Apple is well aware that its new Maps app leaves a lot to be desired, and to bring it up to snuff, the iPad maker is aggressively recruiting ex-Googlers who helped build the maps against which all others are measured, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch yesterday.
And according to the source, who was involved in building Street View, many of the former Google employees Apple has approached are jumping at the opportunity to work for the search giant’s biggest rival.
Many of my coworkers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him. He had heard rumors for a while that Apple was going to develop its own in-house mapping platform, and given his experience at Google, he was an easy hire. Apple went out of their way to bring him down to Cupertino and he’s now paid handsomely as a GIS Analyst. Another coworker that was a project lead at Google Maps, left for the East Coast after his contract ended, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter. The position sounds like a product development manager position, and will pay him $85k+ and all the moving expenses from the East Coast. He’s gone through 2 rounds of interview and seems like a frontrunner to land that position.
Apple has its work cut out for it, the source said, but it’s conceivable that the company, with its vast resources, could catch up to Google in the maps market.
Apple has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to build a robust mapping platform to counter Google Maps, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s going out of its way to lure former and current Google Maps employees. At Google Maps, we know what data’s important, rendering priorities, keyword searches, and how the user experience is suppose to be. However, Apple needs to find a way to get its own 5 million miles of street view data, partner with the right folks, and spend a fortune on licensed data – which it can.