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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

Dunking it out at the Smartphone MobileMapping App Corral: Apple, Google, And The Competition
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Hanan Samet (Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland)
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Tuesday, 09.07.2013, 14:30
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Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
The recent introduction of the Apple iPhone 5 and the accompanying iOS6 software environment which, among other changes, replaced the use of a mapping App based on Google's map data with one that makes use of Apple's map data, as well as changing the decisions as to what data is displayed (served to the user) in responses to queries (especially implicit ones through the manipulation of the viewing window), has led to significant changes in the user experience with apps that make use of map data and has resulted in closer scrutiny of mapping applications on mobile devices. Many of these changes in the user experience deal with the quality of the data that is being produced and presented to the user, and has led to a wide ranging discussion of data quality and the seeming lack of use of quality assurance policies and protocols by Apple. These are widely documented in web postings, and have generally been fixed soon after being disclosed. However, equally important are significant changes in the manner in which, and the amount and nature of, the data that is presented to the user, but, surprisingly, not much attention has been paid to this aspect of the user experience which is somewhat analogous to the concept of the ``last mile'' when discussing the bandwidth of communications networks and its associated costs. The changes in the presentation and in the amount of data that is presented to the user on the Apple iOS platform (using the iOS6 Apple Maps App and the iOS5 Google Maps App), with an emphasis on mobile devices with a small form factor such as smartphones, are tabulated and compared along with other mapping Apps such as the iOS apps of Bing, Nokia (called HERE Maps), ESRI (called ArcGIS), MapQuest, OpenStreetMap (whose open source map data forms the basis of OpenSeaMap which is used here), and a new one from Google (termed iOS Google Maps) which was designed as a means to enable the use of the Google map data in iOS (both iOS5 and iOS6). We also compare these apps on the Apple iOS platform with the Google Maps App on the Android platform. * Best Paper Award, 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Mobile Geographic Information Systems (MobiGIS 2012), Redondo Beach, CA, November 2012. PART OF THE ACM DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER PROGRAM ** Joint work with Brendan C. Fruin and Sarana Nutanong Biography: Hanan Samet ( is a Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and is a member of the Institute for Computer Studies. He is also a member of the Computer Vision Laboratory at the Center for Automation Research where he leads a number of research projects on the use of hierarchical data structures for database applications involving spatial data. He has a Ph.D from Stanford University. His doctoral dissertation dealt with proving the correctness of translations of LISP programs which was the first work in translation validation and the related concept of proof carrying code. He is the author of the recent book "Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures" published by Morgan-Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, in 2006 (, an award winner in the 2006 best book in Computer and Information Science competition of the Professional and Scholarly Publishers (PSP) Group of the American Publishers Association (AAP), and of the first two books on spatial data structures titled "Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures" and "Applications of Spatial Data Structures: Computer Graphics, Image Processing and GIS" published by Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1990. He is the Founding Editor-In-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and System (TSAS), the founding chair of ACM SIGSPATIAL, a recipient of the 2009 UCGIS Research Award, 2011 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, the 2010 CMPS Board of Visitors Award at the University of Maryland, a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, AAAS, and IAPR (International Association for Pattern Recognition), and an ACM Distinguished Speaker. He received best paper awards in the 2008 SIGMOD Conference and the 2008 SIGSPATIAL ACMGIS'08 Conference, and a best demo award at the 2011 SIGSPATIAL ACMGIS'11 Conference. His paper at the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) was selected as one of the best papers for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering.