Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Apple maps fail two-fer

Update: I've already posted 2 more collections of Apple Maps cartoons and visual jokes... and am quickly collecting enough material for yet another similarly themed post: Apple Maps post 2, Apple Maps post #3

So the the biggest map-related news thing that hit over these last few weeks was the rollout of Apple's new maps/navigation function on its new mobile operating system, iOS 6 after ditching the Google Maps app.  This has been an unmitigated disaster as Apple's map function is a far cry from being ready for prime time.  This is partly because Apple simply failed to present a quality product, but it has a lot to do with the fact that Google Maps is a massively superior product.  To be sure, Google had similar issues when it rolled out its map product. As we'll see next week, they still do have issues with it.  But Google had far less formidable competition to deal with.  And Google has been sorting out the mind-puddlingly complex geospatial issues involved in delivering a global mapping/navigation product for 7 years now. Their technology is arguably still 10-15 years behind what is actually possible with professional-level GIS software, or at least in terms of the functionality of what they're offering to the public, but their pace of development has been startling.  It could take Apple a decade just to get to where Google is now, by which time Google will have lapped them several times over.

The latest news is that Apple has begged Google to help them out.  So while Apple waits for Google to get around to that, Google has released even more features, such as underwater streetview.

Things with Apple's maps are so bad somebody started a Tumblr of the many, many fails that users have found with it:

The next one is a reference to an internet meme that's been making the rounds since at least 2004: referencing the scene in "The Fellowship of the Rings" movie where Boromir points out that "One does not simply walk into Mordor".

And in yet another internet-meme-based riff on the Apple Maps fail, this one has to do with an amateur's botched attempt to restore a fresco of Jesus in Spain.  Sadly, the woman who's efforts sparked this meme is suffering from severe anxiety now.

Here's one that references the Tom Hanks 2000 movie "Cast Away":

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