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Apple fires maps manager and asks TomTom for help

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 28 Nov 2012

Apple have taken further action in the wake of its iOS6 Maps debacle with the firing of a senior manager of the mapping team.

It is reported that Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, recently appointed to oversee Apple's map division, has given Richard Wiliiamson his cards. Eddy is now seeking advice and assistance from TomTom to expedite a fix for the data issues in its mapping app.

With the release of version 6 of iOS in September, Apple began offering its own mapping solution which uses vector maps and includes turn-by-turn navigation. Search giant Google reserved vector maps and turn-by-turn navigation for use on Android which, it is rumoured, was why Apple decided to bring the maps service in-house.

TomTom were chosen as the map data provider but the launch was marred by numerous glaring place name errors, missing points of interest and poor satellite map imagery. Quite how these issues came to exist hasn't been disclosed, certainly the place names are correct in TomTom map data, but it's reassuring to see that Apple consider resolving this as a high priority.

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Posted by NickG on Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:54 pm Reply with quote

I never really understood why, if the Apple Maps clearly use data provided by TomTom, why they contain so many errors which the TomTom data doesn't also have. It seems unlikely Apple (or anyone) would mess up an import so badly as to actually move towns or introduce spelling errors. Perhaps the gazetteer/POI data was NOT from TomTom but somewhere else and only the road data came from TomTom... It's hard to know how the problems reported could actually have happened.

Twitter: @nickg_uk

Posted by Darren on Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:05 pm Reply with quote

As you surmise, either Apple didn't buy/use the place-name data from TomTom, which seems most likely, or they somehow managed to cock it up in the import which seems unlikely.

POI data definitely didn't some from TomTom, that's being sourced from YELP I believe.

WAZE are also involved but the actual mix of who supplied what is unlikely to ever be known for certain.

Darren Griffin

Posted by M8TJT on Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:07 pm Reply with quote

Firing someone for making a mistake? Shocked That's a novel idea. It proves that Apple are a private company and not a public or Governmental set up in the UK Rolling Eyes

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