Apple is turning to freelancers to help improve the accuracy of Apple Maps, as the company looks to make the mapping service a better competitor to Google Maps.
Apple Maps may still have a long way to go after its disastrous launch in 2012, but it has since considerably improved as continued efforts show that Apple has not given up on the service.
Apple Enlists Freelancers For Apple Maps Improvement
A report by French blog iGeneration revealed that Apple has turned to contracted freelancers to validate the information portrayed on Google Maps. In exchange for their efforts, the freelancers receive micropayments.
Apple has signed up freelancers in France to help with Apple Maps through a platform named TryRating. According to the report, the platform pays freelancers an average of 54 cents per task, with each task able to be finished in just a few minutes. The agreement with the freelancers limits the number of tasks completed per week to 600 tasks, with the maximum number of hours worked per week at 20 hours. This ensures that the work will not be regulated as a full-time job.
An example task is to verify the accuracy and relevance of the results that appear in Apple Maps for a search for McDonald's in a particular location. The task of a freelancer would be to make sure that the list of McDonald's outlets that appear after the search are really close to the location, the addresses of the branches are correct, and so on.
The current documentations for the freelance work for Apple Maps is said to be over 200 pages long. The data received from the freelancers is then fed back to the Apple Maps system to improve it.
Interestingly, Apple recommends freelancers to use Google Street View to verify locations, in addition to using the satellite date of Apple Maps.
Apple Maps To Hire Freelancers In The United States?
The report claims that the selection process for the freelancers who help improve the accuracy of Apple Maps is unclear. However, it seems that they are recruited with the help of a third-party subcontractor.
With the hiring of freelancers, Apple skips the need to train its own workers for the job. This also allows for the checking of the accuracy of Apple Maps over a wide location, as freelancers can be hired from any part of the country.
The system, which is said to be in operation since at least August of last year, is similar to Amazon's Mechanical Turk, which allows people to make money by taking on simple tasks. Apple is also reported to be updating the rules for the system this month, and that it will also launch a new tool to expand the number of tasks that freelancers can work on.
With the improvements coming soon to the system and its apparent usefulness, it should not take long for Apple to introduce the TryRating platform in the United States.