Apple's North Carolina Data Center Appears on Google Satellite Imagery


As noted by Fortune, Apple's new data center outside of Maiden, North Carolina is now visible on satellite imagery in Google Maps and Google Earth, lifting some of the veil of secrecy that has surrounded the project.

We knew what it looked like, thanks to the local Fox TV affiliate, a trespassing photographer and a local real estate agent who conducted a couple of video flybys that ended up on YouTube.

But if you asked Google Earth or Google Maps to show you the intersection of U.S. Route 321 and Startown Road -- where the data center is located -- the current satellite imagery stopped a few yards short of the construction site. West of Startown Road, there was, as recently as two weeks ago, nothing but woods and farmland and a bit of driveway that ended abruptly in the middle of a field.

We do know that the new imagery showing the data center was live at least a few days before Apple's announcement regarding an iCloud introduction, however, as we saw it over the weekend but did not make note of it as we had not determined if it was a recent development.

Speculation has suggested that Apple may have specifically been working with Google to keep imagery of the new facility off of Google Maps, but that is far from certain as Google's satellite images are updated only periodically, especially in rural areas such as this. Fueling the speculation was the fact the the facility had been located right on the boundary between satellite image data sets that showed a brief hint of the area under construction along its western edge while the remainder of site was covered by older imagery showing only fields and trees.

The new imagery shows cleared land directly to the southeast of the facility where Apple has proposed long-term plans to double the size of the center. Also shown at the upper right at the corner of Startown Road and Elbow Road is a new Town of Maiden fire station under construction, a facility that Apple required as part of its decision to locate the data center there as the town's main fire station in the center of town a few miles away was deemed too far away for Apple's liking. The fire station is being built on a small plot of land that formerly contained a modest home that Apple purchased for $1.7 million last year.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
120 months ago
I never do this, but who cares? Really, pictures of the roof of the data center are of interest to anyone? I can't wait for data center "news" to go away. It is so boring.

Yeah, yeah, I know, don't read the article, blah blah blah.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
It's beautiful.....oh.. it is just a warehouse? With like, air condition, and server racks? Ohhh ok. NEXT. :D
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
I want my own Data Centre :/
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
Only thing Apple's built w/o a logo

Where is the Apple logo? Phil Shiller must be very upset.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
Are my nipples supposed to get hard or what? Jesus, slow news day huh?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
Looks like a giant IKEA! :p
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...