Apple Maps Vehicles Collecting 'Street View' Data in US, UK and Ireland

Apple has published a support document on its website confirming that it has been using a fleet of vehicles to collect street-level imagery for Apple Maps. Apple outlines that it will blur faces and license plates on images, as Google Maps does for Street View, and lists where Apple Maps vehicles will be driving in the United States, England and Ireland between June 15 and June 30.

"Apple 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."

Apple has been driving around fifth-generation Dodge Caravans equipped with LiDAR camera equipment on the roof to collect street-level imagery in the United States, starting with major cities and metropolitan areas in the south, northeast and midwest regions of the country. The mapping vehicles have been spotted in at least a dozen states to date as they continue moving further inland.

Apple Van New Jersey

Apple Map vehicle collecting street-level imagery in New Jersey in May 2015

MacRumors has been tracking Apple Maps vehicles in the United States for the past several months, with the first sightings occurring in New York City in August 2014. Since then, using verified photos with GPS metadata, we have confirmed Apple Maps vehicle sightings in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and many other areas. Many of those locations are listed below.

Apple Maps Vehicles

Click on the map for an interactive view of Apple Maps vehicle sightings in the U.S.

  • Anaheim, California
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Miami, Florida
  • New York City, New York
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Sunnyvale, California

Apple confirms many of these locations in the support document, while adding Oahu, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Seattle, Tucson and surrounding counties as additional U.S. regions it will be surveying in the second half of June. Apple Maps vehicles will also head overseas to collect street-level imagery in Birmingham, Dublin, Essex, Kent, London and several other cities and counties in England and Ireland.

The collection of street-level imagery is part of Apple's larger shift towards in-house mapping data, in order to reduce its reliance on third-party companies such as TomTom, which has provided data for Apple Maps since it launched. Apple is also allegedly taking photos of businesses, storefronts and other points of interest to replace photos currently provided by Yelp and other third parties.

Send your photos of Apple Maps vans to tips@macrumors.com.

Top Rated Comments

DaveN Avatar
116 months ago
All this effort, and for what? Google have already saved them the time and expense.
To keep your usage data anonymous.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theFly Avatar
116 months ago
Apple street view , would,be good if the maps didn't lead me into a river or into a street that doesn't exist anymore.
Yes, but now you'll be able to see what part of the river you're driving into before it does.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RichTF Avatar
116 months ago
I've loved the switch to Apple Maps, although admittedly I live in London which is well-supported. Looking forward to this change — their data is slowly catching up with Google's, and their app remains (for me anyway) much nicer to use.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
116 months ago
No joke, I was in the car with someone who used Apple maps to drive to a restaurant.

it sent it to the wrong one.

So No, Apple should focus on things they do well, they are 10 years too late in the 'map' industry
And Google maps has done the same thing to me in the past. So what? While Google has had a decade+ to get their data act together, Apple will catch up. Apple Maps is a nicer app to use, it's never, ever sent me to the wrong place and, unlike Google they don't use me as a pawn to sell to their real customers.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
heehee Avatar
116 months ago
Still using Google maps.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darcyf Avatar
116 months ago
Just a friendly reminder, Apple, that Canada is accessible by road from the U.S... :rolleyes:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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