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Apple improving 3D Flyover visuals in iOS 6 Maps

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
This week Apple began quietly enhancing the 3D Flyover feature of its new iOS 6 Maps application, giving users updated images with more accurate recreations.

Flyover 1
Left, the old view of the Brooklyn Bridge in iOS 6 Maps. Right, an updated render.


In one example highlighted to AppleInsider by reader Sal, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is now accurately rendered in three dimensions. Previously, the bridge shown in a distorted fashion.

The Flyover improvements were not immediately available to all users, as some devices were still shown the older data. For example, one reader said updated images were appearing on their iPhone, but not their iPad.

The behind-the-scenes improvements being made by Apple come after its new mapping application in iOS 6 has received considerable criticism for being inferior to Google Maps, which previously provided mapping data for Apple's iOS devices.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook even publicly apologized to customers for the quality of the Maps application in iOS 6 in a statement issued last month. He also vowed that the company was "doing everything we can to make Maps better."

Flyover 2
Top, the Brooklyn Bridge was previously distorted in iOS 6 Maps. Bottom, it has been updated.


3D Flyovers are one of the hallmark features of Apple's iOS 6 Maps, combining overhead images with three-dimensional geometry to allow users to view and interact with major cities in new and unique ways. But the 3D mapping data also has considerable flaws that led to distorted views of major landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam and other sites.

As Apple has caught flak for iOS 6 Maps, Google has not sat by idly. The company recently introduced new satellite imagery taken at a 45-degree angle to better compete with Flyover, while Google also made its popular Street View feature available in the Safari Web browser on iPhone and iPad.

Google is also said to be working on a standalone Google Maps application that would be made available for download in the iOS App Store. However, that software is not expected to arrive until later this year at the earliest.
post #2 of 100

BREAKING: What we knew was going to happen and that which has been happening since Beta 1 is continuing to happen.

 

BREAKERINGLY BREAKING: Google's shaking in their 360 degree boots.

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post #3 of 100
Good to see AI call Street View "popular" rather than a troll tool. lol.gif
post #4 of 100

My Brooklyn Bridge is still all screwed up. However changes like these were expected with time, no big surprise. Hopefully updates come frequently.

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post #5 of 100

Yeah good, at least this confirms it.  I noticed improvements yesterday and wondered why no one was posting on it.  But seriously.. they should have looked this way at launch.  

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post #6 of 100
Interestingly, I typed "Statue of Liberty" into Maps and got... no results. They need to make sure national monuments, at the very least, yield some kind of result.

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post #7 of 100
AI, you forgot to add "Finally" to the headline.

/s
post #8 of 100

How do I get the little buildings (Flyover) to show.  All my i4S shows is the 3D.  Is flyover only for i5?

post #9 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Google has not sat by idly. The company recently introduced new satellite imagery taken at a 45-degree angle to better compete with Flyover...

I thought you guys got the message in the last article you posted about 45 degree.

 

IT'S NOT A NEW FEATURE!!!

 

YOU ARE SPINNING THIS TO MAKE FLYOVER LOOK LIKE IT'S SOME HUGE INNOVATION WHEN IT'S REALLY NOT.

 

45 DEGREE HAS BEEN OUT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, IF NOT MORE

IT WAS SPECULATED TO COMPETE WITH BING'S "BIRD'S EYE VIEW".  IT WAS IMPLEMENTED AT LEAST A YEAR AGO IF NOT MUCH LONGER.

post #10 of 100
What's wrong with the top left picture?
Isn't this Dalì's famous melting bridge?
post #11 of 100
Spamsandwich, I get a pin dropped on it when I do the same.
post #12 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I thought you guys got the message in the last article you posted about 45 degree.

 

IT'S NOT A NEW FEATURE!!!

 

YOU ARE SPINNING THIS TO MAKE FLYOVER LOOK LIKE IT'S SOME HUGE INNOVATION WHEN IT'S REALLY NOT.

 

45 DEGREE HAS BEEN OUT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, IF NOT MORE

IT WAS SPECULATED TO COMPETE WITH BING'S "BIRD'S EYE VIEW".  IT WAS IMPLEMENTED AT LEAST A YEAR AGO IF NOT MUCH LONGER.

Also, Google Earth had 3D Flyover technology many years ago...for about a year now, maps.google.com desktop version offers a similar feature and a tab called "Earth" that turned the maps browser into the full Google Earth 3D browser.

post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Interestingly, I typed "Statue of Liberty" into Maps and got... no results. They need to make sure national monuments, at the very least, yield some kind of result.

Hmm. This works for me.
post #14 of 100
Looks like Independence Hall in Philadelphia has been straightened too! Thanks Apple!
post #15 of 100

AN OPEN LETTER TO TIM COOK

 

Dear Mr. Cook,

 

I am a long time user of Apple products and while I acknowledge there have been occasional missteps by Apple in the past, they have usually quickly been rectified. I assume the very same approach will be taken with Apple's Maps, however, I have an idea that you may freely use that I believe will both quickly help build out the capabilities of Apple's Maps service and engage the Apple community.

 

The idea is simply to leverage the vast army of Apple devotees who own iPhones and 3G/LTE iPads to "fill in" missing data in Apple's Maps database.

 

If Apple would provide to users who are willing to sign up for a special promotional program a "heat map" of the locations that are missing ground-level data that is needed, perhaps users would be willing to provide to Apple Panoramic imagery using their iOS devices. Our iPhones and iPads already have built-in some of the best location and positioning sensors available (short of an aircraft using LIDAR) in a consumer computing device, and for a small consideration---possibly credits for the App Store, or something not too unreasonable---WE could provide the "street level" data that is missing that could be used for expanding the capabilities of the Maps app and bring the fun aspects of geo-caching to the masses.

 

I'd recommend a short online training session on Apple.com and for all participants to sign off on all the usual legal agreements so pictures and ground-based mapping data acquired would properly belong to Apple.

 

Please consider using all of the brilliant tools at your disposal to make Maps better. Including a massive, loyal user base.

 

Thank you.


Edited by SpamSandwich - 10/5/12 at 1:28pm

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post #16 of 100
parts of it still broken. jump in to the north bank of the bridge. You can see yellow "tape" on the river bank road to go up to the bridge when it is supposed to go under the bridge.
post #17 of 100
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post
Also, Google Earth had 3D Flyover technology many years ago...for about a year now, maps.google.com desktop version offers a similar feature and a tab called "Earth" that turned the maps browser into the full Google Earth 3D browser.

 

Do you really want to compare that to Flyover?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #18 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm929 View Post

How do I get the little buildings (Flyover) to show.  All my i4S shows is the 3D.  Is flyover only for i5?

Flip it into Satellite view while still in 3D view.

post #19 of 100

Wait I liked driving on the brooklyn bridge before they fixed it.  The sudden drop in altitude and being so close to the water.  WHY?  Put it back!!!!

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post #20 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Spamsandwich, I get a pin dropped on it when I do the same.

 

How weird... I just repeated the experiment and now it works.

 

I wonder if the data hadn't yet populated my area's data center...?

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post #21 of 100
the statue of liberty has been fixed too. I live in CA so when I typed Statue of Liberty, I got no result. But when I panned out to see the entire US then searched, it found it in NY.
post #22 of 100

statue of liberty is fixed for me but brooklyn bridge is not fixed for me yet.

post #23 of 100
Look at Google maps of the bridge.  You will see a break in the bridge as if it is broken off.
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post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

Also, Google Earth had 3D Flyover technology many years ago...for about a year now, maps.google.com desktop version offers a similar feature and a tab called "Earth" that turned the maps browser into the full Google Earth 3D browser.

 

 

No, it didn’t, and still doesn't. Neither 45-degree view nor Google Earth (even with a few 3D building models tacked on) are the same as FlyOver. Google IS working on something like FlyOver, as are others. But 45 degree view and Google Earth terrain and Google's long-time “3D buildings” thing are NOT it. Those are lesser, older methods that simply can’t do the same thing. They have the word “3D” in them, but they are not the same.

 

Now, FlyOver currently does nothing for most of the Earth! Google Earth at least does something everywhere (more fun than useful, but I’m a big fan). I don’t live in one of the cities included in FlyOver so far. But FlyOver coverage is growing.

 

Who will get there first? (Truly widespread coverage of high-detail 3D—not just terrain.) Who will do it best? One or both of those will be Apple, I suspect.

post #25 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

...Now, FlyOver currently does nothing for most of the Earth! Google Earth at least does something everywhere (more fun than useful, but I’m a big fan). I don’t live in one of the cities included in FlyOver so far. But FlyOver coverage is growing.

 

Who will get there first? (Truly widespread coverage of high-detail 3D—not just terrain.) Who will do it best? One or both of those will be Apple, I suspect.

 

It's all about having a roving fleet of aircraft, or drones, constantly patrolling the skies. Perhaps one day they'll be able to do it using helicopters and smaller, cheaper drones continuously providing updated imagery and scan data.

 

Considering Apple could buy Google several times over, I wonder why they haven't purchased their own fleet of Apple aerial vehicles.

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post #26 of 100
I told you so... give them a year, they will make it even better then Google Maps! 1biggrin.gif
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

 

No, it didn’t, and still doesn't. Neither 45-degree view nor Google Earth (even with a few 3D building models tacked on) are the same as FlyOver. Google IS working on something like FlyOver, as are others. But 45 degree view and Google Earth terrain and Google's long-time “3D buildings” thing are NOT it. Those are lesser, older methods that simply can’t do the same thing. They have the word “3D” in them, but they are not the same.

 

Now, FlyOver currently does nothing for most of the Earth! Google Earth at least does something everywhere (more fun than useful, but I’m a big fan). I don’t live in one of the cities included in FlyOver so far. But FlyOver coverage is growing.

 

Who will get there first? (Truly widespread coverage of high-detail 3D—not just terrain.) Who will do it best? One or both of those will be Apple, I suspect.

Different strokes for all, but personally I don't see a particular need for either a 45 degree or "Flyover" view if you have both satellite view and Streetview available. Unless you're landing an aircraft I'm not sure what that additional view reveals that's significantly beneficial?

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post #28 of 100
Yay! Apple's rebuilding the Brooklyn Bridge. Now I can cross it without worry of it collapsing.
post #29 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Considering Apple could buy Google several times over, I wonder why they haven't purchased their own fleet of Apple aerial vehicles.

Google's market cap is a tad over $250 Billion. That's a big pill to swallow even for Apple. As for why Apple hasn't invested a few billion in a fleet of aircraft and land vehicles to hurry along their map project I don't personally think it's as important to Apple as it is to Google. I also think that Apple may believe (or did) that mapping can be dealt with by technology and software rather than needing boots on the ground.

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post #30 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google's market cap is a tad over $250 Billion. That's a big pill to swallow even for Apple.

 

I'm not suggesting Apple buy Google. I'm suggesting they buy their own fleet of aerial vehicles that could be dispatched regularly to acquire the high-resolution LIDAR data they need to create the nifty FlyOver map views.

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post #31 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Yay! Apple's rebuilding the Brooklyn Bridge. Now I can cross it without worry of it collapsing.

 

Are you interested in buying it?

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post #32 of 100

Way to go Apple, that was quick.


That should finally shut up those troll trapdoors.

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post #33 of 100

Yeah, thanks a lot Apple, but I will NEVER get back the week I spent frantically searching the internet to find reports of just how badly Apple had faltered on the whole Maps thing. 

post #34 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

...  Now, FlyOver currently does nothing for most of the Earth! Google Earth at least does something everywhere (more fun than useful, but I’m a big fan). ...

 

To be fair, while flyover isn't available in most places and the satellite imagery is poor in a few places, iOS 6 maps with 3D and satellite imagery turned on is very similar to Google earth.  The elevation data is all there and you can do things like zoom around in the rocky mountains and so on.  It's only when you get to the cities that you see a real difference. 


Edited by Gazoobee - 10/5/12 at 2:06pm
post #35 of 100

While looking around NYC in 3D mode just now I noticed they might need to fix up the FDR a little bit. There a number of buildings that are located right on top of the highway for example.

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post #36 of 100
MAPS keeps a lot of data for offline usage. The older distorted images are a carry over of that older data.

Anyone know how to reset that?

For the bridge itself I wonder if being on the border between "3D" Brooklyn and the Flyover enhanced Manhattan causes an issue?
post #37 of 100
It's still messed up for me, and it's not cached, at least on my phone, since I have not visited that area before.

All it is is a satellite view mapped onto the height field data (which does show how crude the height field data really is)
post #38 of 100
Nope, the Brooklyn Bridge still broke for me on the iPad 3. Statue of Liberty search works for me, just not in 3D.
post #39 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

While looking around NYC in 3D mode just now I noticed they might need to fix up the FDR a little bit. There a number of buildings that are located right on top of the highway for example.

 

Maybe you should call the UN about that and see if they'll move them.

post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

AN OPEN LETTER TO TIM COOK

 

Dear Mr. Cook,

 

I am a long time user of Apple products and while I acknowledge there have been occasional missteps by Apple in the past, they have usually quickly been rectified. I assume the very same approach will be taken with Apple's Maps, however, I have an idea that you may freely use that I believe will both quickly help build out the capabilities of Apple's Maps service and engage the Apple community.

 

The idea is simply to leverage the vast army of Apple devotees who own iPhones and 3G/LTE iPads to "fill in" missing data in Apple's Maps database.

 

If Apple would provide to users who are willing to sign up for a special promotional program a "heat map" of the locations that are missing ground-level data that is needed, perhaps users would be willing to provide to Apple Panoramic imagery using their iOS devices. Our iPhones and iPads already have built-in some of the best location and positioning sensors available (short of an aircraft using LIDAR) in a consumer computing device, and for a small consideration---possibly credits for the App Store, or something not too unreasonable---WE could provide the "street level" data that is missing that could be used for expanding the capabilities of the Maps app and bring the fun aspects of geo-caching to the masses.

 

I'd recommend a short online training session on Apple.com and for all participants to sign off on all the usual legal agreements so pictures and ground-based mapping data acquired would properly belong to Apple.

 

Please consider using all of the brilliant tools at your disposal to make Maps better. Including a massive, loyal user base.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Hear, Hear!

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