While Google Maps might still be the de facto map app that comes to mind for many, Apple has been making great strides to improve its own offerings. In fact according to a report from the Financial Times (paywall; via Engadget), it seems that Apple is using drones to help improve on the accuracy of its maps.
Apple has confirmed the report in a statement by a spokesperson who said that Apple collects “both aerial and ground images around the world to improve Apple Maps”. The spokesperson also added that the company will soon “begin to capture additional aerial images in select areas using drones.”
Apple Maps was initially launched with a lot of hype and expectations as it seemed that the company could possibly have created a competitor to Google Maps. Unfortunately the launch was less than stellar with users reporting all kinds of issue with the app, leading to Apple publicly apologizing and also going as far as recommending alternatives until they get a handle on things.
Apple Maps has improved a lot since then, with the company expanding its indoor mapping availability to more locations and markets. That being said, there are concerns regarding privacy especially with drones flying over areas, to which Apple said, “Apple is committed to protecting people’s privacy including processing this data to blur faces and license plates prior to publication.”