Apple recently announced that it will be rebuilding its maps feature from scratch by collecting data about people’s trips from iPhones by assigning a random identifier to identify routes without tracking the beginning or end of an individual’s journey. They have been trying to drift away from the concept of relying on data generated by a third-party and have instead deployed their own set of cars attached with sensors and cameras in order to gather real time traffic and accurate mapping information.
The updated version of maps focuses on various new features like accurate representation of building shapes with the ability to determine the correct entrances to these buildings. Visually, the interface is not getting a complete overhaul; however, there will be slight changes with respect to portraying areas like gardens, lawns, trees, and shrubs. They have also majorly improved representation of various sports areas like basketball and tennis courts and pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked on but not mapped yet.
Apple’s SVP Eddy Cue said that, “We’ve got a dedicated team — we started this four years ago — across a variety of fields from ML, to map design, to you name it. There’s thousands of people working on this all around the globe from here in the Bay Area, to Seattle, Austin, New York. We have people in other countries, in cities like Berlin, Paris, Singapore, Beijing, Malmö, Hyderabad. This team’s dispersed around the globe. It’s important to have that when you’re trying to create and do this. We’re trying to look at how people use our devices all around the world. Our focus is to build these maps for people on the go”.
“We have been working on trying to create what we hope is going to be the best map app in the world, taking it to the next step. That is building all of our own map data from the ground up”, he added.