These Gorgeous Maps Could Be In iOS 6

These Gorgeous Maps Could Be In iOS 6

Stamen's gorgeous Watercolor tiles for OpenStreetMap (CC BY 3.0)

Apple and Google, sitting in a tree, f-i-g-h-t-i-n-g. We know that the Apple/Google relationship has gone from best friends to hate/hate, and that Apple has done its best to distance itself from its former lover. Apple has already bought mapping company C3, and is using OpenStreetMaps in iPhoto for iOS. But the Apple-designed map tiles are a little hokey. What the Maps app needs is these beautiful CC licensed tiles from Stamen Maps.

These Gorgeous Maps Could Be In iOS 6

High contrast Toner, perfect for using outside Image Staman (CC BY 3.0)

Stamen’s maps are free to use “wherever you display OpenStreetMap data,” under a Creative Commons Attribution license. There are three designs, all of which could be used by Apple in the next version of the Maps app if it switches to OpenStreetMap maps. Toner is a neat-looking black and white set which is available for any map the world over.

Terrain is U.S-only right now, and shows the bumps, humps and dips of the underlying landscape. Terrain maps are great for hikers and bikers when planning routes.

These Gorgeous Maps Could Be In iOS 6

Terran maps make me want to get on my bike and ride. Image Stamen (CC BY 3.0)

The last, and by far the prettiest set of tiles, is Watercolor (top), which you can test out right now with a live version on the Stamen site. Useless for anything but eye candy, there are no road or placenames — just beautiful maps which look as if they were hand painted.

I use Maps on my iPad all the time, but I don’t like it. It’s slow to load and lacks many features found in the maps app on Android. Apple will probably never use these tiles, but it needs to do something to its crappy Maps app.

[Via Jason Santa Maria]

  • Aidan Taylor

    Well apple better keep the relation ship, they have got over 2 Billion from google just for being safaris search engine.

  • aepxc

    They’re gorgeous as images, but they are not particularly useful as maps.

  • JoeRossignol

    Wow, is this link bait or what? The title says “these gorgeous maps could be in iOS 6,” yet you describe no reason why and then say “Apple will probably never use these tiles, but it needs to do something to its crappy Maps app.”

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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