We can barely remember a time when we weren’t reliant on Apple Maps for directions. It has been our guide since iOS 6 was released in 2012 and we have been increasingly dependent on it ever since.
Apple Maps replaced Google Maps as the default map application for iOS in 2012. Google Maps had been the default since 2007 when the first iPhone was released, and it still rivals the Apple equivalent today. The two apps continue to expand and evolve as they respond to each other, and this week Apple Maps continues to expand through Europe.
Mapping vehicles surveying Spain
Over the past two years, Apple has been expanding the areas where it is collecting data for Apple Maps. This week, equipped with high-resolution cameras, mapping vans have set out in Spain to increase the app’s domination.
The vans began surveying one week ago according to Apple’s support page. This page is updated regularly to highlight exactly which countries and cities the vans are operating in. The vans are set to collect data in the Biscay province of Spain between July 3 and August 13, driving through Arratia-Nerbioi, Busturialdea, Durangaldea, Enkarterri, Greater Bilbao, Lea Artibai and Uribe-Kosta.
As Apple never does things by halves, vehicles are also collecting data in new areas of England, France, Italy and multiple American states during July and August.
What does this mean for users?
The new data is rumored to once again help Apple Maps compete with competitor Google Maps. It is speculated that app will soon include a “Street View” feature, like Google Maps’ as Apple has stated it will be blurring faces and license plates.
However, there is also speculation that the imagery will be used develop futuristic sounding self-driving car systems. Time will only tell if this far-fetched rumor will become reality.
How much truth is in any of these rumors remains unclear as Apple continues to keep users in the dark about exactly what the new data will mean for the app. The company vaguely states that the information will be used to improve Apple Maps, but exactly what this means remains unclear.
Apple’s mapping vehicles have already surveyed more than 30 US states and many European countries and its domination is only set to continue.