Apple: We’re driving vehicles around the world to collect data for Apple Maps

On their website, Apple has confirmed our April report that the company 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. If you have comments or questions about this process, please contact us. See below for where we’re driving our vehicles next.

Driving Locations for June 15th – June 30th

Ireland

Leinster
Dublin (Dublin City [Ashtown, Ballybough, Ballyfermot, Ballygall, Ballymun, Beaumont, Cabra, Chapelizod, Cherry Orchard, Clontarf, Coolock, Crumlin, Donaghmede, Drimnagh, Drumcondra, East Wall, Fairview, Finglas, Firhouse, Glasnevin, Inchicore, Irishtown, Kilbarrack, Kilmainham, Kilmore, Kimmage, Knocklyon, North Wall, Pembre, Phibsborough, Raheny, Rathfarnham, Rathgar, Rathmines, Ringsend, Sandymount, Santry, Templeogue, Terenure, The Liberties, Walkinstown, Whitehall], Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin)

England

East of England
Essex (Brentwood, Epping Forest), Hertfordshire (Broxbourne, Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers, Watford, Welwyn Hatfield)

Greater London
Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, City of London, City of Westminster, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth

South East
Kent (Dartford, Sevenoaks), Surrey (Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Spelthorne)

West Midlands
Birmingham (Sutton Coldfield, Perry Barr, Erdington, Ladywood, Hodge Hill, Yardley, Edgbaston, Hall Green, Selly Oak, Northfield), Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Staffordshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Worcestershire

United States

Arizona
Pima (Tucson)

California
Alameda (Oakland), Los Angeles (Los Angeles)

Florida
Orange County (Orlando)

Georgia
Fulton (Atlanta)

Hawaii
Hawaii (Oahu)

Illinois
Cook (Chicago)

Massachusetts
Suffolk (Boston)

Michigan
Wayne (Detroit)

Missouri
St. Louis (St. Louis)

New York
New York (New York City)

Texas
Dallas (Dallas), Tarrant (Fort Worth)

Utah
Salt Lake (Salt Lake City)

Washington
King (Seattle)

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Told ya so!

These are mapping vehicles for a feature coming to Apple Maps, a trusted source tells us.MacDailyNews, April 6, 2015

SEE ALSO:

Apple mystery van spotted in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park – February 20, 2015
Video reveals close-up look of Apple’s mystery van project – February 17, 2015
Apple mystery van spotted in San Diego – February 10, 2015
Apple’s sensor-covered minivans invade Texas – April 6, 2015
Apple testing mysterious camera-equipped vehicles – February 4, 2015
U.S. patent application reveals Apple is working on ‘Street View’ mapping technology – April 4, 2013

29 Comments

  1. Sadly Apple appear to only be driving vehicles around the more heavily populated parts of a few countries for a couple of weeks. Apple’s street level mapping of just a few places could not compare to Google’s street view mapping of everywhere. There is a very real risk that Apple’s detractors will once again be able to portray Apple Maps as being flawed.

    Apple really needs to find a way to do this right down to minor roads throughout entire countries, not simply major roads in big cities.

    1. Even if they get around to minor roads, it’s still too late. GMaps already has off-road “Street” views like national parks thanks to capture gear carried around on foot.

      It is possible that Apple’s offering will leapfrog Street View in useful, functional (rather than gimmicky, e.g. Flyover) features somehow, though nothing comes to mind right now.

    2. Aren’t these the NEXT locations? As in, there were some before, there will be more after?

      ‘Apple really needs to find a way…’ I suspect they did. They prioritise and then get it done over time, just like Google did.

      The list above is for a 2 week period and seems to me to represent a fair amount of coverage for that time. How long would you want to give them to cover EVERYWHERE?

      1. The point is that Google has already mapped pretty well everywhere and did it several years ago.

        Apple’s efforts will always be compared to Google’s, so if Apple offers a severely limited street level mapping service it won’t impress many people unless there is something seriously innovative and compelling about it.

        1. So, you think because Google has already made maps that Apple should not? What do you know about competition? Your comments indicate that you either did not read the article or you comprehended nothing.

        2. The next cool thing could be Street View locations over time since they constantly have the mapping cars running around.. Imagine observing a single streetview location change over a period of time.

    3. You really want street level views of minor roads that may not contain anything of consequence? Seems like a waste of time and effort and money to me..

      You have Zero clue how extensive Apple’s coverage will be until they start rolling it out, you just automatically assume that its not going to be good enough.. give me a break…

      1. Unless street view maps every road, it’s only useful some of the time. What do you do when you have been relying on Apple’s street view and then need to find somewhere that isn’t on a major route ?

        Apple famously pays a lot of attention to the details. Minor roads are one of the important details that can’t be ignored in a project of this sort. I couldn’t imagine Jony Ive telling his design team not to worry about inconvenient details as it seems like a waste of time and money.

        Anybody can read Apple’s plans and it’s obvious to any intelligent person that two weeks of driving around in a small number of vehicles is clearly insufficient to allow adequate mapping of anything other than major roads in the areas that they have mentioned.

        I use Apple Maps every day and I most definitely want Apple to succeed with street level mapping. What I don’t want is a patchy result which allows Apple’s detractors to once again pour derision on Apple Maps. It would be better for Apple to do what it does with hardware – to take the time to do it right and only release it when it’s truly ready.

        1. You seem to be complaining that unless Apple can’t have every single road on Earth scanned on day 1, they shouldn’t bother. Here’s a newsflash for you: Google didn’t have everything scanned on day 1 either. They’ve been working on it for years, and are still working on it today. They regularly go back over roads to update their data. Apple will have to do this as well. Do you seriously think that Apple is only going to be mapping for the next two weeks and then call it quits? Use your head. Apple has to start somewhere. If they never start, then by definition they can never finish.

  2. The reason Apple stock tanks after conferences and announcements is because people expect wild and crazy things from Apple. They’re all like “obviously we are just driving cars around and collecting map data” while everyone else thought “oh they are designing an Apple Car”. I can’t believe that ludicrous rumor got so big and even more that the rumor is still going.

  3. They should shrink down the tech, put it in thousands of street-level drones that have the same software and sensors which are included in self-driving cars. These self-drving systems are now smart enough to maneuver autonomously based on their sorroundings (street, curb, other vehicles, trees, etc.).

      1. I think they should get Harry Potter to fit his broomstick with cameras and do it for them. Or perhaps just wait 6 months and Father Christmas could do it while he’s on his rounds. He does it all in one night, so it would the first map that’s complete and all up to date.

    1. Though Apple may have the tech to get the data, unlike Amazon and Google they don’t yet have the place to store all of it should such a large amount be collected as you suggest.

        1. iCloud currently runs on Amazon’s data centers as a cloud service. If Apple doesn’t have the space to run iCloud themselves, I highly doubt they would be willing to pay Amazon (let alone Google) for probably the matching amount of space that will be required to store the street view data collected. This will have to wait till they get enough data centers up that won’t be used to host consumable media.

  4. Apple is using minivans instead of the small Chevy or what ever minicar Google is using for street view, also, the equipment in those minivans is a lot heavier and bigger that’s the 360 cameras in Google’s cars.
    Apple is taking measures for deep, dimensions, and other elements to take street view to a whole different level.
    Maybe a 3D street view.

  5. I swear I saw one when I was driving up the 405 in California last Sunday. It definitely was a mapping vehicle similar in style with Googles. Is Apple using multiple types of mapping vehicles and not just the van type we’ve seen?

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