Tokyo Olympics Apple Maps: Death by Point of Interest by Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

Apple tells Engadget Japan reporter Masaichi Honda that Apple Maps Japan will be ready for the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2020. Apple Maps will have robust indoor maps for tall buildings and underground station malls in Tokyo, and Real-time transit for better transit route searching and transit updates. That is exactly one year from now, far into the iOS 13 life cycle. Honda san also reports that Apple is not ready to show Japanese reporters a demo yet, not an encouraging sign.
In addition to the Apple Maps image collection vans combing Japan right now, WWDC19 unveiled the Indoor Maps Program for registered developers and building owners to map indoor areas and encode the data using (Apple’s ?) Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF). Once the data is encoded in IMDF, surveyed and validated, developers and building owners can use the data in their apps and designate indoor areas to share on Apple Maps.
That’s great for building owners to indoor map their own building. What about shared public places like Shinjuku Station which is spread out and shared by 8 different owners? There is also the localization problem. It’s one thing to indoor map for Japanese users, but who’s going to localize all those Point of Interest (POI) icons and information sheets in English, Chinese, Spanish, etc. That costs serious time and money.
Let’s take a comparison look at indoor maps of the primary entrance gate for inbound visitors coming to the Tokyo Olympics next year: Tokyo Station, and compare Yahoo Japan Maps, Apple Maps and Google Maps.
Yahoo Japan Maps
Yahoo Japan Maps only offers Japanese language but it has best cartography and attention to small details that matter, like yellow station exit signage colors that match what you find on the ground. Apple and Google don’t.
Yahoo Japan Maps Tokyo Station indoor mappingGet Link to VideoSharePlay Video Yahoo Japan Maps Tokyo Station Indoor mapping
Apple Maps Japan
Apple Maps does not offer indoor station mapping in Japan. It does offer multilingual support but judging from the English Point of Interest information, it’s not robust. As usual Apple Maps Japan overwhelms users with Point of Interest icons. It’s map death by Point of Interest. There’s a lot of fixing Apple needs to do if they want to present a good map product in time for the Olympics.
Apple Maps Tokyo Station (no indoor mapping)Get Link to VideoSharePlay Video Apple Maps Japan Tokyo Station (as yet no indoor station mapping)
Google Maps Japan
Google Maps offers indoor mapping for Tokyo Station in multiple languages. For all the detail Google offers here, it’s much less helpful than Yahoo Japan Maps. For high density areas like Tokyo, good cartography and smart editing makes all the difference between a good map and lousy one.
Google Maps Tokyo Station indoor mappingGet Link to VideoSharePlay Video Google Maps Japan Tokyo Station

A solid breakdown by Joel yet again. He harps on the same topics around this. I hope someday someone from Apple Japan will listen.

There is an Western fellow in the pub. He moved seats (without asking), moved furniture (blocking the narrow walkway), and has his shoe-clad feet propped up on another seat – all so he can monopolize the one power outlet in the place.

Oh, and he left trash where he was sitting before.

I thought he was an American. I felt some misplaced responsibility for correcting him. How to do so? I was formulating a narrative where neither the pub nor the dude would get embarrassed.

And then the dude opened his mouth. He’s European. And thus, I am not his keeper.

Emacs! In the New York Times!:

Paul Ford, co-founder and chief executive of Postlight, has a delightful paean to open source in The New York Times Magazine. In the article, Letter of Recommendation: Bug Fixes, Fords talks about the joys of open source and the pleasures of browsing through a program’s history with a version control system like Git. He says he likes to read commits like a newspaper. It tells him what he can do today that he couldn’t do yesterday. One of the main examples he gives of an important open source project is Emacs.

He talks about Emacs going back 40 years and how much one can learn by examining how the code evolved. Over 600 people made almost 140,000 commits to make Emacs what it is today. It is, he says, the Ship of Theseus in code form. Ford remarks, “I read the change logs, and I think: Humans can do things.

None of this is news to Irreal readers, of course, but it is significant that it’s appearing in a general purpose publication like the New York Times. Most often, what we do appears to be mysterious and arcane to the general public. Ford does a good job of capturing the flavor of some of it.

(Via Irreal)

Sweet! It’s a bit Utopia-ish, but I like the shout out for Emacs (naturally).

Stack:

Gotta feel kind of bad for nation-state hackers who spend years implanting and cultivating some hardware exploit, only to discover the entire target database is already exposed to anyone with a web browser.

(Via xkcd)

‘bout right.