Apple Maps is ramping up its Street View beater

Apple Maps cars are out in force across the globe collecting street-level photos for its Street View equivalent

Apple Maps
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Maps vehicles have been spotted on the streets of Amsterdam this week, as it looks to increase its collection of images for the Look Around function. While the Street View function in Google Maps currently offers much wider coverage, Apple’s images are higher resolution, and the amount of data is growing fast. In addition to recent Google Maps data concerns, this is just another reason for users to switch. 

According to the Apple Maps Image Collection, Amsterdam, where the cars were last seen, is due to have vehicle mapping until May across all 12 regions. In 2021 there are vehicles on the streets in all 50 US states (plus Puerto Rico and Washington DC) as well as pedestrian mapping in 10 areas. Australia has vehicles covering all states and territories, and pedestrian mapping in six. The UK meanwhile only has pedestrian updates scheduled for this month.

For road mapping, Apple mostly uses a fleet of modified Subaru Imprezas with a pod on the roof that contains a series of high-resolution cameras and LiDAR scanners. The Look Around feature was first introduced to Apple Maps as part of iOS 13, which came out in September 2019. The feature was originally only available in a few select US cities but has since rolled out to 17 cities across the world, including London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Tokyo.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps Look Around feature gives high-res 360 street-level views

(Image credit: Apple)

Twitter user Thomas Schlijper spotted the Apple Maps Car driving down some of Amsterdam’s narrow streets on Monday. The car is clearly marked as an Apple Mapping vehicle.

As well as road mapping, Apple Maps also provides maps of pedestrian streets and even inside some buildings, such as airports and malls with its Inside Maps. Though mapping is taking place right now, it could be months before the new images appear on maps.

We expect more Apple Maps improvements to be revealed with iOS 15, due for release later this year.

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.