Apple Maps is What We Thought it Was

There wasn’t much surprising about the Apple Navigation app:

Just last week Google unveiled new features including offline maps for Android and 3D mapping, at an event dedicated to mapping, which some people took as a clear sign that the company was feeling the weight of the impeding move by Apple to its own technology. From what we can tell, Apple’s 3D features look a little better than what Google showed off last week but we’ll have to see them both in action to be sure.

On one of the slides from the WWDC I saw a reference to “Map Kit”. I guess we’ll learn much more this week. Navigation appears to be TomTom or Navteq but it is all rumors right now.

Update It looks like yes, TomTom is providing navigation data. We now have Apple/TomTom, Microsoft/NAVTEQ, Google and eventually OSM as the four main navigation ecosystems.

  • counterblow

    is it time for Microsoft to buy ESRI?  This area is now closed to them (ESRI) as a competitor….and all of their consumer mobile products will just look like a joke up against these juggernauts.

    • James Fee

      Why would MSFT buy Esri?  There is nothing they need there anymore, spatial isn’t special.  They’ve got data (Navteq) and a GIS system (SQL Server).  

      • counterblow

        lol, while SQL server is nice, it is years behind the complex spatial modeling you can do in the Geodatabase.  ESRI is still the best at solving the hard problems no one wants to mess with.  Tibco has a habit of buying companies that do the hard things, maybe they will buy them.

        • James Fee

          A. I can do anything you can with python and SQL Server that you can do with Esri.  Cheaper too…
          B. Esri isn’t for sale and nobody is going to pay a premium for what is essentially a niche government contractor.  Maybe SAIC, BAE or Lockheed, but not anyone else.

          • counterblow

            really?  you can make multi ruled topologies and networks using just Python and native SQL?  That’s pretty impressive.

            Come on James, ESRI is a lot more than just a government contractor.  Sure the Feds are big customers, but not their only customers…and certainly the problems they are solving are not just government problems.

            ArcGIS Online is really floundering, and ArcGIS Online for Orgs (or whatever they are calling it) is really just a gussied up SharePoint portal with some extra GIS hooks.  Nothing that Microsoft couldn’t do themselves, if they just had the back end guts ESRI does a good job of providing.

          • James Fee

            Yes you can, most people don’t use Esri to create topologies and networks.

            Just give me one customer that isn’t a government that showcases Esri technology in a way you’d be proud.

  • Arvin de la Cruz

    Is it just me, or does this blog seem to have some sort of “not so pro-Google and anything-but-Google” slant to it? (really just asking – no troll).

    • James Fee

      1.  I’ve already said Apple Maps doesn’t change anything in regards to Google Maps because it is limited to only one platform.  None of us will actually use it probably.
      2.  I’m not happy with Google because they can’t actually tell me what using their service will cost.  Thus we at WeoGeo use other services such as OSM and Mapquest.
      3.  The above is why I think Mapbox is a great resource for GIS people.
      4.  Clearly you haven’t followed me for a long time, please refer to this post from 6 years ago. —