Apple Maps rolls out much-improved imagery upgrade

The company’s next-generation mapping imagery expands to Chicago and Las Vegas

Apple Maps
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Maps has expanded its updated, highly-detailed mapping imager to two new US cities, in the form of Chicago and Las Vegas.

In a bid to lure users away from Google Maps, the iPhone maker has been slowly upgrading its 3D imagery over the last few years, but so far only a handful of places have received the treatment.

Three-dimensional maps are available more widely, but the newer versions offer greater detail, especially of key landmarks like skyscrapers and sports stadia. Although the imagery is fun to look at, the practical application here is how the improved maps include details like road markings, as well as parks, pavements and pedestrian crossings, making it easier to navigate.

Naturally, the iconic hotels of the Las Vegas strip are reproduced in greater detail, and even the famous ‘welcome to fabulous Las Vegas Nevada’ sign is there in all its glory

Apple isn’t saying much about this expansion for now, and with some reports of missing buildings in Chicago, and some appearing that shouldn’t actually be there at all, we suspect the imagery will be refined and tidied up before any announcement.

The company previously said how enhanced 3D mapping imagery would be available in Chicago and Las Vegas before the end of 2022, so it looks like Apple is ahead of schedule on this one.

Cities that already have the improved maps, which were first introduced (opens in new tab) by Apple back in September 2021, include London, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. 

As well as improved imagery, the update brings elevation details, new road labels and hundreds of custom-designed landmarks. While navigating, cities with the upgraded maps show clearer distinctions between turn lanes, central reservations, bus and taxi lanes, and pedestrian crossings.

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.