Wow. I like how he treats Waze and Google as if they're two different things.
It wasn't 3D that was difficult for Apple - their stuff always looked good. more than that it only looked good in places they could throw it all together and prove it looked good, which is different than being right. It's that whole "being right" thing they fucked up - Apple Maps used public databases and mixed them up in a proprietary way which is how it created situations like the "turn left onto the 101 freeway from this underpass two stories below it" that made us all give up on Apple Maps in the first place, which fucked us hard when Apple rolled out iOS 5, which didn't have Google Maps on it, so we literally had to download Waze in order to navigate, which Google made an end-run around by buying Waze. I mean, Apple didn't just fuck that up, they shit the bed.
And they never un-shit the bed. They never actually went through and proofed their data. They did the Apple thing, which is hodgepodge open protocols and databases and mixed them up with their own proprietary bullshit. I guess they're using OpenStreetMaps, C3, Poly9 and some other shit to try and trail mix their way to success. That's why I maintain that the important sentence is:
Street View vehicles once drove across the main routes nine years ago—but they never returned to capture the rest.
Here's the thing: Google Earth Pro, before they killed it, had awesome data in it. It had demographics. It had parcel data. It had traffic data. It had tax rolls. And it reflected the ground truth provided by the databases it drew from: in Whatcom County, WA, for example, the roads were off by about 15 feet west because the Whatcom County GIS data was exported to the national databases wrong. Snohomish County and King County disagreed about where property lines were and that was just the shit I noticed. Google had to go through and resolve all those conflicts and the way to do it, apparently, was to drive every road and proof everything.
Once they'd done that, they killed Google Earth Pro. Google Earth desktop runs an entirely different database as Google Earth mobile and the Google Earth desktop database has been deprecated. The mobile one has a closed API. No touchy. Their data.
Trimble paid less than $90m for Sketchup. I reckon that means they didn't get to grab Google's links between Sketchup's earth models and Google's GPS data. That means Google kept it. That means Apple couldn't buy Trimble to get a back door into Google's witness marks.
Google didn't like the survey markers because they were off, so they went out and surveyed the world. Then they pulled up the markers so no one else could use them.
I've realized something as a Google for Business user, as a Google Pixel user, as an Android Auto user, as a Google Fi customer, as a Google Earth Pro user, as a Hangouts user, as a victim of Google Plus. Google SUCKS at customer-facing stuff. And they don't fucking care. Try and get a response out of Google on a consumer product - welcome to the forums which are full of other frustrated users shouting at each other and a tone-deaf Google representative saying "hi there and fuck off! It doesn't work that way and never will! TTYL!" Try the same with a business product and the same rep will deal with you every time, and they've got a file on you, and they can look up every previous case.
Google made Maps for business customers. Apple tried Apple Maps because they didn't like the price but that didn't pen out. Apple makes everything for consumers. B2B within the Apple ecosphere is a joke. And that's why Apple Maps will never catch up - Apple doesn't want to be a database company, they want to be a consumer company.