Hi Mi Fans!
I'm not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it needs to be to be considered a world-class service. Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps.
How They Re-Built It?
It’s doing this by using first-party data gathered by iPhones with a privacy-first methodology and its own fleet of cars packed with sensors and cameras. Apple is now focused on building the 'best map app in the world' which requires building all of our own map data from the ground up.
Apple decided it needed to provide its own first-party mapping data, not just the application with third-party data providers. They’ve done a huge investment of making millions of changes, adding millions of locations, updating the map and changing the map more frequently. Advantages of the new mapping system include the ability to update and correct data in real-time. The new maps infrastructure will allow Apple to address road work and corrections much faster than the current version.
What part of Maps will be new?
New foliage markers, showing you where ground cover like grass and trees exists more accurately. Pools, parking lots, exact building shapes, sports areas like baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts and pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked but previously unmapped. There are also some new features like the ability to determine where the entrances are to buildings based on maps data.
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2018-06-30 06:37:41 Upload
Apple has tools specifically to allow its maps editors to measure building heights in the 3D views and to tweak the shapes of the buildings to make them as accurate as possible. The measuring tools also serve to nail down how many floors a building might have for internal navigation.
Will it use more data or battery?
Apple says NO. It’s saying that the amount of both resources used are so negligible as to be swallowed up in normal efficiency gains.
Does it use information from iPhones?
Yes. It uses segments of trips you take that have been anonymized called probe data to determine things like “is this a valid route?” or to glean traffic congestion information. The only device that knows about your entire trip is your personal device.
When information and/or requests are sent to Apple, a rotating random identifier is assigned to chunks of data, which are segmented for additional safety before transmission. Basically, all Apple will ever see is a random slice of any person’s trip without beginning or end connected directly, which it uses to update its maps and traffic info. Not only can it not tell who it came from, Apple says it cannot even reconstruct a trip based on this data — no matter who asks for it.
From the point cloud on up:-
But maps cannot live on ground truth and mobile data alone. Apple is also gathering new high-resolution satellite data to combine with its ground truth data for a solid base map. It’s then layering satellite imagery on top of that to better determine foliage, pathways, sports facilities, building shapes and pathways.
After the downstream data has been cleaned up of license plates and faces, it gets run through a bunch of computer vision programming to pull out addresses, street signs and other points of interest. These are cross-referenced to publicly available data like addresses held by the city and new construction of neighbourhoods or roadways that comes from city planning departments.
We’ll start to find out soon exactly how much better the new maps actually are. The effort was reportedly four years in the making — but the question isn’t just one of better data, but a better approach to maps, too. Apple has been licensing data from well-known mapping companies, like TomTom, yet has faced reliability issues that those companies do not.
And ultimately, Apple is still going up against Google, which has been at this for more than a decade. Rebuilding Maps into a competitive product can’t be easy. But it’s important that Apple is finally giving it a go.
Sources: 1 2
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