Apple has posted over three dozen new job postings on its website seeking “ground truth” verification and software engineering specialists for locations all over the world. The expansion follows hiring for “ground truth” staff back in February to help the company improve its maps of rural Australia. Apple also recently acquired two mapping companies — Locationary, which specialized in business listings, and HopStop for transit data.
The listings include jobs in Paris, Milan, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Instanbul, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Prague, Cork (Ireland), Mexico City, Santiago, Munich, Auckland, Barcelona, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Montreal, Abu Dhabi, Haifa, Hong Kong, London, Warsaw, Sydney (Australia) and US cities New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC.
Although Apple Maps has improved since its initial, embarrassing launch that gained it a reputation for multiple flaws, including mislabeled or misplaced locations, the new hires demonstrate a continuing commitment to building the program up to and even surpassing the standards of its competitors, most notably Google Maps. Apple was forced to enter the map business when Google — which had been supplying the map data for the previous Maps program on iOS — refused to incorporate advanced features present in the Android version, such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration and traffic conditions.
The poor initial launch of Apple’s own Maps is thought to be one of the reasons former SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall was terminated. Now, more than a year later, Maps continually beats Google’s offering in driving head-to-head competitions, but still receives criticism primarily for its lack of transit and walking directions not to mention some geo areas being poorly covered in the app.