Archive for November, 2014

“Apple Maps Is Not Intended To Be A General Business Directory”

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When I started this site, my goal was to keep it as opinion-free as possible and just post “how to” type info. Now that we’re about two years in, it’s time for a rant:

Same Day Serves passed on this email he received from Apple Maps re the whole no home-based businesses on Apple Maps thing:

 ”…at this time we are not accepting any mobile or home-based businesses without external signage. If your business qualifies then please send a photo showing the external sign or building business directory matching your business name. There are two reasons for this policy. Firstly, Apple Maps is intended to help people navigate to businesses. It is not intended to be a general business directory. Secondly, this policy prevents people from creating fake listings at locations where they’re not present…” 

So as I said previously home-based businesses either need not apply or should employ a good Photoshop artist.

On a more philosophical note, while I agree with the concept of not allowing fake listings, I think this throws the baby out with the bathwater. “Firstly” let’s address the point that Apple Maps is intended to help people navigate to businesses by listening to the U.S. Small Business Administration:

“What do Apple Computer, Hershey’s, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? These well-known corporations all started out as home-based businesses. In fact, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.”

So a service that is intended to help people navigate to businesses will not help you navigate to more than half of all U.S. businesses.

And if this service is intended to help people navigate to businesses, then why include parks, government buildings, and all sorts of other “non-business” points of interest? Shouldn’t this service be intended to help people navigate to wherever they want to go, which may include home-based businesses?

But secondly, Apple Maps is keeping home-based businesses out in order to prevent people from creating fake listings at locations where they’re not present. While I agree that residential addresses are tempting targets for creating fake listings, how are they any less tempting than business addresses?  Both Google Maps and Apple Maps are littered with fake business address spam.

I know the Apple Maps team has a hard job to do, but I don’t think home-based businesses should be penalized for it.

 

Apple Maps Announces New Business Listings Data Partners

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Well, perhaps “announces” is a bit strong. When we submitted an inquiry about submitting a client with a few hundred locations to Apple Maps Connect, we received the following email:

“Thank you for your recent inquiry and interest in publishing your business locations via our new Business Portal. At this time, we are only accepting bulk submissions from businesses with at least 1,000 locations. In the meantime, you may want to research the service offerings provided by the following companies that currently provide us business listing information on behalf of their clients: (in alphabetical order):

DAC Group
Factual
Location3 Media
Marquette Group
Neustar/Localeze
Placeable
PositionTech
SIM Partners
SinglePlatform
UBL
Yelp
Yext
Yodle

Please note: Information about third party services is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Apple does not warrant or guarantee any particular result (including publication of your business in Apple Maps) or the accuracy or reliability of any services provided by any third parties referenced herein.”

While we already knew that Factual, Neustar/Localeze and Yelp were providing data, all of these other companies are new. This should be a huge windfall for them. And what happened to Acxiom?

 

 

 

Open Street Map is Still an Apple Maps Data Provider

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Open Street Map

 

 

In September, I noticed that Apple Maps had finally updated its data supplier info when it released iOS8. But as one of the few people on the planet actually keeping track of this stuff, there still were a lot of questions about which data was getting regularly updated and which was not:

“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.”

Today when I checked the Apple Maps Acknowledgements page I noticed the following new info:

  • Map data © 2014 OpenStreetMap contributors

The big news, for me at least, is that this confirms that Open Street Map data is still being used by Apple Maps. So if you are having mapping data issues (e.g. your street doesn’t show up on Apple Maps) then fixing them on Open Street Map is still worth doing.

Here’s what else has changed on the page:

  • Reviews from Yelp © 2014
  • Business listings data  © 2014 Acxiom
  • The following language has been added:
    // Data Source © 2014 TomTom based on – For Austria: © BEV, GZ 1368/2014. For Denmark: © DAV, violation of these copyrights shall cause legal proceedings. For France (navigation applications only): Michelin data © Michelin 2014. For Germany: GeoBasis-DE/Geobasis NRW 2014. For Indonesia: © Base data Bakosurtanal. For Jordan: © Royal Jordanian Geographic center. For Malta: © Mapping Unit, Malta Environment and Planning Authority. For Northern Ireland: Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland. For Russia: © ROSREESTR. For Switzerland: © Swisstopo. For The Netherlands: Topografische onderground Copyright © dienst voor het kadaster en de openbare registers, Apeldoorn 2014. For United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland): Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2014; Code-Point® Open data: Contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right 2014; Contains National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right 2014. // MultiNet North America – coverage of Canada: © 2006 – 2014 TomTom. All rights reserved. This material is proprietary and the subject of copyright protection and other intellectual property rights owned or licensed to TomTom.”

  • GeoBase has been deleted
  • This language has been replaced:
    “MultiNet POI NAM, portions of the POI database contained in Local Points of Interest North America have been provided by Localeze. // MultiNet® Europe, Data Source © 2013 TomTom based on: MultiNet® data of Austria © BEV, GZ 1368/2013; MultiNet® data of Denmark © DAV, violation of these copyrights shall cause legal proceedings; MultiNet® data of France © IGN France, Georoute © IGN France, Michelin data © Michelin 2013; MultiNet® data of Northern Ireland Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland; MultiNet® data of Norway © Norwegian Mapping Authority, Public Roads Administration / © Mapsolutions; MultiNet® data of Russia © ROSREESTR; MultiNet® data of Switzerland © Swisstopo; MultiNet® data of The Netherlands Topografische onderground Copyright © dienst voor het kadaster en de openbare registers, Apeldoorn 2013; Data for United Kingdom: contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013, Code-Point® Open data contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right 2013; Data for Germany: GeoBasis-DE/Geobasis NRW 2013; Data for Jordan:  © Royal Jordanian Geographic center; Data for Malta: © Mapping Unit, Malta Environment and Planning Authority. // MultiNet® South East Asia, Data for Indonesia: © Base data Bakosurtanal; Data for Macao: Macao Special Administration Region Government-Cartography and Cadastre Bureau; Data for South Korea: © SK M&C, 2013. // Data for Australia and New Zealand : ® Registered trademark of Telstra Corporation Limited (ABN 33 051 775 556).. “with this language:
    “North America Premium Points of Interest – coverage of Canada and/or United States: Portions of the POI database contained in Premium Points of Interest North America have been provided by Neustar Localeze. // TomTom North America HD Traffic: Portions of the data have been provided by Clear Channel Broadcasting © 2014. Clear Channel Broadcast-ing, Inc. All rights reserved. // MultiNet North America, Address Points, Post: © United States Postal Service 2014. // Data Source for Australia and New Zealand: ® Registered trademark of Telstra Corporation Limited (ABN 33 051 775 556). // Data Source for South Korea: Based upon electronic data © Mappers Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. Korean Association Survey and Mapping Review Completed No. 2013-016 (2013-04-05). ”

Businesses With Residential Addresses Not Allowed In Apple Maps

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About two weeks ago when Apple launched Apple Maps Connect, I claimed Local SEO Guide, Inc.’s listing which is officially located at my residence.  We also have an office in downtown Pleasanton. After eleven days of my listings status being “Reviewing”, I received the following in an email:

Apple Maps Needs More Information

As I said about a year ago, “Apple Maps has actively tried to keep businesses located in residential areas out of the maps”.

So if you are doing business out of your house and don’t have a sign I think you have two options if you want to stay listed in Apple Maps:

1. If you are already listed in Apple Maps (like LSG is) don’t try to claim your listing
2. Find a designer who’s good at photoshop

Looks like a similar notification was shared on Linda Buquet’s Local Search Forum.