Apple Maps Vehicles Surveying 13 More U.S. States Later This Month

Apple’s fleet of vehicles collecting street-level mapping data in the United States will begin surveying 13 more U.S. states between July 15 and July 31, including Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wyoming. Apple Maps vehicles have been spotted in 15 states to date and will have reached 28 states in total after this next wave.

Apple Maps vehicle driving in Monroe Township, New Jersey in May 2015
Apple confirmed last month that it is driving vehicles around the world to collect data to improve Apple Maps, and the mapping imagery is almost certainly being used to create a Google Maps „Street View“ competitor. Apple Maps vehicles are also taking photos of businesses and storefronts in major metropolitan areas to replace current imagery provided by third-party sources such as Yelp.

The cities and counties in the 13 U.S. states where Apple Maps vehicles will be surveying:

Colorado
Denver

Idaho
Ada County (Boise)

Indiana
Marion County (Indianapolis)

Kentucky
Jefferson County (Louisville)

Maryland
Baltimore

Minnesota
Hennepin County (Minneapolis), Ramsey County (St. Paul)

Missisippi
Harrison County (Gulfport)

New Mexico
Santa Fe

Ohio
Hamilton County (Cincinnati)

Oregon
Lane County (Eugene), Marion County (Salem)

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

South Dakota
Pennington County (Rapid City)

Wyoming
Laramie County (Cheyenne)

Apple has posted a complete list of new areas in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland where it will begin surveying throughout the last two-and-a-half weeks of July on its Apple Maps vehicles website. In addition to 12 new U.S. states, Apple will continue surveying unmapped areas in California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas, Utah and Washington.



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Apple Filling Out Flyover City Tours Ahead of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite Launches [iOS Blog]

One of the new mapping features included in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite is Flyover city tours, which leverages the existing Flyover imagery to provide users with an automated aerial tour of landmarks in a given city. When the feature first appeared early in the iOS 8 beta testing process, only a handful of cities were supported, and while the number of available tours remains small, Apple has added several dozen more cities over time.

Apple currently documents 90 cities, parks, and landmarks where the standard Flyover feature is available. Of these 90 locations where users can view interactive 3D maps, 40 currently have the automated Flyover tours enabled under iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

Apple’s list of Flyover locations with current Flyover tour cities boxed in green
As with the Flyover feature itself, the list of cities with Flyover tour support is an eclectic one, ranging from major cities such as London, Paris, and New York to smaller areas such as Cheyenne, Wyoming and Linköping, Sweden, home of the C3 Technologies, the company whose technology was leveraged for Flyover after Apple acquired it several years ago.

During the beta testing period for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple has also tweaked the means of identifying locations with Flyover tours enabled, making them easier to find. Initially, cities with the feature available were identifiable only by the text of the city name being in yellow rather than the standard white in Hybrid view. Apple has since tweaked the display to instead identify Flyover tour cities with a small „3D“ icon instead of the standard dot used to mark location.

iOS 8 had been expected to see a number of significant mapping improvements, but the service was all but ignored during Apple’s overview of the upcoming operating system at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. Apple’s maps team has reportedly been suffering from issues related to internal politics and the departure of a number of key members. The issues appear to have slowed the team’s progress, and thus larger mapping improvements originally slated for iOS 8 may instead be pushed back to a later update such as a future iOS 8.1.

(Thanks, Alec!)




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