When Apple Maps launched back in September 2012, the app was so dire that boss Tim Cook was forced to apologize to users, admitting the new software “fell short” of expectations. You remember it – an entire city in the sea, a farm labeled as an airport, that kind of thing.
The company vowed to put things right, and since then the iOS software has certainly come on leaps and bounds. However, there’s still work to be done.
The latest initiative to further knock the app into shape involves getting small businesses to muck in. That’s correct, Apple is turning to crowdsourcing to bolster Maps, encouraging company owners to enter details of their business using a newly launched ‘Maps Connect‘ portal.
After signing in with an Apple ID, users can edit the location of their establishment (it may not be as serious as taking it out of the ocean and placing it on land, but it might be a little further up the street than Apple Maps currently shows), as well as add information to the company’s profile, which can include links to official websites and social media accounts.
It’s also possible to sign up to have Apple’s location-sensing iBeacon technology installed, though at the moment the tech giant is focusing on larger businesses that get plenty of foot traffic.
The new Maps Connect portal is currently only operational for businesses in the US, though once Apple’s happy with the way it’s running, it’ll be rolled out to other countries around the world.
Besides this latest measure to improve Maps, Apple has also been acquiring a number of navigation-based startups and last year hired so-called ‘ground truth managers‘ to test new releases of map code.