Bike sharing data in Apple Maps got a big boost today in a deal struck with Ito World, a real-time transit data company. Apple Maps already included some bike sharing data, but according to TechCrunch, the partnership means Apple Maps now has bike sharing data in more than 175 cities in 36 countries.
If you type ‘bike sharing’ into Apple Maps, it will scroll to the bike sharing station closest to you. The app also supports searches near other locations, using queries like ‘bike sharing near Chicago Union Station.’ Each entry in Apple Maps provides the address of the bike sharing station and a link to the website of the company that operates it, but there are no details about the number of available bikes or parking spots.
Apple has struck several deals with third parties over the past couple of years to add data like electric vehicle charging stations and parking lot data to Apple Maps. I expect we will continue to see third-party arrangements like the one with Ito World because it’s a faster way for Apple to try to close Google Maps’ local data lead over Apple Maps than collecting the data itself.