Apple is taking Maps in the wrong direction

Apple hopes ‘real-time’ maps will be a Google beater

It won’t.

Simply, Apple is trying to look good without being good. Watching Big Ben and the London Eye turn is a fun party trick but it won’t help you get around London. Click on a London Underground station and you get no information on which lines run through it.

Apple needs to put a lot more energy into deep and accurate metadata in cities rather than eye-candy like this. There are still no subway line listings on subway stops in New York City. That should have been part of Apple Maps from day 1.

Here is a screen shot of Apple Maps around Grand Central Station in New York. Note that Grand Central is listed but not the two MTA subway lines that run under it: The 4, 5, and 6 (green) lines and the Shuttle:

applemaps_subway

Here is what Apple Maps shows when you click on a subway stop (the only one shown):

applemaps_subway2

If you’re trying to figure out how to get around New York on the subway, Apple Maps is useless.

Here is what Google Maps shows around Grand Central Station when you click on a subway stop:

googlemaps_subway

New York is a major world city. One would think Apple would have this kind of information for the most popular form of transportation but in fact, they don’t. Nothing in London either.

I want Apple to stop putting so much energy into the way things look, a bit more energy into the way things work (or don’t).

Pelicans, palisades, palm trees, and flare

Pelicans, palisades, palm trees, and flare

Santa Monica, California.

As we were walking on the Palisades I spotted a large group of birds flying north up the coast. As they got closer it became clear that they were pelicans. It’s tough enough to shoot groups of birds flying and then, when the only way to get them is through a group of palm trees getting a decent shot is near impossible. This was the only shot I had time to take and while far from perfect, I’m happy with it as a place marker for an amazing sight to see.

I attempted this kind of shot on an earlier visit to LA and this one I got yesterday may be a bit better.

2014 shot: Pelicans, palisades, palm trees, and flare.

Palm trunks

Palm trunk

Santa Monica, California.

We took a walk along the Santa Monica palisades and I noticed two palm trees with unusual rings on them. I took both RAW and high contrast JPEG images and these high contrast versions looked great to me. The grain added more texture to what was already interesting textured patterns.

Sitting in the sun with a nice ocean breeze was quite a contrast from driving to JFK yesterday morning after the snow storm. I had to blow a foot of snow off our driveway at 4:00 am. just to get the truck out.

Palm trunk

Christopher Guest Channels Best in Show for Brilliantly Bizarre PetSmart Ads

Christopher Guest Channels Best in Show for Brilliantly Bizarre PetSmart Ads

Oh my god, these are incredible. If you don’t know the work of Christopher Guest then you’ll still appreciate the idea of “pet-obsessed nutjobs” but Guest’s improvisational, “documentary” style is a perfect fit for these ads.

If you were a fan of Christopher Guest’s classic movie Best in Show, PetSmart has the perfect campaign for you.

The brand, with agency GDS&M, hired the writer, actor and filmmaker to direct a set of commercials in his signature mockumentary style, under the tagline “Partners in Pethood.” The results are, unsurprisingly, great.

Best in Show remains one of Guest’s best movies of all time, hilarious and if you get the DVD, don’t forget to watch the extras and outtakes, they’re as good or better than the movie.