C’Mon, Apple. Real Estate Agents Need Property Boundaries

How will I show land without parcel boundaries on my phone?!

There’s been a lot of discussion about the new Apple maps, which will be replacing Google maps on the next iPhone.

apple maps

This isn’t enough to switch back to an Android device from my iPhone 4S, but it’s significant. In the nearly-three-years since Google integrated Albemarle County’s property boundaries as one of its layers, I’ve become quite dependent on this extremely useful feature.

Gizmodo did a nice side-by-side comparison of Google Maps vs Apple Maps, but they left out one thing that I use in my real estate practice multiple times a week – real estate parcels.

I saw some discussion about it last week in my Twitter stream, and asked for some help on Google+

Anyone with access to iOS 6 – can you tell me if the new apple maps have parcel boundaries as the google maps do? I need and use those to show property – in subdivisions and when showing raw land.

And thankfully got an answer pretty quickly from a friend.

Note the difference between these two photos? iOS5 has property parcel boundaries, while iOS6 doesn’t.

Google maps with parcels on iPhone 4s
Google maps with parcels on iPhone 4s


Apple maps without parcels on iOS6
iOS6 image courtesy Willow Tree Apps

While I wouldn’t advise my client to accept these boundaries in lieu of a survey, they are usually accurate enough when walking land or lots, particularly when walking county/country properties where “natural” boundaries such as power or telephone poles aren’t visible.

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  1. jasonsee June 18, 2012 at 13:29

    There’s quite a bit of flaming going on in the Apple Developer Forums over the new Apple maps. Some other issues I imagine folks are going to run into are:
    1. Yelp integration – There’s plenty of documented cases of Yelp not playing nice with local businesses (http://yelpscam.com) and the integration of Yelp into Apple’s new maps could be an extension of this headache.
    2. Complete disregard for any mass transit. It seems very user-unfriendly to exclude Metro stops.
    3. Right now Turn-by-turn directions are completely worthless. It’s crashed nearly every time I fire it up. I see lots of others experiencing the same problem.

    I imagine Apple is going to address a lot of these and more issues prior to the September public launch.

    Don’t get me wrong, though, iOS6 is brilliant. There’s so many new features for the user and extensions for the developer that this is going to be a great platform. Like all betas, it takes time and developer time to work the kinks out.

    1. Jim Duncan June 20, 2012 at 05:56

      I’m hopeful that they sort out the maps stuff … this is huge for me and I really want the iPhone 5. Because. 🙂

      Thanks, Jason.


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