No Indoor Maps for Apple Maps Japan

indoor mapped malls
Apple Map Indoor Map launch list at WWDC

Despite the WWDC announcement that Tokyo would be included in the first round of Indoor Maps for iOS 11, the feature has yet to appear and seems to have been dropped for now. References to Lane Guidance also disappeared from the Apple Japan site with the official release of iOS 11. Apple’s iOS Feature Availability page has a Lane Guidance section. It would be nice if the page had an Indoor Maps section too.

No Tokyo Indoor Maps makes sense. There is no “go to” data provider for indoor maps in Japan as there is for Japanese transit data. For a place like Shinjuku station Apple has to line up data from 6 different transit companies and even more subsidiary companies. And that is just for a single location. Multiply that by multiple stations and you can see the challenge Apple faces collecting and normalizing all that indoor map information from countless sources.

Apple was lucky with Japan transit because Jorudan was a go to agency already supplying Google Maps. It is a single company with quality data and a proven track record of managing multiple data sets from around the country.

Outside of transit Apple Maps Japan still suffers from poor quality data sources and the inability to coordinate multiple data sets. In Japan Apple Maps is still losing the Battle of Roshi Hall. The many corrections submitted for the Ikegami area in south Tokyo have long since been wiped and replaced with incorrect data. The grand hall of Ikegami Honmonji temple is a soba restaurant again.

That does not bode well for delivering quality Indoor Maps in Japan.

UPDATE (2018-9-6)
A year later Apple Maps Japan has started rolling out indoor maps.