Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Busting the iOS 6 Transit Map Myths

Andy Baio separates the facts of the iOS 6 maps app. This caught my eye:

Apps can enable directions support by setting the type of directions they support, a geoJSON file specifying the map regions they support, and uploading it to iTunes Connect. Developers can specify a category (Car, Bus, Train, Subway, Streetcar, Plane, Bike, Ferry, Taxi, Pedestrian, Other).

This is very clever. Instead of relying upon one built-in transit directory, apps can be tailored for what they do best.

Why would Apple do this, though? Is this a fair tradeoff for separating from Google? As explained on the Cocoanetics blog, getting that data is a giant pain in the ass:

[N]obody knows the extent of the secret deals that were made to keep Google out of certain markets. Those same deals would probably also make it impossible for Apple to get at this data. In a way Apple has to be thankful to Google for testing the waters and uncovering how difficult it is to get worldwide coverage on a voluntary (and free) basis.