Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Canada This Summer

Apple today announced that its Apple Maps vehicles will begin surveying parts of Canada throughout the summer.


The vehicles will drive across all 10 provinces between May and November, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Absent are the territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

The data collected, including the likes of road details, signage, and landmarks, will be used to improve Apple Maps as part of Apple's efforts to rebuild the service, which began in the United States last year.

Apple Maps with more detailed data in Northern California

Apple's full statement:
Beginning in May, Apple Maps will be driving across Canada throughout the summer. We'll be capturing road details, signage and landmarks — all to make the most accurate and useful Maps experience possible. The information collected will be worked on by our teams in Cupertino, California. We plan to publish this data in a future product update.

We always have your privacy in mind, so we're working closely with local regulators to ensure we follow all laws and regulations. All of our vehicles are marked Apple Maps, so you'll always know it's us.

Privacy is a fundamental Apple principle, so we're proud to build it into everything we do.
Apple Maps vehicles have also surveyed parts of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Portugal, Croatia, Japan, Andorra, and Puerto Rico since data collection began in 2015.


This article, "Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Canada This Summer" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Final U.S. States

As part of its efforts to rebuild Apple Maps, Apple has been collecting street-level data with LiDAR-equipped vehicles for over three years, with at least 45 states across the U.S. partially surveyed to date.


That total is set to rise in the coming months, as Apple has confirmed it will begin surveying Alaska, South Carolina, and Tennessee between March and July, according to an update to its recently revamped Apple Maps image collection website. Data collection is also set to continue in seven other states over that time.
Apple is conducting ground surveys around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates. We will also periodically revisit some locations to gather new data in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map. We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.
To our best knowledge, the only states that Apple has yet to confirm surveying are Arkansas and Oklahoma, although Twitter users have spotted the vehicles in both states since last year and perhaps earlier. It's possible the vehicles were only passing through those states without collecting mapping data.


Whether the total is 48 or 50 states, Apple's surveying efforts have reached nearly every corner of the United States. Apple plans to roll out its improved Maps app across the country section by section over the next year.

The improvements first rolled out in Northern California in iOS 12 and have extended to Hawaii and Southern California over the past few months. The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, sports fields, and parking lots.

Apple Maps vehicles have also surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and they are headed to Andorra in April, according to Apple's website. It's unclear when the Apple Maps improvements will be available internationally.


This article, "Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Final U.S. States" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Launches Revamped Data Collection Website

As part of its efforts to rebuild Apple Maps "from the ground up," Apple has been collecting street-level data with LiDAR-equipped vehicles for over three years. Apple also deployed employees wearing LiDAR-equipped backpacks to collect pedestrian-based data starting in California late last year.


As these efforts expand around the world, Apple recently transitioned to a revamped Apple Maps image collection website with a list of locations it will be surveying both in vehicles and on foot in the upcoming months.

The page reveals a few new pieces of information, including that pedestrian-based data collection has expanded to Hawaii and Nevada through February. Vehicle-based data collection will also be expanding to the tiny European country of Andorra, landlocked between France and Spain, in April 2019.

The new page, which replaces the previous Apple Maps vehicles list, also indicates that Apple will "periodically revisit some locations to gather new data in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map."

Apple Maps vehicles have been collecting mapping data in the United States since 2015, with over 45 states at least partially surveyed to date. The vehicles have also surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, according to Apple.

Back in June 2018, Apple said the revamped mapping data would roll out section by section across the rest of the United States over the following year. The improvements first rolled out in Northern California in iOS 12 and have extended to Hawaii and Southern California over the past few months.


The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, sports fields, and parking lots. Apple also said search results would become more relevant.


This article, "Apple Maps Launches Revamped Data Collection Website" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Vehicles Reach 45 States, Revamped Data to Roll Out Across U.S. Over the Next Year

Apple Maps vehicles equipped with LiDAR sensors have begun collecting street-level data in Montana and North Carolina for the first time this week, raising the total number of U.S. states the fleet has at least partially covered to 45.


The vehicles have been collecting mapping data in the United States since at least 2015. Apple periodically updates a list of locations where the vehicles will be driving on its website. To our best knowledge, the only states yet to be surveyed are Alaska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The vehicles have also surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Last month, Apple confirmed that mapping data and imagery collected by the vehicles will be used to rebuild Apple Maps "from the ground up," aided by high-resolution satellite imagery and "probe data" collected from anonymized, random segments of navigation sessions by opted-in iPhone users.


The gist of it is that Apple will be switching to its own base map, reducing but not fully eliminating its reliance on third-party providers like TomTom, which will yield significant improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, road systems, new construction, changes in pedestrian walkways, and more.

The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, and parking lots. Apple also says search results should be more relevant, hopefully making navigation more reliable.

Apple says the underlying efforts to revamp Maps have been underway for the past four years, but the improvements are currently limited to Northern California on devices running the iOS 12 beta. Apple says the new Maps will roll out section by section across the rest of the United States over the next year.

Apple hasn't said if and when the new Maps will be available outside of the United States, but given the vehicles have surveyed 10 other countries, it is likely on the roadmap. We've reached out to them to see if they are willing to confirm.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Vehicles Begin Collecting Street-Level Data in Japan

Apple Maps vehicles equipped with LiDAR sensors have begun collecting street-level data in Japan for the first time this month.


Apple will be surveying the Tokyo and Urayasu areas between June and October of this year, according to a new Apple Maps vehicles page created specifically for Japan, first spotted by Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

Japan is the 11th country where the vehicles are collecting data since the initiative began in 2015, alongside Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

To date, Apple has periodically updated a list of locations where the vehicles will be collecting data on its U.S. website, including other countries, but Japan now has its own localized page, perhaps to satisfy local laws.

The verbiage on the page has suggested that Apple could be working on a feature similar to Google's Street View for Apple Maps:
Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates.

We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.
In 2015, Mark Gurman reported that Apple planned to launch a 3D street view feature, based on a combination of its existing Flyover mode with street-level data. He also said the data would help Apple shift to an in-house mapping database by 2018, reducing its reliance on third-party sources like TomTom.

By the sound of it, Apple's mapping data could be used for advanced augmented reality applications, as part of a future update to ARKit.

Early speculation suggested the vehicles could be the basis of an Apple Car, but those rumors quieted down after the vans were labeled with Apple Maps decals, and because Apple has shifted towards testing self-driving software with Lexus 450h SUVs near its headquarters in California.

If you spot an Apple Maps vehicle in a location yet to be listed on Apple's website, be sure to let us know at tips@macrumors.com.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Vehicles Have Now Collected Street View Data in Over 40 States and 10 Countries

Apple Maps vehicles equipped with LiDAR equipment have now surveyed at least 41 states in the United States, with recent areas including Maine and Iowa, as the fleet of vans continue to collect mapping data across the country.


The vehicles first took to the streets in major American cities like New York in 2015, and they have since traveled to Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Apple periodically updates a list of locations where the vehicles will be collecting data on its website.

Apple's page notes that it will "blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication," suggesting that the company is working on a feature similar to Google's Street View for Apple Maps.

Back in 2015, Mark Gurman reported that Apple planned to launch a 3D street view feature, based on a combination of its existing Flyover mode with street-level data. He also said the data would help Apple shift to an in-house mapping database by 2018, reducing its reliance on third-party sources like TomTom.

At the time, Gurman said Apple did not believe that Google's classic Street View interfaces were intuitive to users, and as a result, he said the company was exploring new ways to present that kind of imagery.

Google launched Street View way back in 2007, so if Apple is truly working on its own competing feature, then it will presumably have points of differences. Otherwise, it is certainly possible that the vehicle-collected data will only be used for storefront imagery or other underlying mapping improvements.

When Apple's fleet of vans first hit the streets, it was speculated they could be the basis of an Apple Car. But those rumors quieted down after the vans were labeled with Apple Maps decals, and because Apple has shifted towards testing self-driving software with Lexus 450h SUVs near its headquarters in California.

It's too early to say when Apple will fully take advantage of the data it has collected, but with parts of at least 80 percent of the United States now surveyed, the fruits of the labor could be witnessed sooner rather than later.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Croatia and Portugal

Apple Maps vehicles will begin surveying Croatia and Portugal for the first time in a few weeks from now, according to Apple's updated list of locations.


In Croatia, the Apple Maps vehicles will be in Split-Dalmatia County and Šibenik-Knin County beginning November 20. The vehicles will begin surveying the Alentejo region of Portugal starting December 4.

Since 2015, Apple has been driving vehicles around the world to collect data for Apple Maps. The vehicles have surveyed over 35 states in the United States, in addition to parts of France, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Apple said it will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication, suggesting that it could be working on adding a Street View feature to Apple Maps, similar to what Google Maps has offered for several years.

When Apple's fleet of vans first hit the streets, speculation arose about the vehicles serving as the basis of an Apple Car. But those rumors quieted down after the vans were later labeled with Apple Maps decals.

Some industry observers still believe the vans are at least partially related to Apple's autonomous driving project, but the evidence is inconclusive.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Maps Vehicles Headed to Scotland

Apple Maps vehicles will begin surveying Scotland for the first time starting early next month.

Apple Maps vehicle via MacRumors reader Dieter A.

The sensor-laden vehicles will start collecting mapping data in Fort William, a town in the western Scottish Highlands, between October 9 and November 5, according to a recently updated list of driving locations on Apple's website.

For over two years, Apple has been driving vehicles around the world to collect data for Apple Maps—widely believed to be street-level imagery. Since 2015, the vehicles have surveyed over 35 states in the United States, in addition to parts of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

Apple said it will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication, suggesting that it could be working on adding a Street View feature to Apple Maps, similar to what Google Maps has offered for several years. But, the imagery and other mapping data could be used for a variety of purposes.

When Apple's fleet of Dodge and Mercedes-Benz vans first hit the streets, it was speculated they could be the basis of an Apple Car. But those rumors quieted down after the vans were labeled with Apple Maps decals, and because Apple has reportedly shifted towards autonomous driving software for now.

Some industry observers still believe the vans are at least partially related to Apple's autonomous driving project, but the evidence is inconclusive.

Apple so far has only confirmed that some of the data collected will be published in future Apple Maps updates.


Discuss this article in our forums