New Apple Maps ground surveys begin in London, Birmingham and Manchester

28 March 2022, 16:34

A specially designed Apple Maps backpack
Apple Maps Backpack System. Picture: PA

The scheme will involve special mapping data backpacks used to survey pedestrianised areas.

Apple has launched ground surveys on the streets of London, Birmingham and Manchester to gather pedestrian data for its Apple Maps service using special backpacks to capture the necessary data.

Starting on Monday and running until mid-May, the backpacks – which feature cameras and other sensors for mapping data collection – will begin to appear in areas of the three cities where it is not possible to drive.

The data gathering is part of a project to improve Apple Maps and its Look Around feature, which enables app users to jump into the map and get a street-level view of an area to help navigate or find nearby businesses.

Apple said it will use the backpacks in pedestrianised streets, parks, city squares and transit stations where it is not possible to use sensor-mounted cars, and in order to create more accurate 2D maps of these locations.

An Apple Maps mapping backpack
The backpacks house cameras and sensors used to gather mapping data (Apple/PA)

The company said areas in Birmingham such as The Bullring, New Street and Edgbaston Street will be part of the focus of the project.

In Manchester, St Peter’s Square, Shambles Square and Albert Square will be among the areas mapped using the backpacks.

“Apple is conducting ground surveys with vehicles around the world to collect data to improve Apple Maps and to support the Look Around feature,” the technology giant said.

“These pedestrian surveys allow us to improve and update Apple Maps in areas where vehicles simply can’t go while using the same privacy protections as the Apple Maps vehicles.

“We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will censor faces and licence plates on images that are published in Look Around.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Glastonbury Festival 2022

Glastonbury 2022 broke data records, EE says

A child using a laptop computer

Pupils ‘AirDrop nudes in maths and use Google Drive to store images’, MPs told

Over 20 million US dollars were raised by the public for drones to fight the Russian invasion

Tech company to gift Bayraktar drones to Ukraine after millions raised by public

A mixed reality holographic patient

UK medical students training on hologram patients in world-first


Warning new internet laws will hand ministers ‘unprecedented’ powers

A battery changing station of Nio brand electrical car (Alamy)

Two dead after Nio electric car they were testing ‘falls from building’

Alexa to expand

Amazon’s Alexa could mimic the voices of dead relatives

Ai-Da at work

Robot painting Glastonbury’s famous faces says festival atmosphere is ‘electric’

Instagram's new age verification tools, which have started being testing in the US

Instagram begins testing new age verification tools

A security surveillance camera is seen near the Microsoft office building in Beijing

Microsoft: Russian cyber spying targets 42 Ukraine allies

Social media apps on a smartphone

Meta removes ‘large numbers’ of upskirting images found on Facebook

Rio Ferdinand poses for photographs with children at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the launch of the Diana Award’s annual anti-bullying campaign Don’t Face It Alone (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Rio Ferdinand calls for new ‘inspiring’ online platform to combat child bullying

A screenshot of the Microsoft Outlook email service

Microsoft’s Outlook email service hit by outage

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s proposed £35.8bn Twitter deal gets board endorsement

Apple unveils new products

Guide Dogs launches scheme to provide free iPads to children with sight loss

A woman using a laptop

Cloudflare outage knocks hundreds of websites offline