Apple expands Maps capabilities with new Flyover, Nearby and Traffic location data

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2016
Apple's efforts to build out its in-house Maps service moved forward on Thursday with the addition of four new Flyover locales, public transit data for Los Angeles, a European expansion of Nearby POI suggestions and Traffic data for Hong Kong and Mexico.




The additions were listed on Apple's iOS Feature Availability webpage, which notes new Flyover support in Aomori, Japan; Bruges, Belgium; Lake Powell, Utah; and Limoges, France. Counting the four cities, Flyover is now available in 220 locales around the world.

Flyover is a tentpole Apple Maps feature that applies high-resolution imagery to computer generated three-dimensional models to create interactive 3D views of buildings, landmarks and other topographical features. Apple is also said to be working on a competitor to Google's Street View, which would provide finer street-level detail for easy metropolitan navigation.

Apple also flipped the switch on Traffic data for users in Hong Kong and Mexico, while residents in the Netherlands and the UK can now take advantage of iOS 9's new Nearby feature. Introduced in the latest iteration of Maps, Apple's Nearby provides automated, proximity-based search of commonly queried points of interest. Results of nearby businesses are split into categories like Food, Health, Services and Shopping, among others.

Previously limited to six countries including the U.S., France and parts of China, Nearby is accessible via Maps and is turned on by default in iOS Search.

Apple last updated Maps in December with Flyover destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Has anyone ever found a real use for Flyover?
    ddawson100secksmaxine
  • Reply 2 of 23
    maps is a product that needs a lot of work.  i'm happy to use it whenever convenient, but recently i was on a road trip in southern california...used apple maps for TbT directions, and it suggested an infinite loop (literally) on and off highway 1 outside morro bay.  had to revert to google maps for directions back northward.  i really hope they devote more resources to the product, especially if they plan on releasing a carOS sooner or later.

    yes, a carOS and not a car.  in the most recent podcast, one of the folks at AI outlined all of the reasons why producing a car made no sense, but a framework or OS did.  i tend to agree at this point.  why make a TV, a highly commoditized product with low margin, when you can make the primary device and interface that users will interact with?  same logic seems to apply to cars as well.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 3 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,699member
    I don't understand flyover either. I suspect it was an alternative, tightwad alternative to street view. Very pleasing visually however.
    it would be cool if they did flyover properly. Four new cities? Really? After all this time? How about if they want something like flyover to be used they actually spend the money to cover just about every town in a country all at once. Otherwise give it up and spend the cash on a street view competitor.

    Do or do not: there is no try.
    edited January 2016 ddawson100singularityargonaut
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Flyover: It's either "whoop-de-doo," or "Lah-de-dah".

    Whoop or Lah: there is no Meh
  • Reply 5 of 23
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    entropys said:
    I don't understand flyover either. I suspect it was an alternative, tightwad alternative to street view. Very pleasing visually however.
    it would be cool if they did flyover properly. Four new cities? Really? After all this time? How about if they want something like flyover to be used they actually spend the money to cover just about every town in a country all at once. Otherwise give it up and spend the cash on a street view competitor.

    Do or do not: there is no try.

    I imagine Apple's thinking is along the lines of 'how many additional people with iPhones can we cover with each new flyover locale?' This type of thinking, plus the data they have on iPhone ownership by geography, plus the data they surely have on where people travel to, would allow the company to prioritize rollout of such a feature, or any location-based feature, in a way that optimizes the expenditure of their resources applied to the feature.
    edited January 2016 argonaut
  • Reply 6 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,805member
    1) I'm glad to see these incremental updates to Maps, and while I find that locations I need are very good now, there is still (what I consider) an incredibly stupid bug where I put in the name of a local street, a location like a park, or name of a business, but instead of doing a local search first, it wants to jump to some ridiculous location in some other state or country. Logically, I'd think that such a simple input parameter would first do a comparative local search before trying for some exact match in some nationwide or worldwide capacity.

    2) I hope that Apple is finally ready to debut, demo, and release their groundbreaking Maps app and backend, for which I assume they've been working on for the last several years.
    chiaddawson100argonaut
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,591member
    tokyojimu said:
    Has anyone ever found a real use for Flyover?

    Yup. I write thrillers and it's damn useful for double-checking locations. 

    I also checked the time once by flying over Big Ben, but I suspect their are easier ways to do it. 
    chiaargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Still think one of Apple's biggest missteps was not acquiring Waze. Until Maps get about the same functionality, I have no use for it. Automatically re-routing based on traffic conditions, and selecting the quickest route upon entering an address is very nice. There's too many clicks involved with trying to get Maps to start giving directions. There's also still no way to avoid, highways, tolls, etc. 
    hagar
  • Reply 9 of 23
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,587member
    I just made my first long distance drive using my iPhone, mounted to my windshield, instead of my Garmin, and it was absolutely horrible! The user interface sucks! The type is so small for cross streets you can't read it. And although the next direction, like "turn left in 90 feet", is huge, the actual street name is in ridiculously tiny type you can't read from a distance, and this is on an iPhone 6s Plus. This is absurd! Apple, get your shit together with maps! Yes, you are moving into integration with in-dash systems, but I don't want to pay for those ridiculously expensive systems. Nor do I want to be distracted when trying to find my way by staring down at the lower middle of my dash! Closer to a heads up position is much safer and more effective. Put some great UI developers on this please!!!!!!
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Rayz2016 said:
    tokyojimu said:
    Has anyone ever found a real use for Flyover?

    Yup. I write thrillers and it's damn useful for double-checking locations. 

    I also checked the time once by flying over Big Ben, but I suspect their are easier ways to do it. 
    Checked the time on Big Ben..? you realize the Flyover images are not live realtime images, right?
  • Reply 11 of 23
    patsupatsu Posts: 429member
    joe28753 said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    Yup. I write thrillers and it's damn useful for double-checking locations. 

    I also checked the time once by flying over Big Ben, but I suspect their are easier ways to do it. 
    Checked the time on Big Ben..? you realize the Flyover images are not live realtime images, right?
    Check your Flyover again. The Big Ben clock face is animated and sync to real clock time.

    Flyover is not rendering bitmap images. It's 3D graphics.

    The nearby London Eye is animated too.


    edited January 2016 chiaargonaut
  • Reply 12 of 23
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    freerange said:
    I just made my first long distance drive using my iPhone, mounted to my windshield, instead of my Garmin, and it was absolutely horrible! The user interface sucks! The type is so small for cross streets you can't read it. And although the next direction, like "turn left in 90 feet", is huge, the actual street name is in ridiculously tiny type you can't read from a distance, and this is on an iPhone 6s Plus. This is absurd! Apple, get your shit together with maps! Yes, you are moving into integration with in-dash systems, but I don't want to pay for those ridiculously expensive systems. Nor do I want to be distracted when trying to find my way by staring down at the lower middle of my dash! Closer to a heads up position is much safer and more effective. Put some great UI developers on this please!!!!!!
    Try the Here navigation app.  http://360.here.com/2012/11/13/ios-android-firefox-os-here-is-available-everywhere/

  • Reply 13 of 23
    patsupatsu Posts: 429member
    freerange said:
    I just made my first long distance drive using my iPhone, mounted to my windshield, instead of my Garmin, and it was absolutely horrible! The user interface sucks! The type is so small for cross streets you can't read it. And although the next direction, like "turn left in 90 feet", is huge, the actual street name is in ridiculously tiny type you can't read from a distance, and this is on an iPhone 6s Plus. This is absurd! Apple, get your shit together with maps! Yes, you are moving into integration with in-dash systems, but I don't want to pay for those ridiculously expensive systems. Nor do I want to be distracted when trying to find my way by staring down at the lower middle of my dash! Closer to a heads up position is much safer and more effective. Put some great UI developers on this please!!!!!!
    I have the exact opposite experiences. Bought Garmin, Navigon, Here, etc. Switch back to Apple Maps because the UI and OS integration are way superior.

    For searching, those devices and apps are a pain to handle. Very clunky. Worse than Maps.


    edited January 2016
  • Reply 14 of 23
    The draw time on these maps is still just beyond horrible. Even with their fastest iPhones and providers people still get grids for many seconds. Fortunately for Apple, Google's maps have only gotten slower and more restrictive, so people just stay with their Apple Maps for now. Apple also needs to add a user update interface to their maps so their point/poly/line data can be fixed or updated for free. Do they not have their own POI database(s)? If Apple has not learned by now that maps are basically a living database that needs constant updates and edits, than their maps are a lost cause. Google basically has their maps updated for FREE by the public and edited by their map slaves in India.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    tokyojimu said:
    Has anyone ever found a real use for Flyover?
    Yeah, Flyover is sort of worthless. I would like to see them add the same Bird's Eye view that Bing has. They could quickly do this with flight-line programmed survey drones. Drones could also be used for getting better street views and information on private roads, trails and closed areas. Also, they could enhance areas with existing maps. For example, they could link existing Mall Maps, Ski Area Maps, Amusement Park maps;etc to the POI points over these Apple Map features. Why wait on mapping them, when there are maps out there that are already being updated by the owners.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    ai46ai46 Posts: 56member
    joe28753 said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    Yup. I write thrillers and it's damn useful for double-checking locations. 

    I also checked the time once by flying over Big Ben, but I suspect their are easier ways to do it. 
    Checked the time on Big Ben..? you realize the Flyover images are not live realtime images, right?
    If you'd have checked in Apple Maps first, you'd realize that the time shown on Big Ben is accurate to London local time.
    chiaargonaut
  • Reply 17 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,805member
    ai46 said:
    joe28753 said:
    Checked the time on Big Ben..? you realize the Flyover images are not live realtime images, right?
    If you'd have checked in Apple Maps first, you'd realize that the time shown on Big Ben is accurate to London local time.
    That's neat! I had no idea that they had any special features within Maps, like making sure the clock hands were accurate to the minute and hour.


    edit: I zoomed in as far as I could, and then I zoomed in my display. The hands of the clock are obviously not from Fly Over images (expected), but it seems as those the minute hand moves slightly every 5 seconds (unexpected). I just would have assumed it would do it once every minute, and even then I was curious if it would do it in real time once you've already chosen to view that image. I wonder how the real close minute hands turns.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 18 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    freerange said:
    I just made my first long distance drive using my iPhone, mounted to my windshield, instead of my Garmin, and it was absolutely horrible! The user interface sucks! The type is so small for cross streets you can't read it. And although the next direction, like "turn left in 90 feet", is huge, the actual street name is in ridiculously tiny type you can't read from a distance, and this is on an iPhone 6s Plus. This is absurd! Apple, get your shit together with maps! Yes, you are moving into integration with in-dash systems, but I don't want to pay for those ridiculously expensive systems. Nor do I want to be distracted when trying to find my way by staring down at the lower middle of my dash! Closer to a heads up position is much safer and more effective. Put some great UI developers on this please!!!!!!
    Google is worse, so your option is to buy the software of a traditional car GPS company and run it on your Iphone. Or use maps, if you still find those; I never really understood why people actually needed those systems since I'm so good with navigation.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    patsupatsu Posts: 429member
    tokyojimu said:
    Has anyone ever found a real use for Flyover?
    Yeah, Flyover is sort of worthless. I would like to see them add the same Bird's Eye view that Bing has. They could quickly do this with flight-line programmed survey drones. Drones could also be used for getting better street views and information on private roads, trails and closed areas. Also, they could enhance areas with existing maps. For example, they could link existing Mall Maps, Ski Area Maps, Amusement Park maps;etc to the POI points over these Apple Map features. Why wait on mapping them, when there are maps out there that are already being updated by the owners.
    Birds eye view is less useful than 3D maps and Flyover. If Apple can animate the Big Ben clock face according to clock time, they can do interesting 3D apps over Apple Map data.

    Their 3D map data is already collected by planes and helicopter. Drone collection is the same thing.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,311member
    patsu said:
    joe28753 said:
    Checked the time on Big Ben..? you realize the Flyover images are not live realtime images, right?
    Check your Flyover again. The Big Ben clock face is animated and sync to real clock time.

    Flyover is not rendering bitmap images. It's 3D graphics.

    The nearby London Eye is animated too.


    That's very interesting. I wonder if there are any other cities with details like that. But I think what the other poster and myself were thinking is that flyover is composed of a one off flyby, so that animation has to be hard coded in. It's not like there are dozens of drones capturing live imagery and streaming it into the maps system.
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