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Apple returns to surveying streets with futuristic backpacks

Apple employees will not only drive cars, but also walk through cities with futuristic backpacks to gather data for Apple Maps (Image: Joanna Stern)
Apple employees will not only drive cars, but also walk through cities with futuristic backpacks to gather data for Apple Maps (Image: Joanna Stern)
The employees who are working for Apple's maps team will walk through Canada's largest three cities in order to improve the material that is used for the "Look Around" feature that competes with Google Maps' street view. Pedestrians who encounter one of these surveyors and their technology-packed backpacks do not have to fear for their privacy.
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Users of navigation apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps for iPhones (from US$574 on Amazon) often assume that the map material for the useful applications is usually gathered by satellites which can take highly detailed pictures of the earth's surface. It is also known that Google and Apple use cameras that are mounted on the roof of cars in order to gather street level imagery for their respective navigation apps.

However, under special circumstances Apple occasionally sends its employees to walk the streets of certain big cities with futuristic camera backpacks, as we reported a few years ago. According to MacRumors, this is supposed to happen again in Canada's three biggest cities over the coming weeks. In Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver, Apple employees may hit the streets with their eye-catching backpacks.

Apple is using the gathered material to improve its "Look Around" feature, which stands in direct competition to Google's popular street view mode in Google Maps. Since the cars that are usually used to gather this data cannot reach every part of modern cities, employees now have to walk to fill the gaps in Apple's map material. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker also assures that privacy plays an integral role in this collection of data, which is why the faces of pedestrians and the license plates of cars will be blurred.

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Enrico Frahn
Editor of the original article: Enrico Frahn - Tech Writer - 240 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
My fascination for technology goes back a long way to the Pentium II era. Modding, overclocking and treasuring computer hardware has since become an integral part of my life. As a student, I further developed a keen interest in mobile technologies that can make the stressful college life so much easier. After I fell in love with the creation of digital content while working in a marketing position, I now scour the web to bring you the most exciting topics in the world of tech. Outside the office, I’m particularly passionate about motorsports and mountain biking.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > Apple returns to surveying streets with futuristic backpacks
Enrico Frahn, 2021-09-13 (Update: 2021-09-13)