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Cartographic Comparison of Apple Maps and Google Maps

Maps are but representations of reality, and how Apple and Google have interpreted that reality has led to surprisingly different representations of it. Former Apple cartographer Justin O’Beirne has started a detailed comparison of the two mapping systems, looking at how each shows cities, roads, and places (points of interest, if you will). O’Beirne is careful not to anoint a winner, but a summary of his findings shows that Apple labels more cities and Google labels more roads. Plus, while the two show a similar number of places, they have only 10 percent of their places in common, thanks to Apple focusing on landmarks and Google prioritizing transit.Generic Globefollow link


Comments about Cartographic Comparison of Apple Maps and Google Maps
(Comments are closed.)

Michel Hedley  2016-06-23 02:25
Excellent cartographic analysis by Justin O’Beirne and will be loved by anyone into maps. I use Apple Maps mostly as I have an iPhone. But with my Mac I use Apple Maps and Google Maps for different reasons in my researches and searches. Google Maps is better with roads and physical features such as rivers, but Apple Maps hybrid view is better. Apple Maps street view is better but place labels seems inconsistent re importance and zooming is necessary to follow some things. Both Google Maps and Apple Maps are US centric if not San Francisco centric. Googles view landscape facility is good and useful and works in surprising places such as for American deserts. For navigation when driving I find Apple Maps better particularly at night. But I find Google Maps much better for public transit systems - particularly ones with which I am unfamiliar.
Dennis B. Swaney  2016-06-27 22:30
It would be better if the linked article had graphics. I click on the "Follow Link" and get the text format to be displayed with graphics but there aren't any!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2016-06-28 09:10
That's weird - there are definitely lots of images in that article, and they appear when I click Follow Link.
Dennis B. Swaney  2016-06-28 11:36
OK, I thought it might have been my AdBlockPlus on Firefox so I disabled it but that didn't work. I then started trying my other browsers: didn't work with iCab, worked with Vivaldi but is EXTREMELY slow loading, worked with Opera, and Safari.

So it looks like the graphics won't load with Firefox or iCab, load very slowly with Vivaldi, and load reasonably with Opera and Safari.

I vastly prefer Firefox over all other browsers, but it looks like this linked site is anti-Firefox.

EDIT: I should have waited a little as iCab DID load ALL the graphics as did Opera and, eventually, Vivaldi.
Curtis Wilcox  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2016-06-28 16:53
The images load fine in Firefox (47) for me but I don't have any extensions that create self-inflicted wounds like ABP.
Dennis B. Swaney  2016-06-28 20:06
And, as I said, it still did not work WITHOUT the ABP extension. Glad you enjoy all the ads!