Uber poaches Apple Maps senior engineer

“Uber has poached Chris Blumenberg, a senior engineering manager who worked on Apple Maps, according to three people familiar with the move,” Jessica E. Lessin reports for The Information. “Blumenberg was one of the first engineers to work on the iPhone software and was a senior leader on Apple’s iOS team.”

“Apple Maps has had some turnover since its very buggy launch in 2012,” Lessin reports. “The service has improved, but the unit can probably use all the geolocation talent it can get to compete with maps behemoth Google. The same is likely true of Uber: Its sophisticated routing system system relies on correctly pinpointing users’ locations. Could new mapping products be in the works?”

Full article (subscriptiuon required) here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Is this really a loss? If he’s been with maps since the beginning and it launched in the condition it did is he really valuable? I know he is one of many but to me it seems he has probably wanted to leave since the debacle and Scott Forstall leaving/being push out.

    1. Maps had problems that were arguably overblown. It was being compared to Google maps (which still has problems by the way) even though Google maps had been in production for years.

      I still believe the engineers were forced to release that product and that it was an exec decision to not call it beta.

      1. A reminder: Google didn’t actually create Google Maps. Instead, Google bought prior technology that became Google Earth, which became Google Maps. IOW: Google bought already established excellent technology and then elaborated upon it. Whereas, Apple set out mostly from scratch putting together Apple Maps, a harder road to hoe, so to speak. Apple obviously did it in too much of a hurry, a few months before they actually ended their contract with Google, with predictable results.

        Competition in the technology market is always an excellent idea. Thankfully, we have a few different map options these days, hopefully keeping pressure on Apple to further improve Apple Maps. Whether losing Chris Blumenberg hobbles that effort, we shall see.

        1. A reminder: Apple didn’t actually create Apple Maps. Instead, Apple bought prior technology that became Apple Maps.

          Apple acquired multiple companies to create their maps app. Placebase was the company that brought the base mapping tech, Poly9 and C3 were acquired for the 3D layer.

          Neither company started “from scratch” on their mapping solutions.

  2. Apple could do worse than link up with NavFree, and ditch TomTom. I’ve been using NavFree a lot lately, and it gives consistently better and more direct routes than CoPilot Live, Apple Maps and Google Maps, showing routes along decent country roads that none of the others even recognise as existing.

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