24 Nov 2016 – Driving and Maps

I don’t do a lot of driving. I think I only covered about 6,000Kms last year. I much prefer walking or public transport. However, it Australia, that isn’t; always practical and you just have to drive to get where you need to go. Today was a day where I had to do quite a lot of driving.

I am currently using Apple Maps for directions. I tend to alternate between Google Maps and Apple Maps depending on which one annoyed me the most recently. I know that map and directions is a hard problem, but it really should be better than it is. In one day, I managed to run into three example of Apple Maps stupidity.

First, I came across a bit of a traffic jam, in an area where it is pretty common. Because I know the area, I knew there this is a short backroads loop you can take to get around the jam. Apple Maps, for some reason, didn’t know this, and when I took the backroads route, stubbornly insisted that I u-turn back to the mess. Apple Maps was estimating 36 minutes to get through the jam, it took me 11 my way.

Second, Apple Maps did an intelligent re-reroute mid drive due to an accident, this involved doing a u-turn, which is fine. The call to change there route was the right one. This issue is the ridiculous number of turns it wanted me to take to execute this u-turn, when there was a u-turn bay right in front of me.

Finally, Apple Maps suggested another route change to save time, only it would not have saved me any time. Even the estimates that Apple Maps gave showed the current route as faster. No idea what went wrong there.

Google Maps isn’t any better and I get exactly the same kind of issues, and it feels to me like it should just be better than this by now.

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