The Perfect Map?
I saw this thought provoking Fast Company headline today: "Google, Apple, Nokia and the quest for the perfect map." An interesting read. The idea of a perfect map: That's a lofty goal. This paragraph is especially interesting to me:
"The fight means that the world is now better mapped than at any time in the history of civilization. Nokia's cartographic wizards assert that its maps cover more countries, receive inputs from more sources (80,000 data feeds), and are updated more quickly (up to 2.4 million times a day) than those of any other service. In 2008, Google launched Ground Truth, a massive project that uses a fleet of airplanes, automobiles, and data collected from public and private agencies to create a proprietary location database of 40 countries around the world. There are product innovations such as photo-realistic 3-D maps, 360-degree panoramic views, street views, and transit and turn-by-turn directions." In the end, Google, Apple, Nokia and others really want the user data that comes from these mobile map apps. Google had to create a new iPhone app. They had to make it better than the previous app. Why? They need the data that is generated by millions of iPhone users.
My question is this: What is the next innovation in mapping? Perhaps this is more about the app! Who can provide the best mobile map experience? Yes, map data has to be 'good enough', but in the end, is the app the key to motivating users to share a gold mine of users data?
I can't wait to see this play out. This will be interesting to watch unfold.
Side note: I have not had a problem with Apple Maps in the US. I am not suggesting their data is perfect, but my expereince has been near flawless. I really like the interface. I have tried the new Google's app, and it's well done, but I don't use it. I have also tried Nokia's web app and if left me uninterested.