Apple Surveying Canada's Largest Cities With Specialized Backpacks to Improve Maps

Apple Maps team members wearing specialized camera-equipped backpacks will be walking in Canada's three largest cities of Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver through October to help improve the Apple Maps app.

apple maps camera backpack

Apple Maps backpack in Southern California as spotted by Joanna Stern

Apple typically drives a fleet of vehicles around the world to collect Maps data, including street-level imagery for its Look Around feature, but it conducts pedestrian surveys "in areas where vehicles simply can't go." Apple promises that the pedestrian surveys offer the "same privacy protections as the Apple Maps vehicles."

A list of locations maintained on Apple's website reveals that the company began the pedestrian surveys in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver on September 11. Apple will also be surveying the Region of Durham immediately east of Toronto.

Apple says it is committed to protecting the public's privacy while conducting these surveys. In line with Google's Street View, Apple censors faces and license plates in imagery made available through its Look Around feature. If you have comments or questions about this process, your privacy rights, or would like to request that a face, license plate, or your own house be censored, Apple says to email mapsimagecollection@apple.com.

Introduced in iOS 13, Look Around provides 3D street-level imagery that can be zoomed and panned. The feature is already available in Canada, but Apple periodically revisits some locations "in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map." Look Around is also available in parts of the United States, UK, Ireland, and Japan.

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
10 months ago
"How do we test our jetpack project in public without people noticing?"

"You know the 'Apple Maps' text we put on surveying cars?"



Attachment Image
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Expos of 1969 Avatar
10 months ago
That backpack is the item being tested. It will provide all day battery life when you are wearing the Apple Glasses.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
robinp Avatar
10 months ago
Seen these around London (UK) a few times over the last year or so. Makes sense as there are lots of places where cars can't go, such as paths across parks, alleyways, pedestrianised areas etc.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
10 months ago
The backpack looks like a giant MagSafe Battery pack
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnnyenv Avatar
10 months ago
Apple branded Ghostbusters Ecto Proton pack
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
10 months ago
These will be Droids one day, walking around surveying, doing the heavy lifting.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple maps 3d canada

Apple Announces Revamped 3D Maps in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver

Thursday March 24, 2022 7:08 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that its revamped Maps experience is now available in the Canadian cities of Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver. The update delivers more detailed maps, complete with custom-designed 3D landmarks, such as the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal, and Robson Square in Vancouver. Navigation is also improved, with more detailed road markings and ...
apple maps ratings 1

Apple Expands Native Maps Rating and Review Feature to the U.S.

Monday August 23, 2021 12:45 pm PDT by
Apple appears to be expanding on the native Apple Maps review functionality that it first introduced in iOS 14, allowing Apple Maps users in the United States the option to review places of interest, restaurants, and other locations. In the Apple Maps app in iOS 14 and iOS 15, U.S. users can now see an option to provide a thumbs up or thumbs down for most locations. Tapping on the thumbs...
apple maps and look around

Apple Maps Vehicles Begin Collecting 'Look Around' Imagery in Czech Republic

Friday June 4, 2021 12:08 pm PDT by
Apple Maps vehicles equipped with LiDAR technology have started surveying select regions of Czech Republic this month, collecting street-level imagery and data, according to a list of locations maintained on Apple's website. Apple also started surveying the neighboring country of Poland in May as image collection expands across Eastern Europe. Apple will use the data collected to improve its ...
philadelphia 3d maps

Apple Exec Explains Why You Should Use Apple Maps

Wednesday December 22, 2021 1:11 pm PST by
Apple Maps Product Lead David Dorn and Design Lead Meg Frost recently did an interview with CNN to explain the Apple Maps features that were introduced with the iOS 15 update and to explain why iPhone users should choose Apple Maps over other mapping apps like Google and Waze. According to Dorn, there are three major reasons why Apple Maps is the best choice. Apple is making serious...
apple maps and look around

Apple Maps Begins Surveying Hong Kong for 'Look Around'

Monday May 10, 2021 6:29 am PDT by
As part of its continued push to expand the availability of features to more locations worldwide, Apple has begun to survey Hong Kong for Apple Maps' "Look Around" feature, which offers users a 360-degree immersive panoramic look of a city or location. Apple says that it is surveying all of Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong islands, Kowloon, New Territories, and the Macao Bridge. Image...
apple maps vehicle austria

Apple Maps Vehicles Collecting 'Look Around' Imagery in Several More Countries

Monday July 26, 2021 8:35 am PDT by
Apple Maps vehicles rigged with LiDAR equipment are collecting street-level imagery and data in several more countries and regions this summer, including Austria, Switzerland, and Hong Kong, according to a list of locations maintained on Apple's website. The vehicles have also returned to Belgium to survey additional regions after focusing on the Brussels area last year. Apple Maps vehicle in ...
apple maps report incident red

Apple Maps Users in the Netherlands Can Now Report Traffic Incidents

Tuesday August 17, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, Apple Maps gained the ability for users in the United States to report incidents, such as accidents, speed checks, hazards, and more. Now, the feature has been expanded to Apple Maps users in the Netherlands. According to iCultre, Apple has expanded the feature for Apple Maps users in the Netherlands, and this expansion follows the addition of other features for Apple ...
apple maps gift 1

Apple Maps Team Members Receive Unique Thank You Gift

Tuesday December 28, 2021 8:01 am PST by
Apple has been revamping its Maps app over the last few years, with the updated experience providing more detailed coverage of roads and buildings, faster and more accurate navigation, 3D views of landmarks in major cities, and more. In light of those efforts, Apple recently sent a unique gift to some employees working on the Maps team, according to a LinkedIn post shared on Reddit. The gift ...

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...