Apple Maps: it takes one mistake…

Apple Maps can only be described indecent words, they are funny, lie, life-threatening – evidence of this car and small truck. It is known to all. Here only date back to the confirmation, mostly 2012. After the 2013 incidents with Apple Maps if it happens, it is very rare. And the number of users they had the lead in iOS. Apple just made one mistake. To avoid which was almost easier than making it. The only.

This error was not related to the quality of the engine service (maybe he surpassed all the map services of the time, and was definitely the better engine of Google). But insufficient accuracy of map data was predictable and even inevitable – and should be taken into account.


In may 2012, it was decided to show the new card during the presentation of iOS 6 and replace Google as its own. Engineers from the Apple Geo Team objected, but Scott Forstall said “time” and this was the first step to Error.

June 11, at a press conference on the opening of WWDC 2012, Forstall introduced the map service as an integral part of iOS 6, replacing a Google maps, and showed how good she is using for demonstration only those areas of the globe where the service worked flawlessly.

The applause and the cheers. It was another triumph Forstall, Apple and all progressive mankind. Google maps is gone, Hooray!

It was the second step in an Error. Engineers, testers, everyone who was able to “use weapons” in the struggle against entropy, almost a hundred days has gone deep into the weeds here. The mission was impossible: there’s only one way to achieve close to perfect accuracy of electronic charts – their actual use by millions of users for several years, and the miracle did not happen.

19 Sep 2012 a list of known issues was significantly longer than in June. It was still possible to do the right thing: to leave Google maps in the system to add the beta version of its own maps, with their warnings about the status of the project, about possible inaccuracies and maximally simplifying the reporting procedure for identified errors.

But on September 19 the Error was irrevocably committed. iOS 6 came out, and the place Google Maps (boring and retarded, but accurate) was a card from Apple that “lied” was life-threatening, distorted and complicated reality of the XXI century.

No apology from Tim cook (which Scott Forstall refused to sign), nor the removal of Scott Forstall from office, or his subsequent dismissal, was unable to fix anything.

Why Apple needed its own card?

In his youth, Apple tried a variety of technologies, inventing fantastic things, only a small part of which saw the light of day. For the technological dreams of the actions of the company, has established a special unit in 1986 it was called the ATG (Advanced Technology Group, the group of advanced technologies), but even in ATG, as far as I know, never paid attention to cartography.

And developing iPhone about the card forgot. Remembered at the last moment.

Like first the idea of having access to a map service in iPhone came in the head member of the Board of Directors of the company, concurrently the head of Google Inc, Mr. Eric Schmidt. Apple and Google were old friends, repeatedly and seriously helped each other.

But the bone of contention was the same iPhone. Leaks were not. Eric Schmidt, as a member of the Board of Directors, had access to top secret information – and in his own company at the same time developed its own mobile operating system that suddenly changed, and turned into Android.

That is, the mode of total secrecy that had caused so much suffering Apple employees, still not helped to keep the project a secret. Nothing in the world can cost as much and brings as illusory results, as the security system.

Eric Schmidt left the Board of Directors, as Google ceased to give Apple access to critical map functions. The map service is an important competitive advantage!

Now Apple had two possible choices: to leave the mobile devices industry or create your own service. In fact, there was only one. To retreat would mean to lose face.

The Apple Geo Team

In the unknown day of an unknown year (probably spring 2009), Apple made a preliminary plan for the creation of its own map service, and began its implementation. Responsible for the project appointed Scott Forstall.

Soon the project was lit in the world on this side of the “fire wall”. In early July 2009, the website of the service closed.

July 7 Fred Lalonde, the head and founder Openplaces told about the reasons for the closure of the service: Apple acquired companies like Placebase, a developer of Pushpin API, which was built by its service.

Journalists in search of sensation, checked in LinkedIn: the former head and technical Director Placebase really changed the place of work. The first of them was the head of Apple’s Geo Team, the second was a single engineer in the Apple Geo Team.

Between 2009 and 2012, Apple has consumed a few more companies involved in cartography.

In 2008, the mapping service Placebase was technically better than Google, it offered an incredible range of functions and all these developments was now in the hands of Apple.

In-house mapping service of Apple was needed “yesterday” but until the end of 2011 the Apple Geo Team was able to work calmly and thoroughly. At the end of 2011, something suddenly changed, and 2012 has turned into a solid all hands on deck.

I wonder what he was looking for Scott Forstall?

In the fall of 2012 time error correction was administered personally by Tim cook. He was always against rush work, but the situation with Apple Maps had no choice. If you do not allow the Apple Maps in acceptable condition to the release of iOS 7, this will be the final failure of the cell lines.

In 2015 California a truck driver with a trailer should Navigator, built-in Google Maps app. In the end, the program is started it is not where it should, and the driver was blocked on the tracks that were not marked on the map. As a result of collision with the train, he was killed and 32 people were injured.

Former Apple Geo Team believe these crazy months, best days in their lives, perhaps in the Sciences which studies human still too many white spots. But something in this.

If everything was done correctly, and in iOS 6 there would be a beta version of Apple Maps, its transformation into a full service, really capable to replace Google Maps, it would take two or three years, at least.

Without it, a decent implementation of Apple Maps was released 18 Sep 2013. However, osadochek remained. When S. P. Korolev demanded to speed up the work, he said, “if you make something quick, but bad, all very quickly forget that you did it quickly…” He said that when his sentence has not yet been cancelled.

To be continued

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