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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    Article Link: Apple Maps Vehicles Reach 45 States, Revamped Data to Roll Out Across U.S. Over the Next Year
  2. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I would love to see the Apple Maps van take on the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse, AK.
  3. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Looking forward to it. Hopefully they also have street view data that they will fold in. Something they really need to work on is search within maps. Maps directions seem to work well and get me from place to place, but the issue I have is when searching for something that I don't know the name of. A recent example is searching for flooring stores and office furniture stores. I get some results, but Google has a lot more. It's like Apple Maps mainly searches business names while Google has metadata about what different stores actually sell. This is extremely useful for any sort of maps app.
  4. mrr macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2008
    Hope Apple brings “Street View” to Apple Maps.
  5. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Of course, we must grasp that when this finally gets to 50+, the job is not done. This is an ongoing, forever task. Roads change. New roads are built. Old roads are closed. Etc.

    I think getting serious about maps data is terrific after so many years, but I hope these vans multiply and are on the roads for years to come. If 50 becomes some claim to “mission accomplished,” this data will go stale just like the existing data.
  6. m0sher macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2018
    Looks like Apple maps is getting long overdue overhaul, up to date and more accurate.

    I use Apple Maps for everything except for long-distance travel. This might change things Where I’d feel comfortable using it solely.

    I prefer the privacy policy of Apple Maps “anonymized, random segments of navigation sessions by opted-in iPhone users” over Google maps where they can do pretty much what they want with it.
  7. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    I think it's a fair bet that Scott Forstall is grinning right about now.

    But until Apple Maps has a Street View and a better Street View than G Maps, it's going to stay delegated to my "never used" folder on my iPhone.
  8. ignatius345, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018

    ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    Just checked an area of Marin county on my iPad with iOS 12 Beta on it -- definitely has more detail in the spots I checked.

    current Apple Maps

    Maps iOS 12 Beta

    Google Maps, which just shows a blob where that park is

    Sure, this is a cherry picked spot in an area where it looks like they're focusing their efforts -- but I think we can see there's steady improvement. And even the current non-improved version is a lot more useful than Google's.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2018 ---
    Used Apple Maps for a 2,000 mile road trip last year on the East Coast and South of the US, and it never let us down once, even did tons of rerouting through secondary roads to keep us out of traffic on the highway. I know it's less strong outside the US, but I find it very reliable here. Honestly the weakest points in Apple Maps are search-related -- it returning a dumb, far-away result instead of something that's less than a mile away. But other than that, routing is very solid and transit options have gotten quite good where I've used them.

    And yeah, privacy, like you said.
  9. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Wait. Apple isn't even mapping all contiguous 48 states yet???

    How is that even possible for one of the largest companies in the world competing in that space???
  10. rictus007 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Waze/google still better for me, in my area ... but Apple seems to do a better job in terms of privacy, so I hope it gets better in the next update
  11. blacktape242 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
  12. TSteffen macrumors newbie


    Jul 25, 2018

    Mapping van sighting in Cedar Falls, IA 2 weeks ago.

    My wife and I were walking the dog on a Saturday morning about 2 weeks ago and came face-to-face with one of these vans. I tried like hell to make a goofy face, but I was a little surprised to see it.

    I have a theory that maybe they are mapping areas with a lot of bad data? CF is tiny, but we have a mid-major college and have had a bunch of growth and changes in our roadways last 2 years. Maybe tosssing few errors and making us a hotspot? No idea... just a theory.
  13. critter13 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2010
    I saw one of the vans this weekend in the foothills/mountains outside of denver. Not a major road at all
  14. jonblatho macrumors 65816


    Jan 20, 2014
    Why would he be grinning? They have taken years to even start to fix a mess that he was responsible for.

    And something tells me that, although he’s found other work since his “departure” (firing), he’s not getting nearly the paycheck he got at Apple.
  15. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Apple doesn't seem to understand the problem with apple maps vs google.

    What I like about google is that their maps and most importantly, the search functionality is very intuitive. I could misspell a place and it will figure out what I am talking about. Whereas, Apple's maps remind me of the old GPS units, where you had to literally type the exact address or legal namer of the establishment otherwise, it would not show up.
  16. joshetanner, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018

    joshetanner macrumors newbie


    Feb 20, 2009
    I think that’s exaclty what the article is saying.
    They’ve been dependent on TomTom, an old-school gps as their base data, and now they’re switching to doing it themselves, in a hopefully better way.
  17. roncron macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2011
    As soon as Google Maps and Waze are available on CarPlay, I’ll be ditching Apple Maps, which has proven less accurate in my experience.

    I’ll give Apple Maps another chance after it’s finished “rebuilding from the ground up” if reviews are favorable.
  18. Ottopw macrumors newbie


    Nov 28, 2015
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2018 ---
    I’ve seem the Apple Maps trucks in the Seattle area as well.
  19. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
    Have any apple vehicles been carjacked in the past?
  20. kuwxman macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    Olathe, KS
    I was the same way until the Apple Maps van drove by my house the day we had an AC repair van in front of it, haha. Now? Not so much.
  21. Noblesongster macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2009
    Why is it that none of these mapping apps don't show stop signs and traffic lights? I know that they can see these when they do the street view surveys. It would be really helpful to see these on the maps and to have directions say "Turn right at the second traffic light" instead of "turn right on random street name". Is anyone at Apple listening?
  22. noraa macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Honestly, my biggest complaint with Apple Maps is that the labels are really small, and they stay small even when you zoom in. On the Mac there's an option in Maps to use larger labels, which helps a lot - but said option is not available in iOS. While I know you can go to the Accessibility settings an increase the font size for compatible apps, doing that causes the entire system and nearly every app to have bigger fonts, which is just annoying. At the moment, the label size doesn't seem to have changed any in iOS 12. I've submitted a feature request to Apple about this (multiple times actually), but doesn't seem they have an plans on changing this.
  23. anubis72 macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2004
  24. rdinterman macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2012
    I hope they redo Florida. I recently moved from the DC Metro area where Apple Maps is quite good and accurate. In Florida, Apple Maps is horrible. Missing roads, wrong roads, missing roundabouts. Absolutely horrible.
  25. Digital Dude macrumors 6502a

    Digital Dude

    Oct 12, 2008
    Arizona where freedom still means something
    Here in Arizona, I use both, but I can attest that Apple Maps has a long way to go before I can trust it in this state! I thought it would at least be smart enough to use it between Phoenix and Tucson, but it consistently sends me in circles.

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39 July 25, 2018