Maps Transit

Apple is looking to expand its efforts in crowdsourcing data to improve its Maps app for iOS and OS X, according to hints in a new job listing on the company’s site.

So far Apple’s efforts in crowdsourcing data to improve its Maps app has been limited to its own data collection projects and the “Report a problem” function in the Maps app. It also collects crowdsourced data from iOS’s Frequent Locations feature if users allow it. But the new job listings hint at Apple’s interest in expanding the user feedback feature, including through Maps integration in Siri and Passbook.

The job posting is seeking a “Community Client Software Engineer” for the Maps team to work on “building and extending the Maps application to allow Apple to crowdsource improvements to the Maps experience.” More specifically, Apple wants someone to work on developing new data crowdsourcing features through “high-level UI development and architecture of the “Report a Problem” feature of the Maps application.” It also hints at collecting crowdsourced data through Maps integration with apps like Siri and Passbook:

You’ll also be working on the frameworks and plugins that enable Maps to integrate deeply and seamlessly with parts of the system such as Siri and Passbook, to extend and enhance the feedback experience.

Apple has improved on its Report a Problem feature that allows user-submitted corrections somewhat since first launching Maps, but it doesn’t include features like real-time crowdsourced traffic alerts. Those have been made popular by apps like Waze, the maps app with a focus on user submitted data that Google acquired last year.

Apple recently resumed its own crowdsourcing efforts for Maps using Ground Truth contributors around the globe following some shake-ups on the Maps team. Troubles for the Maps team might not be over, however, as last month we reported Apple had lost a top Maps app manager, who served as Senior Engineering Manager, Maps Apps & Community, following a notable number of exits in recent months.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.