updated 11:05 pm EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
Speculation of web version of Maps, broader projects all possibilities
A new job listing on Apple's web site looks to hire a Maps Web User Interface Designer for, as quoted directly from the ad, "a new secret project." While Apple often advertises online positions for jobs that will result in eventual new products or services, this is the first time in memory the company has used such direct language regarding the fact that the job is related to future projects. The job will involve designing, developing and maintaining complex front-end code" related to Apple's Maps.
While the position could be hinting at a future browser-based version of Apple Maps, it could just as easily be a project that isn't intended to be public -- such as a developer web interface for mapping services in their own native apps, or incorporating Maps into web-based apps for other companies. Presuming the job is centered around a web-based version of Maps, however, such a service would give Apple the freedom to eliminate Google Maps from products like Find My iPhone and iPhoto. Apple is also adding Maps to the Mac for the first time in the forthcoming release of OS X Mavericks.
Conceivably, the brief mention of Maps use of the term "secret project" could even be a red herring to misdirect competitors, with the job actually involving wholly different web platform uses that may tie into the company's expanding services. According to the posting, the successful candidate will join a small team that is working on "an exciting new system" of an advanced web platform "upon which many of Apple's future services will be based."