How Accurate are Apple’s Maps in Ontario? [CHART]


You might not be having issues with Apple Maps in your area, but some people are. Jason Matheson fired up Xcode (via Daring Fireball) and wrote code to determine just how accurate Apple’s new Maps are in Ontario. This was after he upgraded from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 5.

Here are the results of Jason’s research:

  • 2028 cities and towns searched
  • 688 are not even on the map! Error Code 8
  • 551 are clearly incorrect (wrong country, street names that are similar to town names etc.)
  • 389 were close but not good enough (for example turn-by-turn might send you off a bridge but you’ll get rescued close to where you want to be)
  • Only about 400 results were actually correct.

Moreover, Jason had this to say about his experience of Apple Maps in Canada (is it a fair analysis?):

So Apple basically screwed over all iPhone users in Canada this time around. What’s troubling is that many of these towns don’t even appear on the map.

Unfortunately I’m locked into another 3-year contract. The Apple website states that the new Maps App is the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever. I got suckered. I know I know. Add the web-based Google Maps back to the Home Screen and stop complaining right?

Earlier today, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a sincere apology letter detailing how Maps “fell short on this commitment” to provide the best experience to customers, and suggested alternative maps to use in his statement.

For those in Ontario–how has Apple’s Maps fared for you? Does it convey any of the results of Jason’s research? You can check out the full Ontario search results here.


  • WeebSurfer

    Screwed over Canada THIS TIME AROUND??? We’re obviously in a position to get used to it me thinks! Apple needs to seriously reconsider some of their strategies. I love my iPhone but limitations based on region and phone versions only one or two back are gonna make the most dedicated of us jump ship!

  • OliChabot


  • Fredrik

    I’ve used it a few times here in Toronto and it has done a great job.

  • gerry

    It works fine but one time it sent me to the wrong house, other than 6 doors up than where I was suppose to go. I knew where my friend lived but thought I’d give it a shot to see how it works.

  • thraxisp

    I tried a few addresses, and it has exactly the same errors as the TomTom GPS I returned last year. In southern Ontario, the endpoints are up to 3 blocks from the exact destination. It would be nice if Apple added a feedback mechanism to correct the errors.

  • Spencer

    I tested Jason’s tabulated results on my iPhone 4S and found that Apple Maps cannot find Ahmic Harbour and Alban but the rest are drop pinned in approximate correct locations of Google Maps. Actually in 2 cases ( Addison & Adelaide), Google pinned the road of the namesake rather than the town. Apple Maps tends to pin local businesses with the namesake, like Ailsa Craig public lib. I don’t know Ontario well enough to judge the results but my quick test didn’t show the abissmal results Jason indicated. Thankfully I have not find any error in metro Vancouver BC where I live, so far!


  • Avernar

    I did a search for Killarney, Ontario a few hours ago and it showed it to be at the mouth of the French River. So while I knew there were mistakes I didn’t know they were this many.

  • Avernar

    If you don’t add the “, Onatario” at the end, Apple Maps doesn’t search for towns but businesses.

  • spencer

    I did in all my searches otherwise Adelaide would have sent me to Australia like what happened to Jason.

  • Avernar

    Just checked a couple of towns my friends are near this week. Minden and Dorset are missing.

  • MikeDodge

    Does anyone really want to visit Minden and Dorset?? Again, Apple delivers us what we didn’t even know we wanted yet.

  • Jonathan W.

    Jumped ship a few months before iOS6, and I’m glad I did. I do hope Apple manages to address these map issues soon though…maybe by users through the built-in reporting system?

  • keneo

    I am curious. Did you send in an error report when you discovered the mistake? Does anyone even know how to find the error reporting link?

  • gerry

    I emailed Apple in their feedback form on their site explaining the error. As for error reporting, I would assume you just email them than trying to find a link to report it.

  • KosmoBo

    There is a feedback mechanism – use “Report problem” when you “turn” the page of the map.

  • Anon

    North Bay, On shows as being at the top of a Ontario hydro access road… About 8km away from the city center and practically at the outskirts of town.. Satellite imagery for the core of the city is that garbage black and white crap… Don’t understand how they could’ve mucked this one up so badly, seems like unless you live in a bigger city you get just standard view.

  • Farids

    I am using maps almost every day and haven’t had any problems yet

  • Seems to be fine for Toronto/GTA, although when searching for specific addresses, they seem to get plotted a little off.

  • Christopher Jones

    The link is right in the app, even easier than email. Curl the bottom right corner up, and tap on the text that says Report an Problem, just above the Print button

  • Christopher Jones

    Curl the bottom right corner up, and tap on the text that says Report an Problem, just above the Print button.

  • thraxisp

    I found that. There is no obvious report that says “This address is in the wrong location”. The “Search results are incorrect” pulls up a list os searches excluding full addresses. “Street label incorrect” asks you to label a street on the map. “Problem with directions” pulls up your direction searches. “Location is missing” is probably the closest as it gives you a pin and asks you to label it without explanation. MAybe the first fix should be the feedback mechanism…

  • mrideas

    Definitely leaves a lot to be desired. They had big shoes to fill replacing google maps. Tried to find an address in Fergus, On that was new but on an existing street. Wouldn’t do it. However stripping away the street number it was fine. Annoying when searching from your contacts. One thing I do like is integration of Find Friends app with maps. Was able to find my buddy at side of highway and then get accurate directions to the correct side of the 401.(ie. Westbound lanes not eastbound) That impressed me.

    It’s easy on the eyes but accuracy is more important than pretty. It’s about. 5/10 compared to the old map app IMHO.

  • Anthony ?

    Not sure what this actually means, but ok.

  • Anthony ?

    I’ve found it to be very good around Toronto and the GTA, but obviously there is a lot of missing data in the smaller towns and further north. It does seem to work fine if you put in GPS coordinates for more out of the way locations. I used it a couple of months ago in beta to drive to a friend’s cottage up in the middle of nowhere and it got me exactly where I needed to go, but if I searched for the address of the cottage it couldn’t find it.

    I think part of the problem is that Google Maps is much better at finding locations based on keywords and more general references, while Apple Maps seems to require very specific wording in order to locate an address. Unfortunately, most people won’t always get the address exactly right. If I had used Apple Maps to get to my friend’s place without the GPS coordinates, I would never have got there.

    Personally, the Street View and Satellite view stuff doesn’t bother me since I don’t really use it. The ability to tell Siri “take me somewhere” and have it work is really nice, but obviously won’t help if “somewhere” can’t be found.

    I can highly recommend the Navigon North America app. I’ve used it for a couple of years now, and it’s very accurate and especially helpful when driving in the US (without data service) since the maps I need are stored on the device.

    But ya, Apple has a lot of work to do outside of the major urban areas.

  • WeebSurfer

    I didnt think
    I was being all that cryptic. It means apple, being such a solid international company, needs to smarten the hell up and stop making silly decisions/mistakes like this. Customer satisfaction seems to be taking the back seat in many fascits of their business model.

  • Leon1967

    I really don’t understand – google maps on iPhone were so bad. I couldn’t use. All GPS having limitations

  • Dean

    I’m holding on to iOS5.1.1 for now. I use the maps traffic a lot and when I compared my iphone4 maps on 5.1.1 to a friend’s iPhone4 upgraded to ios6 there was virtually no traffic reported.