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Apple might start making travel recommendations in Maps app

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‘Help build and grow a brand-new content category for the Apple Maps team,’ says job description

Apple Maps relies upon third parties like Wikipedia and Yelp.

Apple appears ready to add its own opinions about locations in its Maps app, much in the same way it curates the App Store with developer interviews, guides, and recommendations authored by Apple. At the moment, Apple relies heavily on third-party services like Yelp and Wikipedia to describe businesses and points of interest found in Apple Maps. Apple’s expanded editorial role is hinted at by a (now deleted) job description for an Apple Maps writer / editor position in California, which was posted on Monday.

The “Product Manager - Maps, Writer/Editor” job in Culver City, California, will “help build and grow a brand-new content category for the Apple Maps team,” according to the listing, by working with internal Apple stakeholders and “strategically meaningful external partners.”

Whoever fills the role will be responsible for the creation of content that helps people explore their local community or places they’d like to visit. “[Apple] is looking for someone to help build exciting and engaging editorial content to help Maps users explore their world,” reads the job description. “Whether that’s locally, or when they’re planning an amazing vacation.”

Further clues can be found in these qualifications:

  • “Insatiable curiosity for discovering new places and a passion for telling the world in an engaging manner”
  • “Knowledge of food, travel, and shopping trends”
  • “Strong editing skills to help craft engaging digital content”

Apple Maps, the most popular mapping app for iOS users, faces fierce competition from the more mature and feature-rich Google Maps app. Google helps its users find the best a location has to offer through its Local Guides service in select cities, its built-in recommendation engine on a dedicated For You tab, and an ability to poll friends for suggestions without ever leaving the app. Apple added a Today tab to the App Store to surface its own editorialized content.

Apple announced the new App Store with an editorially curated Today tab at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June 2017. It eventually arrived with iOS 11 before hitting the web store in 2019. With any luck, we’ll see a preview of the new Apple Maps with curated content at WWDC 2020, whatever form that developer conference might take in the age of coronavirus cancelations.

Apple declined to comment on this story.

Update March 4th, 3:15pm ET: Apple has since removed the job listing from its website. An archived copy of the listing can be viewed here.