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Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Final U.S. States

As part of its efforts to rebuild Apple Maps, Apple has been collecting street-level data with LiDAR-equipped vehicles for over three years, with at least 45 states across the U.S. partially surveyed to date.


That total is set to rise in the coming months, as Apple has confirmed it will begin surveying Alaska, South Carolina, and Tennessee between March and July, according to an update to its recently revamped Apple Maps image collection website. Data collection is also set to continue in seven other states over that time.
Apple is conducting ground surveys 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 will also periodically revisit some locations to gather new data in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map. We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.
To our best knowledge, the only states that Apple has yet to confirm surveying are Arkansas and Oklahoma, although Twitter users have spotted the vehicles in both states since last year and perhaps earlier. It's possible the vehicles were only passing through those states without collecting mapping data.


Whether the total is 48 or 50 states, Apple's surveying efforts have reached nearly every corner of the United States. Apple plans to roll out its improved Maps app across the country section by section over the next year.

The improvements first rolled out in Northern California in iOS 12 and have extended to Hawaii and Southern California over the past few months. The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, sports fields, and parking lots.

Apple Maps vehicles have also surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and they are headed to Andorra in April, according to Apple's website. It's unclear when the Apple Maps improvements will be available internationally.



Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
I've gotten to prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps.

In fact, I recently deleted Google Maps due to privacy concerns.
Rating: 11 Votes
13 weeks ago
I've been using Apple Maps exclusively for the last 5 years. It's an excellent app. I have no need for google maps.
Rating: 9 Votes
13 weeks ago

Are Apple still doing Maps business? I thought they abandoned it long time ago.


There's already 4 out of 5 (5 including me) people saying Apple Maps does not suck, you should try it, it's more accurate than G. Maps nowadays.
Rating: 8 Votes
13 weeks ago

Whether the total is 48 or 50 states, Apple's surveying efforts have reached nearly every corner of the United States. Apple plans to roll out its improved Maps app across the country section by section over the next year.

It’s going to be a shame once they wrap things up; we won’t get to see those terrifying data-collection cars in an article every month or so… until one goes rogue. :eek:



Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago

Apple will never catch up to Google since Google got years head start


Why are you under the impression that Apple Maps “Needs to catch up to google maps”? All that matters, is that Apple Maps continuously keeps improving, as it has over the years. Is it as proficient as Google maps? You’re never going to have a concrete answer on this, but there’s no denying to Apple Maps is certainly much better than it once was.

I admit, I was a Google maps user for years, but Apple Maps from my location, is clutch when I need it most, that I don’t even use Google maps at all, anymore.
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago
I enjoy Maps and it's good to know they're improving it. I only turn to Google Maps for POS info which, admittedly, is a big thing.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago

That’s bull, Apple maps has lead to to roads that haven’t existed since 2008 and lead me to wrong locations. Apple will never catch up to Google since Google got years head start

You already indicated you didn't even know Apple was still in the maps business, so you can't have current knowledge of how well Apple Maps actually works now. So how can you call "bull" on something you haven't used for a long time?

I do agree that in some rare cases, Google Maps is still more up-to-date than Apple Maps. But it's no longer a matter of getting to completely wrong places - usually, the inaccuracy is a matter of being a few feet off from where an actual address is located (business addresses and apartment buildings is where I typically find these inaccuracies).

But Apple Maps' navigation screens & GUI for navigation is way better than Google's. And the app sucks way less energy than Google Maps during navigation. We're talking about a night-day difference there.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 weeks ago

I laugh at all the people who think Maps isn’t any good. People are quick to forget Google started somewhere too. Mapquest was the go to at the time and Google maps had my friends on the complete other side of town driving in circles because their mapping was garbage. Apple has made huge progress. It’s all I’ve used since it’s debut. Admittedly, at first it wasn’t great. In some ways, downright abysmal. I have to give credit where it’s due, Apple has taken on a large undertaking.


Agreed, the joke is getting old, Maps came a long way and surpassed Google Maps in many ways, and in the meantime won't sell that data or have dubious privacy standards.


"We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication."

It would be really great if rather than blurring faces, Apple used their capture redundancy to intelligently remove individuals entirely. It'll take time to process given the amount of data they're collecting, but it's not particularly difficult at all.


Or, drive at nighttime with insanely sensitive cameras, way less people on the street, I know there are some impressive cameras on the market which can capture colours even at low light levels.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 weeks ago
I laugh at all the people who think Maps isn’t any good. People are quick to forget Google started somewhere too. Mapquest was the go to at the time and Google maps had my friends on the complete other side of town driving in circles because their mapping was garbage. Apple has made huge progress. It’s all I’ve used since it’s debut. Admittedly, at first it wasn’t great. In some ways, downright abysmal. I have to give credit where it’s due, Apple has taken on a large undertaking.
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Never had much of a problem with Apple maps. When I punch in an address, click an address and so forth. It gets me there without a needlessly complicated or questionable route (Waze). Usually it is right on with the address number too. It was a bit shaky at first but by iOS 7/8. I found it to be solid.

I suppose finding points of interest could be better. I use Google for that anyways. Then link it to Apple Maps for navigation.

My only complaint is how many times I have to click it to get it to start navigating. I hate having to choose a route. Then confirm it again. I'd like there to be an option. Where if I click an address from a browser, contact or calendar. It will simply start navigating. At least if I enter an address. Start navigating if I make no selections after a ten or fifteen second timeout.

I'd also like an option to make Apple Maps a top priority for attention. When I'm navigating. I don't want the screen to disappear for a phone call or be partially covered by a notification. Automatic do not disturb only works in cars with Bluetooth.


There’s an auto feature for DND. It should activate upon your movement. I used to use it, but it got old when I wasn’t driving. So I only have it activate when connected to BT.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 weeks ago
Whenever I ventured somewhere unfamiliar, I needed Google Maps. This was my preference for years - I liked Apple Maps, but Google Maps was more accurate with where my car was when I was driving. Now - for some reason, Google Map's tracking on me is a little off.

I was in Florida for a week a month ago and had to switch to Apple Maps because my position was off on the map with Google. I don't know what changes they've made but it's become a problem. Sometimes you aren't given a lot of time to make that upcoming turn and Apple Maps was simply doing it better. Not sure when this will get fixed, but I'll be sticking with Apple Maps for the time being.

Agreed, the joke is getting old, Maps came a long way and surpassed Google Maps in many ways, and in the meantime won't sell that data or have dubious privacy standards.

The claims that Apple Maps is not good can be placed under the "it's not 2012 anymore" file.
Rating: 3 Votes

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