With the release of iOS 15, Apple delivered what they called Apple Maps’ “biggest update ever.” This update makes four cities into fully 3D experiences, with Apple-generated graphics and design to further enhance the experience one has while exploring a new area – or re-visiting an area in a brand new way. Apple Maps update this week adds an expanded 3D view to London, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to the locations available in 3D view right now, Apple Maps has plans to add views in Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington D.C. in the next three months. In the year 2022, Apple will add 3D view support in Apple Maps for cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
It’ll be interesting to see how this system compares with what Niantic is doing with their own 3D mapping of the planet. At the moment, it would appear that Apple’s solution is to create their 3D view system with constructed 3D architecture made piece-by-piece. Niantic’s system will use 3D scans captured with photogrammetry by gamers using Pokemon GO and similar titles.
Apple also introduced a 3D globe in Apple Maps with iOS 15. If you open Apple Maps you’ll be able to navigate the Earth with “amazing textures and contours.” Some areas are shown in the new 3D view, others are more basic. Apple suggests that “now even the most remote and precious locations on the planet can be explored right from iPhone.”
Devices with iOS 15 and the latest version of Apple Maps will have access to long-awaited features like immersive walking directions (with augmented reality), new Transit Updates (while en-route), and a new “road-level 3D view”. This version also has Curated Guides, cycling directions, incident reports, flyover views, and “look around” 3D street-level views (in certain areas like Toronto, Tokyo, New York City, Los Angeles, London, Dublin, and Edeinburgh.)