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
14 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
14 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
14 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
14 months ago
The backpack looks like a giant MagSafe Battery pack
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnnyenv Avatar
14 months ago
Apple branded Ghostbusters Ecto Proton pack
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
14 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

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...