In an ongoing effort to improve their Japanese product, Apple Maps has added Foursquare to their data supplier mix in addition to Yelp, TripAdvisor for place data, Yahoo Japan’s Tabelog for restaurant data, and Jourdan for transit data.
Foursquare is appearing in station information and other places supplementing areas that Yelp and the other suppliers do not cover. The addition might be from the transit team in order to improve the well received transit service that commenced last October.
Coordinating and vetting various 3rd party data suppliers has been a long-standing weak spot for Apple Maps Japan. Hopefully the Foursquare addition will result in a better product for Japanese users.
The Apple Maps team also seems to be tweaking Japanese transit signage in addition to adding Foursquare information. New train line signage with a simpler but non-standard design is appearing on iPad Maps while iPhone Maps and macOS Maps display previous signage. It can take time for signage updates to populate the entire system and it’s not clear if this is a real update, or a jump the gun glitch.
The ever evolving train line signage icon saga on iPad Pro Apple Maps is a very strange business. Perhaps the transit team cannot make up their mind.
Just 24 hours ago Tokyo area two letter train line code icons (JB, JY, JC, etc.) were oval, but are now rectangular. Even more strange: I have tested many iPads today but only Apple Maps on iPad Pro running iOS 10.3.2 (14F89) is displaying the new non-standard signage. Screen comparisons below.