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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Rumors have suggested that Apple has acquired 3D mapping firm C3 Technologies. While much of the early demos showed C3's ability to create realistic looking 3D maps, the company had also been working on both street view and interior views prior to their acquisition.

BrightSideOfTheNews reported in a January, 2011 article that the company was creating street level imagery as well using the same technology:
In addition to 3D maps, C3 also makes awesome street level imagery captured using "an advanced multiple camera system with overlapping viewing angles to capture the entire surroundings in stereo."
Beyond street level views, the company was also offering interior panoramas as shown in this early promotional photo:


SingularityHub noted how C3 created these interior shots:
As well as increasing its geographic range, C3 is expanding into interior settings. With a special camera rig, they can also create a 3D model of the interior of a building using the same photo stitching they use with their aerial or street level maps. Businesses have to request C3 to come in and create such an inside map of their facilities, so don't expect these 3D indoor maps to become ubiquitous anytime soon. Still, the technology is ready and available, so we're bound to see at least a few examples in the months ahead.
Obviously, both street-level work and interior shots are particularly resource intensive. In fact, the interior views are said to have required businesses to invite the company in to make create the images. It's not clear if Apple will use the technology to this degree when they release it. At a minimum, however, street view data would be required to make it match up feature for feature with Google's technology which presently powers iOS Maps.

Article Link: C3 Technologies' 3D Maps Also Offer Street Views and Interior Views


macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2010
What company would invite someone making smartbomb targeting imagery to photograph their interior?!


macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
What company would invite someone making smartbomb targeting imagery to photograph their interior?!

they had already moved away from military uses by the time they launched this. :)


The Great Boony

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2010
I'm only looking forward to this as I hate using Google for anything now.

I'm even changing search engine to get away from them.

Google is a theif and the data mining devil.


macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2008
SAAB does it again, with great technology. :D

I really wish that someone would provide them with an infusion of capital. :(

And, I miss Stockholm even more after seeing those photos :mad:


macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2009
Another great acquisition by Apple. I still remember when they acquired FingerWorks, i.e., rights to use their multi-touch technologies in their products.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
New London, NH
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

This will not match Google, it will be far superior. The maps will be seamless since they are 3D models. You will be able to run street view as if you were driving down the road. It would be perspectively correct for the lane and direction of travel and it could show custom overlays for turn by turn directions.
Apple will have the single best turn by turn imagery out there.


macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
This is basically how big companies are forced to develop new interesting things.... by acquisition. That is some truly beautiful work.


macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
Now I can virtually walk form Eifeltower to Louvre and go into and watch pictures and sculptures ... Nice and promissing combination ...


macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2010
Do people expect apple to release and online "iCloud" version of the software, to directly compete against google?


macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
Florida Resident
Schmidt says it sees Apple's voice assistant Siri as a "significant development" that could threaten Google's business. I wonder what Schmidt will say about this?


macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2007
I don't mind google maps but we've had a lot of regeneration in our town including several major road layout changes and a large shopping mall, none of these changes are on google yet and that was 2 years ago. A system to track big changes would give Apple a real advantage. Bing maps is even more out of date.


macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2004
Looks great, but how sure are we that Apple have acquired C3? I'd like some positive confirmation before getting too excited.


Sep 4, 2009
I sure don't want them Seeing the inside of my house :eek:

Good comment. While structures that are open to the public are fine, I can easily see a situation where real estate companies put houses up for sale on this. When the house closes, should there or is there a mechanism to delete the interior floor plans when it is sold?

Beardy man

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2007
Meh, not sure if Apple 'street view' is simply a 3D building mock-up from aerial photos (can't see how that would even hope to work, and yes, I have watched the SAAB video) or whether they intend go down the Google route (literally) with the captcha cars/trikes.

If they do, taking into account how many years Google have been driving around the world and all the wrangles they've got into, does anyone seriously expect Apple street view to land on their desks anytime soon? - and as Tim would say "how does this sell any more product?"

That's not to say I wouldn't relish the prospect - just can't see it happening.
Turn by turn using overhead views I can see, but street level storefronts etc? Nope.


macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2008
Now I can virtually walk form Eifeltower to Louvre and go into and watch pictures and sculptures ... Nice and promissing combination ...

I'm wondering how well this technology works with organic reality. For example the cameras in a boat down the Grand Canyon, or inside the Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico.
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