Revisiting Apple Maps

A Paris hotel's locationOccasionally, I make decisions which make me question my own sanity. For example, last Monday, I arrived in Paris via the Eurostar, after attending a funeral in the morning. What's the obvious thing to do next? Grab a bite to eat? Jump in a cab to the hotel? Have a wee drinkie?

No.

Thumbnail image for Walking Paris with Apple MapsApparently, it's to check in on Apple Maps for the first time in over a year. Like many people who upgraded to iOS 6 back in 2012, I played with Apple Maps a couple of times, got terrible results, and abandoned it as soon as the Google Maps app was released. I'd decided to walk to my hotel - it was only 20 minutes away, and you wait way longer than that for a cab at Gare du Nord. Besides, once a cabbie left me the wrong side of Paris at completely the wrong hotel. Not feeling the love for the Parisian cab driver.  And so needed directions, and I'd rather have them without wandering the backstreets of Paris with my phone in front of me the entire journey. I looked up the hotel in Apple Maps on my iPhone, stuck some music on, and allowed the voice to guide me the whole way, only getting it out of my pocket once to check exactly where I was meant to be going.

And I arrived. I was exactly where I needed to be without any problems at all. This was not my experience of using Apple Maps a year ago, when it once delivered me to completely the wrong street for a breakfast meeting.

Suitably impressed, I used it for the rest of my stay. I made an ad hoc decision that evening to check the walking route back to my hotel from the point the Official Blogger party bus dropped me off rather than just using the Metro. 15 minute walk? Fine. And I arrived no problem at all. 

That encouraged me to start looking at some of the other functions I'd pretty much ignored. The 3D modelling of the area around the hotel was recognisably the right place (see the image at the top of this post). And how about the venue for LeWeb itself?

That looks pretty familiar:

Eurosites Les DocksIt also reveals that there's a dirty great pile of aggregates (or similar) just beyond the venue that I never realised was there...

Pretty decent work from the Apple team, it appears. Now I'll be giving it a work out here in provincial West Sussex to see if it holds up outside a major European capital.