When it comes to maps, Google has Apple’s number. Despite Apple Maps being found on every iPhone and iPad, Google Maps is ubiquitous in a way that Apple’s cartographic offering simply isn’t.
One of many reasons for this is that Google Maps can be easily embedded into websites. That means that if you’re using a website to navigate to, say, an Airbnb online, there’s a good chance you’ll be directed to Google Maps. But Apple is taking steps to change all that.
As is the case with Google Maps, MapKit JS map rendering is optimized for various browsers and devices. It supports native gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, two-finger rotate, and more. You can also add annotations and overlays, and employ Apple Map services like Search and Directions from inside the browser.
Improving Apple Maps
In some ways, this may sound like a relatively minor feature. But it’s also important because it enhances the visibility of Apple Maps, and could help chip away at Google’s dominance in this domain.
For the past six years, Apple has been fighting to overcome the early negative perception of its Maps. When it launched in 2012, Apple Maps was widely ridiculed as a flop. Early Map problems ranged from depicting horribly warped landscapes to directing folks visiting the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska, to drive across one of the taxiways.
Since then, Apple has worked hard to change perceptions about the software. For several years, Apple has been updating the service every single day to try and keep it current. It has also investigated technologies like indoor mapping and mapping cars for keeping it current. Most recently, Apple gained permission to use drones to improve Apple Maps’ images as part of the U.S. Transportation’s new drone program.
Embedding Maps onto websites is just one more step in the right direction!
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