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
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 months ago
The backpack looks like a giant MagSafe Battery pack
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnnyenv Avatar
16 months ago
Apple branded Ghostbusters Ecto Proton pack
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
16 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

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iOS 16

Apple Still Has These 5 Things to Release Heading Into 2023

Thursday December 1, 2022 7:12 am PST by
The calendar has turned to December and that means Apple has only one month left to fulfill its promises of releasing an Apple Music Classical app and expanding its self-service repair program to Europe before the end of 2022. Delays are always possible, of course, so the plans could be pushed back to 2023. In any case, we have put together a list of five things that Apple still has to release...
iOS 16

Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 [Update: Public Beta Available]

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the betas coming two weeks after Apple seeded the third betas of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2. Registered developers are able to download the iOS 16‌.2 and iPadOS 16.2 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the beta is available over the air. iOS...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple Now Calling AR/VR Headset Operating System 'xrOS'

Thursday December 1, 2022 12:57 pm PST by
Apple has decided to call the software that will run on its upcoming AR/VR headset "xrOS," an update from the original "RealityOS or "rOS" naming the company was planning on, according to Bloomberg. Render created by Ian Zelbo based on rumored information The name change comes as Apple begins to prepare for the launch of the headset, which is expected at some point in 2023. The headset will...