Apple is rebuilding Maps with its own data

Apple is ready for Apple Maps to stop being a joke. The company plans to introduce completely overhauled mapping data in the US over the next year, all using information that Apple gathered itself, according to TechCrunch, which got a behind-the-scenes look at the new pursuit.

The new data will begin to roll out in the coming weeks in a very limited fashion. It’ll start first for people enrolled in the iOS 12 beta, and the updated mapping data will only be available for San Francisco and the Bay Area. The report says it’ll grow to cover all of Northern California by fall and eventually come to all versions of iOS.

The rest of the US will receive the new maps “section by section” “over the next year,” Apple services leader Eddy Cue told TechCrunch. Cue said Apple has “done a huge investment in getting the map up to par.”

With the change, Apple will eschew all third-party mapping data, which is what has made up the vast majority of Apple Maps’ maps since it launched in 2012.

Instead, Apple will rely on data from two sources: sensor-packed vans that it’s been driving around the US for several years, and iPhones. TechCrunch reports that Apple will be gathering anonymized chunks of travel data when people open the Maps app — much like what Google does, though seemingly with a keener eye to privacy — in order to get updated information on road openings and traffic.

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