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

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.

 

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