Monday, March 28, 2011

Apple building a new mapping application?

Many sites are writing today about a new job posting on

From Apple's site:
The Maps team is looking for an exceptional developer to join us in our mission to radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services.
This is obviously interesting news for a local search site that also produces iOS apps. That said, I have no idea what this means. Apple bought a company called Placebase in 2009, and at the time many expected that Apple would use their technology to replace or supplement Google Maps in iOS. That hasn't happened, but it might just be that Apple needs time to integrate Placebase's technology.

Placebase does have an API called Pushpin that would allow for much more sophisticated manipulation of geospatial data in iOS.

My biggest feature request would be an easy way to use offline maps both in the Maps app and in iOS apps produced by Nelso. Although there are apps in the App Store that support offline maps, it'd be a boon for travelers to have this built right into the OS. The requirement that a user has an internet connection makes Google Maps almost worthless for travelers in Europe, as the cost of data roaming is too high to justify using maps on an iPhone or iPad outside one's home country.

Here's hoping they say something at WWDC this year.

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