Tag Archives: Apple

Apple Announces ‘Apple Maps’ Integrated in MacOS X 10.9 ‘Mavericks’

Yesterday Apple announced that their Maps application will be integrated in MacOS X 10.9, to be available next Fall. Of course, Apple Maps was mentioned several times in the past, especially since the underlying data and search capabilities behind Apple Maps was / is not as stellar as the popular Google Maps service.

From the Apple page: "The Maps app lets you use every pixel of your display to explore new destinations, and it takes full advantage of the graphics power of your Mac. So zooming is incredibly smooth and responsive. Text and details are crisp and easy to read. And you get gorgeous views such as Flyover, a photo-realistic, interactive 3D experience that lets you soar high above select cities. Maps makes it simple to get information on local points of interest like restaurants and hotels, showing you phone numbers, photos, and even Yelp reviews. It’s also easy to get there on time, thanks to point-to-point directions, real-time traffic conditions, and suggested alternate routes. When you’re ready to go, send your map to your iPhone for voice navigation on the way.3 With OS X Mavericks, maps are built into Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, too. So wherever you see an address, you can see it on a map, just like that."

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Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations

Slashdot discusses a story named Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations. Not the first time this happens to major location services providers. We can expect Apple to fix this loophole.

Their summary: "A researcher has found that Apple user locations can be potentially determined by tapping into Apple Maps and he has created a Python tool to make the process easier. iSniff GPS accesses Apple's database of wireless access points, which is collected by iPhones and iPads that have GPS and Wi-Fi location services enabled. Apple uses this crowd-sourced data to run its location services; however, the location database is not meant to be public. You can download the tool via Giuthub."

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Apple Acquires Indoor Mobile Location Positioning Firm WifiSLAM

The race for improved indoor navigation goes on, MacRumors informs us that Apple Acquires Indoor Mobile Location Positioning Firm WifiSLAM.

From the Wall Street Journal: "The two-year-old startup has developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user’s location in a building using Wi-Fi signals. It has been offering the technology to application developers for indoor mapping and new types of retail and social networking apps. The company has a handful of employees, and its co-founders include former Google software engineering intern Joseph Huang. [...] Google already offers indoor mapping in certain locations like airports, shopping centers and sports venues."

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Comparing Google and Apple’s 3D Buildings Products

Not related to their recent donation (really!), Cube Cities provides an excellent comparison of Google and Apple's 3D building products.

From the entry: "Note how the entire urban fabric is rendered in the computer generated maps, whereas Google's legacy building layer has missing buildings and contains stylistically different models due to it's human-crafted origin. [...] However, Apple currently does not provide a method of loading data into their mapping application, with the exception of the built-in third party data feeds from Tom Tom and Yelp."

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An In-Depth Comparison Between iOS Map Frameworks: Apple MapKit vs. Google Maps SDK

MacRumors summarizes a full entry on an In-Depth Comparison Between iOS Map Frameworks: Apple MapKit vs. Google Maps SDK. Really an informative article, go read it.

From the comparison: "The Google Maps for iOS SDK isn’t all roses, however. McKinlay warns that Google applies usage limits and quotas to their Places Search API, so if your app gets too successful then you get “punished” for it. [...]  There were a few reasons we chose to implement a dual mapping solution. The first was where we couldn’t do everything we needed on the Google Maps so had to keep Apple Maps, otherwise we would be removing features from our app (such as advanced overlays and gradient polylines)! [...]  However, Armstrong adds that MapKit only wins for now: “Ask again in six months’ time and that opinion may have changed.”" 

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Google Maps for iOS Receives First Update, Version 1.1

I guess this would normally not be major news, but since a lot of iPhone users rely on it and that alternatives like Apple Maps and Blackberry Maps have not impressed the press so far, here it is: Google Maps for iOS version 1.1 has been released, but no iPad compatibility yet.

MacRumors informs about it: "What's New in Version 1.1:

  • Search your Google Contacts; sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name.
  • Quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, etc.
  • Choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units.
  • Note that some features may not be available in all countries."

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Batch Geonews: Voxel.js Minecraft-like, QGIS for Android, Side-by-Side Router, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the open source front:

  • 3D and open source with WebGL mixed with games gives you Voxel.js: Minecraft-like Browser-Based Games, But Open Source, which can certainly be reused for other geospatial projects
  • Never mentioned here before, an QGIS for Android in development, and on a similar topic, QGIS Globe works again
  • OpenStreetMap's new editor named iD gets a new home and updates, ideditor
  • After last year's success, NASA launches second International Space Apps Challenge, open data and open source
  • MapBox-related news:
    • Of course, MapBox Maps Now Embed On Twitter
    • You can now embed MapBox interactive maps in Apple iBooks Author software
    • An entry on Using Google Fusion Tables to Add Real-Time Feeds to MapBox Maps

On the Esri front:

  • The ArcGIS Online World Topographic Map first updates

On the Google front:

  • A nice Side-by-Side Router, allowing you to see directions for driving, transit, bicycling and walking on a same map
  • You can learn a bit more, Details of Google's Project Glass Revealed In FCC Report

In the miscellaneous category:

  • Microsoft shares a Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps Training Kit
  • And if developing for iOS, Apple Reaches Out to LBS Developers with iOS 6.1 POI Search API
  • Pretty interesting on the future of 3D photography, Light Field Photography Is the New Path To 3-D
  • Not the first time we hear about similar protections, In Brazil, Trees To Call For Help If Illegally Felled
  • Satellites (including footprints) and iPad / iPhone: New iOS app to view the SES Astra satellite info
  • I did not know that February 2nd is World Wetlands Day
  • Interesting on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence, the world needs need more geospatial experts
  • Which is also true considering 95% of of Public Safety Agencies Under-utilize Computer Mapping and GIS
  • A topic we discussed recently, Analytics for people, the next big thing in retail
  • If you have an interest in check-ins, 500 Million Foursquare Check-ins Visualized

In the maps category:

  • A different kind of map, Swiss Historical Maps Allow Journey Through Time In Your Browser
  • Map of the Geography of Abortion Access in the US
  • On the geography of languages, here's entries named World Maps of Language Families, World Maps of Language Families, Continued, and Remaining Language Families and Geographical Language Groups
  • Let's close this batch mode edition by another funny xkcd on mapping

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Avenza releases PDF Maps 1.6 update on iTunes App Store

- Geospatial PDF reader updated with new features and tools -

Toronto, ON, December 21 - Avenza Systems Inc., the leading developer of cartographic software –including MAPublisher® for Adobe® Illustrator® and Geographic Imager® geospatial tools for Adobe Photoshop®– is pleased to announce the release of PDF Maps 1.6, the latest version of the popular map and navigation app on the Apple iOS platform. The PDF Maps app allows users to explore and navigate maps offline without having to worry about cellular data connectivity or incur data roaming charges compared to other streaming map apps.

"The focus of this release is about enhancing existing features and tools to allow our users to experience, navigate, and view maps on Apple iOS devices even better" said Ted Florence, President of Avenza. "Many of the optimizations and improvements have stemmed from user feedback. We're listening to our users and creating tools that suit their needs. In the end, we're making a much better product than even we anticipated," he added.

This release of PDF Maps offers many features including:

  • Data collection - You can now create, import, and export attribute schemas with pick lists.
  • Improved organization - Added folders to the Map List and the ability to move maps between folders.
  • Nearby maps - Maps within 100 km will be shown when panning to the edges of a map.
  • Measure Tool optimization - Measure Area and Measure Direction tools are now merged into one tool. There is also a new option to create custom units.
  • New coordinate display format - Added the Degree Decimal Minutes format.
  • Add placemark optimization - Placemarks can now be added while following your current location.
  • GPS mode optimization - GPS mode is more tolerant to movements and allows adding placemarks while following your location.
  • Photos taken within the app are now saved to the Camera Roll.
  • Improved KML/KMZ file compatibility with Avenza MAPublisher and Esri software.


The PDF Maps app takes advantage of geospatial technology that allows travelers to view and measure real world locations and attributes. Paired together with mobile devices that utilize GPS, such as an iPhone or iPad, the PDF Maps app provides constant access to geographic locations and even points of interest without the risk of losing reception due to cell tower proximity – making it the ultimate traveling accessory for those that are enthusiastic about travel or anywhere internet bandwidth is not available or is cost-prohibitive when roaming internationally. In combination with the embedded map store PDF Maps takes map use commerce into the iTunes-like digital age previously reserved for music, books and videos.

PDF Maps is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge for personal use. For more information about the app and Avenza Map Store , visit the PDF Maps website. Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps in-app map store.

More about Avenza Systems Inc.

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services.

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Mike Dobson of Telemapics talks TeleAtlas, Apple, Garmin, and TomTom

Michael W. Dobson (Ph.D)  runs the TeleMapics organization.  TeleMapics provides independent advice on mapping, geospatial technology and solutions for applications that use geographic information. In this interview GPS Bites spoke to him about his views on the Apple partnership with TomTom, TeleAtlas, and his predictions for GPS and mapping over the next two years.  You can read the interview in full on the GPS Bites website on the link below:

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Google Employees Suggest Apple Approval of Google Maps App ‘Unlikely’

Discussed both on Slashdot and MacRumors, respectively, Google Doubts Apple Will Approve Its New Maps Application and Google Employees Suggest Apple Approval of Google Maps App 'Unlikely'.

The Slashdot summary: "Even though Apple's App Store has also been friendly enough to offer alternative mapping applications to ameliorate customers upset with Apple's new default Maps app, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company may not be so friendly as to approve a Maps app submission from Google, which used to be responsible for the Maps experience in iOS until the iPhone 5. On Monday, sources at Google familiar with its mapping plans said the chances of Apple approving a dedicated Google Maps app on iOS 6 are 'not optimistic.' Specifically, they pointed to the lack of any mapping app in the 'Find maps for your iPhone' section of the App Store — accessible only via iPhones or iPads — that use the Google Maps APIs to call wirelessly for location, routing or point-of-interest (POI) data."

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