We already know that Apple has deployed vehicles all around the world to survey what they can see, all in an effort to help improve the Apple Maps experience.
And while vehicles are the primary use case, especially for navigational purposes as people use the software to get from one place to another, there’s still plenty of information to gather from folks walking on foot. Which is where the Apple Maps backpack comes in.
As noted on Friday by MacRumors, an individual was found out on the streets of San Francisco wearing the rig on their back. From the image we can see that there is a LIDAR setup, along with GPS, and a variety of different cameras equipped on the rig. We can see this same equipment on the Apple Maps cars.
This appears to be the first time that an Apple Maps backpack has been seen out in the wild. Which certainly makes sense as Apple buckles down and tries to improve its mapping service. Apple Maps has been improving over the years, but there is certainly still room to grow and improve. Indeed, the company is working on rebuilding the app from the ground up, all in an effort to provide even more detail.
Of course, Google Maps still leads the way, especially when it comes to built-in features. Just recently it was reported that Google is now integrating Apple Music and Spotify right into the app, which will allow users to control music playback while they use the app. If Apple ever implements something like this (which would obviously be Apple Music-only), it feels years away.
As someone who tries to use, and tries to like, Apple Maps, it’s not hard to admit that there is still so much room to improve. We certainly need better data in Maps, especially for navigation, and hopefully Apple’s efforts with their vehicles, and now people with Maps backpacks, will speed that upgrade along.