Apple’s New Map, Expansion #5
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On September 30, 2019, Apple’s new map expanded to the Northeast U.S.:
This is the fifth time that Apple has expanded its new map since its public launch in September 2018:
In June 2019, Apple announced that its new map would cover “the entire U.S. by the end of 2019”:
With this latest expansion, Apple’s new map now covers 27.5% of the U.S.’s land area...
...and almost half of its population (47.2%):
It also now covers seventeen U.S. states...
...and nine of the ten largest U.S. cities:
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In terms of land area, this latest expansion is the smallest of the last three...
...but it covers a larger share of the U.S. population than any of the earlier expansions:
And it has arrived faster than almost all of the others:
BEFORE & AFTER
Apple continues to add a staggering amount of vegetation detail:
And a number of rivers and water bodies have been added across the region:
The region also has a number of ski resorts, such as Sugarloaf...
...and here Apple has added all of the ski slopes:
Meanwhile in New York City, a large number of parks, playgrounds, tennis courts, and baseball diamonds have been added—with more than one hundred added in the East Village alone:
Speaking of New York, Apple has reworked Manhattan’s road network:
Fewer roads are highlighted in yellow, and it’s now much easier to glance at the map and quickly discern how to get across the city:
And duplicate ferry lines have been consolidated, removing visual clutter.
A number of New York area roads also have new icons:
Here’s a few of them close up:
Apple’s new map does’t show these yet (likely because they aren’t finished)—but it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Apple adds them once they’re completed in 2020.
Speaking of new buildings, Apple’s much improved rendering of the WTC Oculus may be its most detailed building yet:
Some of Apple’s new buildings also seem to hint at future Apple Maps features. For instance, whenever Apple adds indoor maps for shopping malls and airports, the buildings of these venues begin appearing a zoom-level earlier than the map’s other buildings.
For example, here’s San Jose International Airport:
Interestingly, many of the major museums in the Northeast now appear a zoom-level earlier than they used to. For instance, here’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History in New York:
And the museums on the National Mall, like the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History:
And many major Northeastern stadiums also now appear a zoom-level sooner than they used to:
This suggests that Apple might be preparing to add indoor maps of stadiums and museums in the near future.
Equally interesting is all of the sidewalk detail Apple is adding in Manhattan...
New York has a number of mid-block crosswalks, like this one on 57th Street:
And Apple is adding these too:
And other Northeastern cities also have this detail:
It seems like Apple is making maps for AirPods—especially when you consider all of the improvements Apple is making to Siri...
And sidewalk and crosswalk locations are equally useful for AR.
Another thing that’s useful for AR is street-level imagery. Google, for instance, uses Street View imagery to help power its AR navigation feature (“Live View”)—and this imagery is so important to Google’s AR feature that it isn’t available in areas without it:
Interestingly, alongside its expansion to the Northeast U.S., Apple also released street-level imagery (“Look Around”) for the U.S.’s two largest cities: New York and Los Angeles.
APPLE’S NEXT EXPANSION
Apple Maps’s data collection vehicles first visited the final parts of this area in April 2018:
Given that the map’s expansion has roughly followed the progress of these vehicles, it’s likely that the map will expand next to the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, or the Southeast:
[Update (October 2019): Apple will expand next to the Midwest.]
On average, Apple has been expanding its new map every 76 days—so it’s likely that Apple’s next expansion will go live in December 2019:
Then again, Apple has said as recently as mid-September 2019 (when it updated Maps’s webpage) that its new map would cover the U.S. by the end of 2019:
With 72.5% of the U.S. left to cover and just 92 days remaining in 2019 (after Apple’s Northeast expansion), Apple’s next expansion might be coming much sooner than December...
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