Apple is also introducing its improved map service in Germany nearly a year after the announcement. New features include more detail, down to individual trees and traffic lights. The photos of the streets in the “Look Around” service – Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View – will initially be available only for Munich, as announced early Thursday by the iPhone group.
Digital maps have become the basis for many applications, from a springboard for locating shops and places close to car navigation. Apple made the strategic decision more than a decade ago to create its own maps service instead of the Google maps initially used in the iPhone. After the initial difficulties, the group invested heavily in the service and, among other things, also sent cameras to German cities.
More detailed views and improved navigation in Apple’s Maps app
These images are not only used for the “look around” feature, but also to enhance maps, to show speed limits and details such as crosswalk. Also new are more specific navigation instructions such as “turn right after the next traffic light” instead of “after 50 meters right”.
In shopping malls, the app should now not only lead to the parking lot, but also to the desired store. In several German cities, the map app will be able to access the iPhone camera to show the directional arrows in the street landscape on the display for better orientation.
Camera teams on foot and by car in Cologne
As announced by Apple, four teams with camera backpacks have been in Cologne since the beginning of April, probably until the beginning of July. From 22 April, camera vehicles would be added again.
Apple mainly sends people with backpacks to pedestrian zones or parks. Backpacks not only take photos, but also scan their surroundings with laser radar, such as those used in self-driving vehicles. With the help of the data, Apple creates the most detailed maps and integrates street views similar to Google Street View from competitors.
Houses can be pixelated upon request
Apple had already taken the first shots with camera backpacks in Germany last summer in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg. Cars have been arriving on German roads for several years. By default, faces and license plates are blurred in recordings. Residents can request that their home be pixelated in the recordings.
Apple unveiled the new version of the map service in early June last year at the WWDC developer conference. It has been available in eight countries so far, including the US, UK, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.