According to the official Apple Maps site, the Cupertino-based tech giant has already sent mapping teams to several locations in Italy, with the expansion to cover even more regions beginning with November. The whole project is supposed to come to an end in January, after which it’s all only a matter of time until the collected data is processed and added to Apple Maps for all users.
Some of the locations that are included in Apple’s expansion include Sicily, Sardinia, Lombardy, Lazio, and Tuscany.
Interestingly, Apple won’t be using cars to update the data for these locations in Italy, but pedestrian tech, presumably to allow the service to be expanded to more regions that are specifically aimed at tourists and where traffic is not allowed.
Apple explains how the whole thing works on its website:
“Apple is also conducting surveys with portable systems in select pedestrian areas (for example, certain streets in London that cannot be driven). Some pedestrian surveys use a backpack system to collect data that may be used directly in Apple Maps, such as in the Look Around feature. Other pedestrian surveys use iPads, iPhones or other devices to collect data for map improvement purposes. 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.”
At this point, however, Apple is already surveying other locations in Europe, but despite all these efforts, it’s still far from competing against Google and Google Maps which are now covering a substantial part of the entire world.