Apple Maps is Used Three Times as Often as Google Maps

local business search japan 12-11-2015
Apple adds local Japanese restaurant 3rd party listings without checking duplicates or quality

Anick Jesdanun’s Associated Press piece on Apple Maps has been making the tech blog rounds this week. The best take is Nick Heer’s Pixel Envy

Apple seems to have improved their mapping technology in Canada, the U.S., and China, but I’m not sure about the rest of the world.

It’s a good observation but technology has nothing to do with it, the only problem is data quality: Apple Maps in Japan has the worst quality data of the local competition.

Recently Apple has been adding restaurant listings from longtime Japanese restaurant search provider Tabelog, which is good, as well as listings from Yelp and TripAdvisor, which is not. Yelp and TripAdvisor are fairly recent “me too” transplants to the Japanese market without much native staff to do a proper job of collecting, indexing and vetting local business information.

And if Yelp and TripAdvisor are doing a poor job vetting local Japanese business data, Apple does none. They just upload it all to their map database creating a mishmash of English restaurant names that should be in Japanese, and duplicate listings. Proving once again the fundamental principle of databases: bad in, bad out.