How Yelp’s flaws affect Apple Maps

It’s been clear from the start that Apple Maps isn’t perfect. In fact, in some instances it’s proven to be downright broken. And while the blame ultimately lies at Apple’s feet, it turns out that you — yes, you — might have played a roll in the new app’s less-than-stellar debut. You see, Apple Maps relies on data from Yelp for location information on certain businesses, and Yelp relies on everyday users to provide that data.

Google also leans on crowdsourced data to flesh out its location services, but as Dave Greenbaum of GigaOM points out, details about a business location on Google Maps must be confirmed by the owner of that business before it becomes gospel. Yelp doesn’t have such a safeguard, which is why at times a store might actually be located across the street — or across town — from where it appears on Apple Maps.

Yelp relies on its local community managers to ensure that duplicate entries for venues are promptly deleted and to help sculpt the user-created information into an accurate picture of each city. Unfortunately, much of the information appears to be too inaccurate to be considered reliable, especially in locations without a vibrant Yelp userbase.

Apple’s official stance on the app’s issues is that the service will continue to improve as more users jump on board. However, it’s going to be tough to convince most consumers that it’s their responsibility to fix a broken system rather than be able to rely on it from the start.