples below, they sometimes beat even Google Maps in terms of detail. Justin is the guy who "designed and led the development of Apple's cartography effort," so he knows a good mapping effort when he sees one.


These are, however, just a few anecdotal pieces of evidence that Apple is stepping up its mapping game significantly. Google is still years ahead in honing its cartography algorithms and land area coverage in the US and abroad. 

Apple, for instance, seems to still mostly rely on Yelp while Google's database of places is times larger than Yelp's and that shows even on the new Apple Maps. Still, it's nice to see some competition against Google Maps, be it only in the Bay Area for now.

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17 Comments

1. surethom

Posts: 1699; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Apple have way more money than any company in history but still they wont spend on more mapping cars????

2. drunkenjay

Posts: 1678; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

thats why i never use apple maps.

3. DolmioMan

Posts: 332; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

Why? Because they're rolling out improvements to it that make it better than google maps.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4221; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

The details they are adding are mostly esthetic and add very little value to navigation

8. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1061; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

by the time Apple gets 30% through this process, Google will revamp their entire system to cover all of the US

9. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

It's never gonna be better than Google Mqps. Being better at one thing, a d sucking at 99 things, means Google has nothing to worry about. Even if 100% of Apple users used Apple maps, which will never happen by the way, that would still be less users than Google Maps, when Android runs on over 1.6billion devices and is cross platform which increases its reach.

14. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"Google is never going to be better than Yahoo!"

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2304; Member since: May 04, 2015

"improvements that make it better than google maps"? I hope you're being sarcastic. I really do. Even the example above is a joke when Google will give you satellite, street view and terrain to go along with the basic map. Plus integration with just about every relevant Google app. Let's not even talk about the 3% coverage and 4.9%.

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Apart from the fact that it's only in certain locations and Apple still is behind on so many other fields when it comes to mapping. Those particular areas, Apple has the advantage of more current data. If you look at Joe DiMaggio's playground, in satellite view, Google shows a construction yard

4. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

So essentially Apple maps are better than Google maps only in USA and only for 3% of the USA map. WOW what a noteworthy article.

10. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

PA does all it can to cheerleading a y accolade by Apple, no matter how small and meaningless. For a rag mag that is in Europe, they sure have a major love for Apple. Even we US citizens dont love Apple like these guys do.

15. lyndon420

Posts: 6796; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

No. It's highly unlikely apple will ever catch up to / let alone best what Google has created between Waze and their dedicated mapping app. Apple still needs to get their satellite imagery from somewhere.

6. Chris_ABN

Posts: 193; Member since: May 16, 2018

Glad I don't have to deal with Apple maps.

7. notfair

Posts: 746; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

nobody uses apple maps, not even apple employees.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31108; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I wanna try the new maps system out, improvements are always welcome.

12. droiduh

Posts: 101; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

I don't care for details... just want to know where (street names) to go.

17. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Fruit company maps suck, worst ever! Still one the best is HERE maps.

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