Justin O'Beirne

Justin O'Beirne of San Francisco, California. Essays, projects, and contact information.

CARTOGRAPHY COMPARISON
GOOGLE MAPS & APPLE MAPS

PART 1

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So far, we’ve counted shields and text labels separately. And Google tended to show more of each.

Let’s quickly add up the totals for both shields and text labels to see the overall number of road labels on each map:

As expected, Google Maps has a higher combined total for all three cities.

Let’s plot our counts...

...and average them out:

Google Maps, on average, labels more roads than Apple Maps—in some cases, many more—on all but two zooms.

This is especially interesting, given that Apple shows more roads than Google.

Looking at the graph above, the biggest average difference in road labels between the two maps is at z9. Let’s take a quick look at that zoom across our three cities:

New York
Google: 20 Road Labels
Apple: 1 Road Label

*   *   *

San Francisco
Google: 16 Road Labels
Apple: 0 Road Labels

*   *   *

London
Google: 22 Road Labels
Apple: 6 Road Labels

*   *   *
 

We’re seeing some really interesting results so far:

Apple is labeling more cities. And Apple is also showing more roads. But Google has more road labels.

Our z8 maps from earlier capture the pattern better than any map we’ve seen so far:

The Google map has more road labels19 more than Apple. And the Apple map has more city labels34 more than Google.

Two very different views of the same area!

 

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