Former Head of Cartography for Apple Justin O’Beirne is in the middle of writing a four-part essay detailing the differences of Google Maps vs. Apple Maps.
The main design difference O’Beirne focused on in part one of his essay was the way Google Maps vs. Apple Maps labeled cities, roads and places. He found that Apple Maps labels cities more, while Google Maps focused on labeling roads more.
Secondly, while both map apps have a similar number of points of interest, they shows drastically different places, with only a 15 percent overlap. The categories that O’Beirne used to calculate this are: Things To-Do and See, Eat and Drink, Shopping and Services, Airports, Transit Stations, Universities, Hospitals and Other.
Google Maps prioritizes transit-related points of interest, according to O’Beirne, before showing Eat and Drink places at the more zoomed-in views. Apple Maps returns Things To-Do and See places and landmarks before focusing on the Shopping, Services and Eat and Drink categories.