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Apple Maps Now Includes Review Sources Other Than Yelp | DrivingSales News

Apple Maps Now Includes Review Sources Other Than Yelp

April 6, 2015 0 Comments


AppleInsider was the first to spot the recent addition of hotel and restaurant reviews from TripAdvisor and Booking.com in Apple Maps. The new review sources are for both U.S. and international locations, but appear to be primarily for outside of the United States, at least at this point.

In the past, Apple Maps has always relied solely on Yelp to provide reviews for local search, thereby allowing users to read point of interest reviews without leaving the app. Although neither TripAdvisor or Booking.com are listed as sources on Apple’s official Maps attribution webpage, reviews with links to their webpages and apps are now showing up in Maps queries.

Yelp reviews are still present in the results, and it seems that at this point they are being supplemented by data from TripAdvisor and Booking.com, as opposed to being entirely replaced. It is currently unclear what criteria is being used to determine whether the results of a search includes reviews from Yelp, TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

It has been suggested that the new feature may be the result of Apple’s purchase of Spotsetter, a startup that came up with its own algorithm to recommend points of interest to users based on social network contacts. Spotsetter has deals with TripAdvisor, Zagat and Yelp to deliver information, and it’s possible that Apple is now using them in Apple Maps.

Based on research by Search Engine Land, the new review sources are appearing in both mobile results and on the desktop version of Apple Maps. It seems that Booking.com is being used for hotel reviews in many cases, while TripAdvisor is being used for restaurants. However, with some search queries, it’s difficult to determine what pattern there is, if any. For example, a search for “hotels, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey” shows category results with reviews provided by Yelp. However, a search for “Days Inn in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey” shows an individual listing with TripAdvisor reviews. In this specific example, there are no Yelp reviews for this Days Inn. Therefore, it’s possible that Apple is trying fill holes that exist in Yelp’s coverage by including TripAdvisor and Booking.com reviews in its results. Search Engine Land conducted many other searches, and there was a great variety in terms of which service’s reviews were included in each search. Perhaps Apple is currently working on replacing Yelp content, or it’s possible that the concept is more complicated and will become clear soon.

Since its initial launch in 2012, Apple has been working to improve Maps, with Tim Cook having issued an open letter in which he apologized to consumers for not meeting their expectations with the app. The company has improved its directions and three-dimensional imagery since that time. However, some other changes, such as transit integration that was planned for iOS 8 last year, were pushed back, reportedly due to internal politics that slowed down Apple’s mapping efforts. It will be interesting to see how the new addition of TripAdvisor and Booking.com reviews will evolve in the coming period.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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