Apple Maps (Finally) Updates Satellite Imagery

Apple Maps (Finally) Updates Satellite Imagery

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Apple Maps Marketing’s #1 reader, Michael G., just notified me that Apple Maps has made its first satellite imagery update in three years. Here’s Michael’s take:

“Thought you might want to share with your readers that Apple is starting to update their Satellite imagery in select areas. The Satellite imagery is as recent as from just a few months ago. In Florida, the Tampa Bay Area and Orlando have new imagery. This is the first time I have ever seen Apple Maps update its Satellite imagery (not counting Flyover), and I’ve been checking since day one back in 2012. Now that the Satellite imagery is up to date in some areas, this can potentially help business owners who occupy a new building or something that didn’t exist when the old imagery¬†was taken. Now it’s easier for business owners to move their businesses’ pins to the right position. Another thing you might want to share is that if you’re a business owner that owns a business located in an indoor mall, Apple in December of 2014 started to arrange all of a mall’s tenants’ pins to their correct locations in the mall. This is Apple’s first step towards indoor mapping. Some examples of this are attached below. Despite Apple doing this with some malls, there are still many malls that are just as big that Apple has not this for yet. Apple has also started to do this for select airports.”

Apple’s style has always been to launch and then make regular incremental steps towards improvement. The past year, it feels like Apple has put a large number of building blocks in place to push Apple Maps significantly forward. I expect 2016 will be the year when people, including businesses (who are people after all), stop thinking of Apple Maps as a failure and start realizing they, and their customers, are using it…a lot.

  • Henley Garcia

    I can approve this change! They updated Miami’s satellite imagery as well.

    • Michael Giskin

      How can you tell that they updated Miami’s satellite imagery? I just looked myself and when you go to Satelite view it shows the Flyover imagery which is from 2012.

      • Henley Garcia

        I was talking about the standard satellite imagery. For Flyover, I saw that they kept the old 2012 imagery. I wonder why they didn’t keep the updates one. I saw it being done before iOS 9 came out.

        • Michael Giskin

          Interesting – so during the iOS 9 betas the Flyover imagery wasn’t displayed and rather the regular but updated Satellite imagery was displayed? Very weird…

          • Henley Garcia

            It is quite confusing at first, but the satellite imagery wasn’t FlyOver where I live. Now, with iOS 9 out it has the 2012 imagery, but with FlyOver. I do prefer the previous imagery. Hope to see them update it.

          • Michael Giskin

            I prefer the previous imagery too – very confusing indeed

          • Henley Garcia

            I do have their email, since I emailed them with missing POI from FIU. Their email is: maps_escalations@apple.com sometimes it takes one business day for them to reply, they don’t give much information, but you could request missing things you see on the maps. I sent a request for them to do Transit directions for Miami and missing lakes in standard view for FIU.

          • Michael Giskin

            Thanks for sending me that email Henley. I’ve reported hundreds of problems over the years to Apple Maps and some just never end up being fixed so I’ll trying contacting the Maps team with this email address. Thanks again

            Michael