“Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been feeding geographical information into Google’s mapping database for years — searching for addresses, sharing my location, checking for traffic jams on Google Maps,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “Google, for its part, has been scraping that data for every nugget of intelligence its computers can extract.”
“Apple, by building its much-loved (and now much-missed) iPhone Maps app on Google’s mapping database, has been complicit in this Herculean data collection exercise since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007,” P.E.D. reports. “In Saturday’s New York Times, Op Ed columnist Joe Nocera asks: ‘If Steve Jobs were still alive, would the new map [sic] application on the iPhone 5 be such an unmitigated disaster? Interesting question, isn’t it?’ No Joe, it’s not an interesting question. It’s the No. 1 cliché of the post-Jobsian era.”
P.E.D. reports, “Besides, the decision to pull the plug on Google’s mapping database at the end of what was probably a five-year contract had to have been made while Jobs was running the company. ‘Not doing its own Maps would be a far bigger mistake,’ says Asymco’s Horace Dediu, who addressed the issue at length in last week’s Critical Path podcast. ‘The mistake was not getting involved in maps sooner, which was on Jobs’ watch. Nokia saw the writing on the wall five years ago and burned $8 billion to get in front of the problem. The pain Apple feels now is deferred from when they decided to hand over that franchise to Google at the beginning of iPhone.'”
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