Reports surfaced last fall that Apple was opening a new research and development office in Lund, Sweden, continuing a wave of new satellite locations outside of headquarters in Cupertino, California. Rapidus (via tech.eu) has followed up with a new details now claiming that Apple’s been building out operations in Lund over the last several months to develop ‘advanced mapping technology’ for Apple Maps. The ramp up of hiring at the Swedish offices focused on mapping comes four years after Apple bought C3 Technologies, which translated to Apple’s Flyover and 3D features in Maps.
Apple has announced an expansion of its Apple Maps vehicle program, a fleet of vans equipped with advanced sensors collecting data for an improved Maps experience. Among the new locations, Apple will be bringing the vehicles to France and Sweden for the first time, while it also plans to survey a long list of new cities in the US and UK where it’s already started surveying.
We first reported on the project back in May, noting that Apple was gathering data to reduce its reliance on third-parties, including getting Google Street View-type images of storefronts and other 3D imagery.
For France, Apple lists the following areas already scheduled for surveying: Hauts-de-Seine, Paris (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th), Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne.
For Sweden, the areas the company plans to visit include: Malmö in Skåne County, and Stockholm (Bromma, Enskede-Årsta-Vantör, Farsta, Hägersten-Liljeholmen, Hässelby-Vällingby, Kungsholmen, Norrmalm, Rinkeby-Kista, Skarpnäck, Skärholmen, Spånga-Tensta, Södermalm, Älvsjö, Östermalm).
Apple has also added a number of new areas in the UK and US that it plans to survey from August 17th to August 30th next month. The full list is on its website here along with other dates scheduled for data collection in various locations.
Having originally planned to add a new transit directions feature to Maps last year, only to pull the feature before WWDC 2014, Apple now hopes to launch its Transit service with iOS 9, according to sources. Apple currently plans to debut bus, subway, and train route navigation as the central upgrade to the Maps app in iOS 9 at WWDC, using a user interface similar to the one intended for last fall’s launch, as depicted in the screenshots above…
Camera-equipped minivan leased to Apple spotted in Bay Area may point to Street View-style mapping system
Apple may be preparing a big update to its Maps application for iOS and OS X. San Francisco’s KPIX reported earlier today that a Dodge Caravan sporting an impressive array of cameras has been spotted roaming the area. The California DMV confirmed that the vehicle (seen in the photos above and below, via Claycord) was leased to Apple.
The CBS affiliate reached out to technology analyst Rob Enderle for his thoughts on what this might be. Enderle said that this van simply has too many cameras (a whopping twelve of them) to be a mapping car—though he failed to note that Google uses even more cameras on its own Street View cars.
Popular mapping application Waze was updated today to version 3.9.2. According to the app’s change log (below), it’s gotten several design tweaks to areas, including the location sharing interface and quick-messaging screen, which allows you to quickly notify friends that you’re on the way.
The app also gained a Today view widget that displays the estimated travel time to your home or work addresses, and allows you to quickly get directions to either location by tapping on them. You can also send your ETA to friends from the widget while navigating to your destination.
Traffic data is now improved when changing a route to avoid slowdowns, and a new setting allows the map to automatically swap between 2D and 3D styles. Of course, the usual miscellaneous bug fixes are also included.
You can grab the updated Waze app for free on the App Store.
What’s New in Version 3.9.2
– Sending “I’m on my way” message is simpler than ever! With a new design and layout, you can easily keep your friends & family posted on the progress of your drive.
– New Waze Today Widget for iOS 8! Quickly view your ETA for Home or Work, navigate with one tap, and easily send your current drive & ETA (when navigating). Pull down your Notification Center and tap Edit to add the extension.
– Updated look and function for sending a location.
– ETA & route changes now include richer traffic information.
– New map display setting automatically switches between 2D and 3D view.
– Bug fixes and performance enhancements.
Although Apple and Google signed a deal to extend the use of Google Maps in iOS, the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered Company has not overhauled the iOS mapping experience (yet). For those who grew tired of waiting, a company called UpNext partnered with Verizon Wireless on a cool mapping project that brings 3D awesomeness to your iPad and Android tablets. The app is called ‘UpNext HD Maps” and it covers the entire United States, sporting over 20 enhanced 3D cities.
These include New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, and Austin, with more cities coming soon. Other features include local search and discovery, venue reviews; deal finder, the ability to visualize your social and location graphs with Foursquare and pre-cached offline mode. You can see it in action in the clip above. Head over to the App Store and grab your free copy now.