Duking it out at the Smartphone Mobile App Mapping API Corral:Apple, Google, and the Competition

Speaker:  Hanan Samet – College Park, MD, United States
Topic(s):  Web, Mobile and Multimedia Technologies


The recent introduction of the Apple iPhone 5 and the accompanying iOS6 software environment which, among other changes, replaced the use of the Google Maps API in iOS5 by Apple's own Maps API, has led to significant changes in the user experience with apps that make use of maps and has resulted in closer scrutiny of mapping applications on mobile devices.  Many of these changes in the user experience deal with the quality of the data that is being produced and presented to the user, and has led to a wide ranging discussion of data quality and the seeming lack of use of quality assurance policies and protocols by Apple.  These are widely documented in web postings, and have generally been fixed soon after being disclosed.  However, equally important are significant changes in the manner in which the data is presented to the user, but, surprisingly, not much attention has been paid to this aspect of the user experience which is somewhat analogous to the concept of the ``last mile'' when discussing the bandwidth of communications networks and its associated costs.  The changes in the presentation and in the amount of data that are presented to the user on the Apple iOS mapping platform, with an emphasis on mobile devices with a small form factor such as smartphones, are tabulated and compared along with other mapping platforms such as the iOS apps of Bing, Nokia (called HERE Maps), ESRI, MapQuest, OpenStreetMap (whose open source map data forms the basis of OpenSeaMap which is used here), and a new one from Google (termed iOS Google Maps) which was designed as a means to enable use of the Google Maps API in iOS6. We also compare these systems on the Apple iOS mapping platform with the Google Maps app on the Android mapping platform.

* Best Paper Award,  1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Mobile Geographic Information Systems (MobiGIS 2012), Redondo Beach, CA, November 2012
** Joint work with Brendan C. Fruin and Sarana Nutanong
*** Also appeared in Communications of the ACM May and September 2016

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  52
Duration:  60 - 75 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

Request this Lecture

To request this particular lecture, please complete this online form.

Request a Tour

To request a tour with this speaker, please complete this online form.

All requests will be sent to ACM headquarters for review.