[*] There is method in the iOS map madness

As many others, when I upgraded my iPhone to iOS 6 I noticed that the points of interest in the new map application were all over the place. I initially thought that they were just at random locations, but actually it’s not (always) the case. I realized that many are located as if the streets were much wider than they really are, to the point they sometime overlap with the next parallel street. So the points of interest are pushed away from the streets into the buildings, and sometimes they are closer to the next street – which is very confusing.

Not clear? Here is an example. This is in Paris, but I have seen the same thing in many places (though it certainly does not explain all the problems!) In the figure, the businesses on ‘Rue d’Enghien’ are located as if the street was extended to the pink lines and those on ‘Rue de l’Echiquier’ as if that second street was extended to the orange lines. The businesses on the map are moved as shown by the arrows, and thus the places on those two streets are mixed up.

Location shift example

It’s crazy that such a blatant error made it to the released product, but it should be quite easy to solve – maybe just tweaking a parameter in the geocoding algorithm and those locations will be back to the right place!

Now I wonder if there is such a pattern that explains why so many businesses are in the wrong category ;-)

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