Source - Unsplash

Apple Maps teams hiking around UK cities with camera-laden backpacks

In the UK, Apple is making Apple Maps more accessible to pedestrians by dispatching people with data-gathering backpacks to areas where its fleet of mapping cars can’t go.

Apple Maps and other mapping services rely on data obtained from a modified vehicle going along roads, however this approach sometimes leaves pedestrianised areas out. Apple is attempting to improve Apple Maps for pedestrians in the United Kingdom by collecting more data away from cars.

Source – Unsplash

Apple is sending out personnel in parts of London, Birmingham, and Manchester starting Monday and lasting through May to collect more data for Apple Maps, according to Bloomberg. The endeavour will concentrate on regions where cars are unable to quickly reach an area yet walkers are allowed to wander freely.

Employees will wear backpacks containing sensors and imaging technologies similar to those used in Apple Maps vehicles. The backpacks will aid in the creation of 2D maps of the areas, as well as the enhancement of the Look Around feature, which will allow users to view more locations from their devices.

The squad is claimed to be targeting parks, city squares, and transit stops, including Birmingham’s Bullring, New Street, and Edgbaston Street. Albert Square, Shambles Square, and St. Peter’s Square are all good places to map in Manchester.

Apple will also be gathering data via backpack in Berkshire and Staffordshire, according to listings on its Image Collection page.

The upgrades will include filtering of faces and licence plates that appear in Look Around, as well as “the same privacy measures as the Apple Maps automobiles.”

In 2018, Apple began collecting pedestrian-based data for Apple Maps in San Francisco, using a fully tailored backpack.

This isn’t the first time Apple has deployed its pedestrian squads in the United Kingdom. A similar effort was performed in 2020, replete with cameras and LiDAR sensors on the backpacks, and it covered London as well.

Apple Maps is a web mapping service that Apple Inc. has created. It is the default map system for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS, and it provides driving, walking, cycling, and public transportation navigation directions and projected arrival times. In a 3D environment made up of models of buildings and structures, a “Flyover” mode displays some densely populated urban centres and other points of interest.

Apple Maps supplanted Google Maps as the primary map system for Apple devices when it was first released in 2012. It was panned by users and reviews from the outset due to erroneous instructions, a lack of public transit data, and a variety of other faults and errors. Many of the criticisms have been resolved by further software development.