Apple has a lot of work in front of it if it's ever going to get its maps app on par with Google's. The search giant has invested seven years and thousands of employees and on-the-ground reconnaissance people to produce its legendary maps offerings. Apple has spent far less time and fewer resources on its own app, but it does have one unique asset that could help it in the fight: over 27,000 retail employees in 44 states.

According to a new report in MacRumors, Apple is turning to those retail employees to help correct inaccuracies in Apple Maps. Store managers have been asked to deputize employees to report on issues they find with Maps in their own areas.

Collecting more and better data is vital to improving the usability and reliability of Maps, and this seems like a smart way to bring in lots of new data from trustworthy sources.

In the end, there may not be any quick fixes for bringing iOS 6 Maps up to speed, but it's good to see Apple taking an innovative approach.

[via MacRumors