Baidu Maps might beat Street View in terms of magic.
I love that Baidu Maps are just Sim City 2000.
Finally, Official ‘Ice And Fire’ Maps of the Day: (Embiggen.) Better late than never: While many impressive fan-made maps have made the rounds, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin finally is giving us “an official collection of insanely detailed maps — with versions that track the movements of all the main characters.”
The Lands of Ice and Fire is out Tuesday.
*Insert Apple Maps joke here.*
I was a guest on Rene Ritchie’s iMore podcast last night. Naturally, there was a lot of talk about Apple. Oh, and that Maps situation.
Unlike Joe Nocera, Jean-Louis Gassée (obviously) understands Apple and is much more thoughtful when it comes to the Maps situation.
He takes a quick swipe at the press coverage of the situation:
Pageview-driven commenters do the expected. After having slammed the “boring” iPhone 5, they reversed course when preorders exceed previous records, and now they reverse course again when Maps shows a few warts.
Then he goes after Nocera himself:
Even Joe Nocera, an illustrious NYT writer, joins the chorus with a piece titled Has Apple Peaked? Note the question mark, a tired churnalistic device, the author hedging his bet in case the peak is higher still, lost in the clouds. The piece is worth reading for its clichés, hyperbole, and statements of the obvious: “unmitigated disaster”, “the canary in the coal mine”, and “Jobs isn’t there anymore”, tropes that appear in many Maps reviews.
Gassée faults Apple for poor wording and marketing around what is clearly not a superior product. I agree with that. In their iOS 6 preview events and the iPhone 5 event, Apple set up their Maps as better than Google Maps. That’s silly and clearly not true. This opened the door wider than it normally would have been for backlash.
Like “Antennagate” before it, the Maps situation is largely being blown way out of proportion. But that is partially Apple’s fault.
Asked by Anonymous
Okay, some of these are pretty good.
Scott Rafer responding to Anil Dash’s iOS 6 Maps rage:
What’s missing from this conversation is that map usage is critical. Regardless of Google’s PR success in the Atlantic’s unintentionally misleading Google Ground Truth infomercial, more than half of Google’s mobile map usage is going away in the next month or two. I love the Atlantic, but they got punkd. Usage makes maps better a lot faster than software does.
Rafer knows this space well as he’s right in the middle of it. For all the bluster about Maps in iOS 6, I’m surprised how little has been mentioned about the fact that this change is bad for Google too. Really bad.
As Rafer notes about Apple:
They need to stop making Google’s maps better, which is what they’ve been doing moment-in and moment-out for years.
Google had tens of million of iPhones and iPads and iPod touches working for them to bolster Google Maps until this morning with the launch of iOS 6. And not just in the Maps app, through the iOS SDK as well. Make no mistake, the change is going to have negative side effects on Google as well. Which is why I expect them to still make a Google Maps iOS app.
[via John Gruber]