Apple’s maps in China are better inside than outside


While in the rest of the world we are waiting for the Apple World Developers Conference to take place in just two weeks to give us the gift of public transport routes to the Apple Maps , it turns out that in China they already enjoy them to some extent. No, it’s not the leakage of the next version of the Maps app or anything like that, but an elaborate data layer that is considerably more detailed than what we’re used to.

Apple’s maps in China are better inside than outside
Apple’s maps in China are better inside than outside

Cities like Shenzhen have labels for every traffic light controlled junction , pink marked areas for underground galleries and even subway lines with their corresponding colors connected to each station so we can clearly see where to get on and which line to follow in which direction to reach our destination. More interestingly, all this data is only available if you access Apple Maps from within the country.

It turns out that among the particularities of the People’s Republic of China is the prohibition of foreign companies to create their own navigation maps, forcing them to license some of the maps from local companies approved by the Communist Party government. Apple specifically uses the maps of AutoNavi, a company acquired by the Alibaba group last year, and as you can see in the following screenshots, it offers a level of detail for the Asian country that is light years away from that of TomTom used for connections outside its borders.

Shenzhen from outside China Shenzhen from inside China Hong Kong from outside China Hong Kong from inside China

On another front, Apple has added new data providers to its mapping service to improve information about local businesses in France, Turkey and around the world through E-wego, Yellow Pages Turkey and NavAds respectively. Early last month it was TripAdvisor and who joined the party, and soon after Wikipedia, Yellow Pages Group of Canada and Dianping, the Chinese version of Yelp, have also joined.


Similar Posts