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Apr 12, 2001
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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.

apple-van.jpg
Image via MacRumors forum member AngerDanger

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.

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

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,362
38,237
Apple maps is terrible. Only use when you want to not find where you need to go.

Not Sure how you can say that Apple Maps is “terrible”, which could be variable based on someone’s experience in location. I use Apple Maps every single day and it’s never failed me. It’s greatly improved from where it was once, and it gives me all the necessary information I need to get to my destination the quickest and best route. I don’t even use Google maps anymore, even though Google maps is very good.
 
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ummario

macrumors newbie
Apr 22, 2010
16
26
is it already possible to see some of these captured images as Google Street view?
 
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chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,777
2,236
Isla Nublar
Not Sure how you can say that Apple Maps is “terrible”, which could be variable based on someone’s experience in location. I use Apple Maps every single day and it’s never failed me. It’s greatly improved from where it was once, and it gives me all the necessary information I need to get to my destination the quickest and best route. I don’t even use Google maps anymore, even though Google maps is very good.

Part of the problem is people never used it since its first and second year and just assume its terrible. IMO it's far better than Google Maps. It navigates better and finds just about the same amount of places. I find its more accurate too for road closings.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,362
38,237
Part of the problem is people never used it since its first and second year and just assume its terrible. IMO it's far better than Google Maps. It navigates better and finds just about the same amount of places. I find its more accurate too for road closings.

I think you make a good point. Some never resort to using Apple Maps preinstalled on an iPhone, they just automatically download Google maps and assume Apple Maps is not relevant or as accurate as Apple Maps is. I find Apple Maps to be in my city excellent for road closures and alternative routes to reach my destination without issue. I’m not being dismissive for anyone that likes Google maps or Waze, I don’t even have either of those apps installed on my phone, because Apple Maps has been my primary.
 
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