Apple Maps Vehicles Have Now Collected Street View Data in Over 40 States and 10 Countries

Apple Maps vehicles equipped with LiDAR equipment have now surveyed at least 41 states in the United States, with recent areas including Maine and Iowa, as the fleet of vans continue to collect mapping data across the country.

apple van

Image via MacRumors forum member AngerDanger

The vehicles first took to the streets in major American cities like New York in 2015, and they have since traveled to Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Apple periodically updates a list of locations where the vehicles will be collecting data on its website.

Apple's page notes that it will "blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication," suggesting that the company is working on a feature similar to Google's Street View for Apple Maps.

Back in 2015, Mark Gurman reported that Apple planned to launch a 3D street view feature, based on a combination of its existing Flyover mode with street-level data. He also said the data would help Apple shift to an in-house mapping database by 2018, reducing its reliance on third-party sources like TomTom.

At the time, Gurman said Apple did not believe that Google's classic Street View interfaces were intuitive to users, and as a result, he said the company was exploring new ways to present that kind of imagery.

Google launched Street View way back in 2007, so if Apple is truly working on its own competing feature, then it will presumably have points of differences. Otherwise, it is certainly possible that the vehicle-collected data will only be used for storefront imagery or other underlying mapping improvements.

When Apple's fleet of vans first hit the streets, it was speculated they could be the basis of an Apple Car. But those rumors quieted down after the vans were labeled with Apple Maps decals, and because Apple has shifted towards testing self-driving software with Lexus 450h SUVs near its headquarters in California.

It's too early to say when Apple will fully take advantage of the data it has collected, but with parts of at least 80 percent of the United States now surveyed, the fruits of the labor could be witnessed sooner rather than later.

Top Rated Comments

44267547 Avatar
79 months ago
Apple maps is terrible. Only use when you want to not find where you need to go.
Not Sure how you can say that Apple Maps is “terrible”, which could be variable based on someone’s experience in location. I use Apple Maps every single day and it’s never failed me. It’s greatly improved from where it was once, and it gives me all the necessary information I need to get to my destination the quickest and best route. I don’t even use Google maps anymore, even though Google maps is very good.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AbSoluTc Avatar
79 months ago
Apple Maps van has one jacked up tire and a flat. No wonder maps can't find ****! Lol
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Joe Rossignol Avatar
79 months ago
Apple Maps van has one jacked up tire and a flat. No wonder maps can't find ****! Lol
I suck at Photoshop :p

EDIT: @AbSoluTc I've done my best attempt to re-inflate the tires... :oops: :D
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
billybobthornton Avatar
79 months ago
We don’t need another Google Maps! Focus on better products please!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrono1081 Avatar
79 months ago
Not Sure how you can say that Apple Maps is “terrible”, which could be variable based on someone’s experience in location. I use Apple Maps every single day and it’s never failed me. It’s greatly improved from where it was once, and it gives me all the necessary information I need to get to my destination the quickest and best route. I don’t even use Google maps anymore, even though Google maps is very good.
Part of the problem is people never used it since its first and second year and just assume its terrible. IMO it's far better than Google Maps. It navigates better and finds just about the same amount of places. I find its more accurate too for road closings.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deannnnn Avatar
79 months ago
The problem is that street view imagery gets so outdated so fast... are they really planning on using 2015 imagery of New York? There's a restaurant on my block that has changed 3 times since then!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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