Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

A Year of Maps

I’ve previously linked to Justin O’Beirne’s well-illustrated essays about Apple Maps and Google Maps, but I think this might be his best yet.

There are effectively two sections in this piece. The first is an exploration of how many changes Google made to a specific section of San Francisco compared to how many times Apple changed the same area, and what those changes are. It’s clear that Google is iterating more on their mapping product with the intention of surfacing more places, more accurately, more of the time.

The second section of O’Beirne’s piece is an extension of that last point. It’s about how Google changed their cartography and priorities over the past year, and it’s worth reading.

I hope Apple’s on-the-ground data collection indicates that they’re pushing for a big improvement soon. But, while they may be working really hard, Google’s designers and engineers aren’t twiddling their thumbs either, and Google is starting with a much stronger base. This article is so good that Apple could almost use it as a todo list. And they probably should.