Archive for September, 2014

Apple Maps Pin Location Updates Getting Faster

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Apple Maps updating system appears to be getting faster. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we have started to see more submitted updates go live. And I just noticed one case I had been watching for two years where a business’ map pin was displayed across the street from its actual location is now correctly located. So six days ago, when I noticed the Apple Maps pin for my company, Local SEO Guide, Inc., was about 50 feet off base, I used the Report a Problem tool to move the pin and voila, today it’s now in the right place.

Cornea Associates Apple Maps Wrong LocationCornea Associates of Texas Apple Maps Right Location

Wrong Location – Dec. 2012                       Right Location – Sep. 2014

And if you’re interested in more Apple Maps updating news, according to this Reddit thread, for the past couple of months Apple Maps has been making daily updates at 3:00am Eastern Standard Time.

New Apple Maps Data Providers in iOS8

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Apple, Inc. Cupertino

With the launch of iOS8, Apple has finally updated its list of data suppliers on its “attribution” page:

2014 Apple Maps Attributions Page

2013 Apple Maps Attribution Page

None of the previously listed vendors have been removed so presumably their data is still part of Apple Maps. Three new vendors have been added:

Hexagon
“A leading provider of design, measurement and visualizations technologies.” I am presuming they are providing some whiz-bang new stuff in the updated Apple Maps.

Kingwaytek Technology Co., Ltd.
“The only map provider in Taiwan that concentrates on producing digital maps at present.” I am guessing Apple Maps Taiwan just got a lot better. If you need to fix a Taiwanese listing, I am thinking this is where to look.

http://data.linz.govt.nz
The Kingwaytek of New Zealand.

So no new sources of U.S., European or South American data. There are still a lot of countries that don’t have business listings.

I am still puzzled over the old copyright dates for Acxiom (2012), Factual (2012), Localeze (2012), Yelp (2013) and Open Street Map (2011, 2012). It’s unclear if this means that this data is basically frozen in time, meaning no need to update these sources to get your data updated in Apple Maps, or if Apple just didn’t care enough to update the info. It is September 2014 after all and we’re just getting the 2014 update.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Business On Apple Maps? Got A Year?

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rip-van-winkle apple maps

Image appropriated from StoryNory.com

On September 25th, 2013 I was contacted by the owner of DC 9 Nightclub about getting the business listed on Apple Maps. After doing a quick review, it seemed like a fairly straightforward issue. DC 9 was not listed in a number of the key business data suppliers to Apple Maps like Neustar Localeze and Acxiom and their business name and phone number was incorrect on Factual. Within 24 hours we had fixed all of these problems and reported the missing listing to Apple Maps via its “Report a Problem” feature. And that’s when we found that when it comes to Apple Maps, nothing is ever straightforward…

Often when we fix Apple Maps issues we can see it take effect relatively quickly (60-90 days is what I usually tell clients but we’ve seen faster, and slower of course). But after 60 days the business still wasn’t listed and the Factual data had not updated. I figured this was the issue. Because of the way Factual works, it wasn’t enough to update the data at Factual (where I have a “power” account), we had to fix citations that Factual relies on to triangulate the data. So we did a citation clean-up which took about three months for Factual to acknowledge and update. But still DC 9 was nowhere to be found on Apple Maps.

It was then I realized that I had neglected to take into account the “geo-spatial data”, or whatever the map geeks call it, that Apple uses to create the maps. This data is stuff like streets and buildings and lat/longs, etc. that businesses get mapped to. So I popped DC 9′s address into TomTom/Tele Atlas, one of the underlying mapping data providers, and lo and behold, DC 9′s address of 1940 9th St NW Washington, DC 20001 did not exist in these systems. And when you just searched the address in Apple Maps, the pin showed up at 1938 9th St NW, the building next door, which had originally been part of 1940 until the building was split in two, which probably is why these mapping systems couldn’t figure things out. So even though we had fixed the citation issues, there was nowhere to put the business on the map.

So I went over to TomTom and Tele Atlas‘ sites and submitted edits to their maps to add the address. Within one week the edits had been approved and then I waited…til yesterday.

Last night (September 10th, 2014) I got an email from DC 9′s owner, who had long given up hope, that DC 9 was now on Apple Maps!

DC Nine Apple Maps

Now we just need to figure out what to do about that duplicate listing :P

So if you are trying to add your business to Apple Maps, make sure you’ve got at least five months of patience, but be prepared to wait a year.

For further reading on Tele Atlas and Apple Maps, check out Mike Blumenthal’s Good News, Bad News in the Apple Mapping Business Listing World.