Apple has launched Apple Maps Connect, a new online portal to allow local businesses to add or edit their business listings for the Apple Maps service. Targeted at small business owners or their authorized representatives, the service is free and allows users to quickly and easily add content directly into Apple Maps. Users can sign in with their normal Apple ID and password, or can create a new Apple ID if they don’t already have one, or would prefer to use a different one for business purposes. The service is available only for U.S. addresses for now, but Apple says that it has plans to add additional countries “soon.”
According to Search Engine Land, business verification is done in real-time where possible, with users receiving an automated call at their listed business phone number, or users can verify using an e-mail address that matches their website URL. Apple notes that updates or new listings should show up within a week, although additional verification could delay this process, and Apple stated that it has “additional fraud prevention measures” in place.
Notably, an “Indoor” section also appears on Apple’s Maps Connect portal, where the company appears to be allowing businesses to sign up for iBeacon-based services, although at this time sign-ups appear to be limited to public venues that have in excess of one million annual visitors per year and have complete, accurate, and scaled reference maps available, in addition to other criteria. [via iPhoneinCanada]