Apple is exploring the use of “layered” maps on it’s devices. An application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) shows the workings of an “Interactive Map,” with numerous layers.
The map itself is a program that allows users to view different “layers” of content, pulled from the Internet, over the map. In the report, Apple gives the example of a weather layer that could tell users when a storm is approaching.
Other layers could include Shopping, and Commuting, as well as Tourism. The map would take into account the layers when a user searches an area, to provide context for user searches. The layers would also incorporate geospatial features. A user in the “Tourism” layer would be shown information about all the historical landmarks in the area.
The application also lists the maps’ interactivity features. The application details an ability to tap on features or landmarks to access information, such as population numbers or details about the landmark. Touching two points on the map would create a route between them.
Apple has been continually at work to improve its Maps app ever since its debut with iOS 6. Early versions of the Maps app were justifiably disdained due to errors in information and displaying of maps and satellite views. The app has since improved greatly, although Apple has a ways to go in improving the app.