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Where in the world am I?

This week saw the launch of iOS6, the latest in Apple's mobile operating system iterations. For the most part, it's been a decent incremental upgrade, with lots of new little tweaks, such as Facebook integration, and the ability to update applications without inputing a password. However, the big feature that's been getting all the press is the new mapping app.

In Apple's bid to rid themselves of Google "taint", they decided to make their own mapping service, but I think it's become very apparent, that it's not as easy as it looks. Many places are mis-located, or labels are wrong (especially internationally), causing no end to the hilarity of people posting screenshots of mistakes. There's a reason why Google Maps is king, and it's based on why my friend Wes so aptly put forth, that Google is a data company, and Apple is not (yet). Providing good mapping data requires good... well... data. Google has it. Apple, and other competitors don't. I think eventually Apple will get there, but for the time being, they're going to take a beating on this one for quite a while.

There is one positive I want to point out however. Apple utilizes vector drawn maps, as opposed to image tiles. This speeds up map rendering tremendously, and I think is the real winning feature of the new Apple maps. It also allows for much more dynamic rendering of labels, and will give a much better user experience overall. If Apple can get over this bad data hump, I think their mapping solution will shine, but they're playing catch-up right now to the big data daddy.

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