After Apple's Maps app launched to negative reviews in 2012, the company has actively taken steps to enhance the fledgling navigation service, the latest effort being the addition of listings data from at least ten new companies.
Discovered by consulting firm Apple Maps Marketing through the recently activated Apple Maps Connect portal for small businesses, Apple now taps 13 providers for aggregating and supplying business listings data. Previously, known providers included Yelp, Factual and Neustar/Localeze.
As seen in the letter below from the Maps Connect team, Apple is currently accepting submissions only from large chains with at least 1,000 locations, what it calls "bulk submissions." All other point of interest data comes from a handful of companies.
Thank you for your recent inquiry and interest in publishing your business locations via our new Business Portal. At this time, we are only accepting bulk submissions from businesses with at least 1,000 locations. In the meantime, you may want to research the service offerings provided by the following companies that currently provide us business listing information on behalf of their clients: (in alphabetical order):
The letter ends with a boilerplate disclaimer that notes "information about third party services is provided for informational purposes only."
Launched last month, the Apple Maps Connect portal is a Web tool geared toward small business owners who want to be listed in the native Maps app, but might otherwise be passed over by data providers. With so-called bulk submission limitations, however, it appears Apple is not yet ready to expand the program to mom and pop shops.