Alexis Madrigal writes for The Atlantic:
I came away convinced that the geographic data Google has assembled is not likely to be matched by any other company. The secret to this success isn’t, as you might expect, Google’s facility with data, but rather its willingness to commit humans to combining and cleaning data about the physical world. Google’s map offerings build in the human intelligence on the front end, and that’s what allows its computers to tell you the best route from San Francisco to Boston.
After seven years, Google’s digital cartography skills are still unbeatable. I think Apple knows this as they build their competitive product, but it isn’t easy, as Madrigal’s story makes clear. Via Dave Pell.