Apple is announcing is own Street View like service starting in February . Initially by launching his float of vehicles to collect data on several cities around the world. As well as Google’s Street View program the data collected will maintain user privacy and use 360 degree photography to give the more real experience possible from a picture.

Apple started introducing other’s companies innovation to his portfolio in order to offer a complete experience under his device platform.

Given that Google has offered Street View for almost ten years already, it feels as though Apple may be a little late to the table here. Ever since Apple ditched Google Maps in 2012, the Cupertino, California-based company has been striving to improve its own mapping system, which uses data from a number of third-party platforms, including TomTom, OpenStreetMap, and AutoNavi (in China). Indeed, Apple announced transit directions for its maps just a few days ago, despite Google having offered such a feature for a while.

So will Apple’s version of street-based imagery simply be a direct copy of Street View? Possibly not. A patent filed back in 2013 mentions “3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation,” and the filing is disparaging of existing imaging software, calling it a “tedious experience,” though it doesn’t mention Google Street View by name. The patent read:

Street-level imaging software provides panoramic views from various positions along streets throughout the world. Conventional street-level viewing applications or Web-based street-level viewing services allow a user to rotate within a panoramic “bubble” to view a particular street location from all directions.

The user can rotate in the bubble using a navigation control and an input device (e.g., a mouse) or finger. To turn a street corner and enter a another street (e.g., a street intersection), the user has to “jump” to a panoramic “bubble” at the intersection then pan in the bubble to face in the direction of the target street. This can be a tedious experience for a user of a handheld device that needs to navigate streets of a neighborhood quickly.

By contrast, Apple discusses using “position tracking subsystems” and mobile sensors that let users navigate a location simply by moving and tilting their device. Most modern smartphones, including the iPhone, have a gyroscope and accelerometer, so it looks like Apple is working on a different implementation of street-level photography. Interestingly, Apple also mentions entering a virtual indoor structure such as a “commercial venue” and carry out other actions, including making a purchase — so in effect, Apple could be working on a system that lets you navigate inside an online store using your iPhone and pick items off shelves to buy.

The Press Release from the Official Apple Website:


Apple Maps vehicles

Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates.

We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication. If you have comments or questions about this process, please contact us.

See below for where we’re driving our vehicles next.

Driving Locations for June 15th – June 30th
Ireland, England, East of England, Greater London, South East, West Midlands, United States, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas, Utah, Washington