Apple on Monday kicked-off new ground surveys across multiple regions of the United Kingdom, Berkshire, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and West Midlands to gather pedestrian data for use in Apple Maps.
Bloomberg reports Apple will use cameras and sensors mounted on pedestrian backpacks to gather map data in those areas, including more than 85 specific towns and boroughs.
Starting on Monday and through May 20, the backpacks – which feature cameras and other sensors for mapping data collection – will begin to be seen in areas of the cities where driving is not possible.
The data gathering is part of a project to improve Apple Maps and its Look Around feature, which enables app users to jump into the map and get a street-level view of an area to help navigate or find nearby businesses.
The gathered data will be used to improve Apple Maps, including its 2D map information and the Look Around feature, which allows users to get a street-level view of a location. Data will also be gathered on various areas, including parks, city squares, transit stations, and streets where it is not possible to drive cars with mounted sensors.
Apple its data collection efforts will continue to protect people’s privacy, with faces and licence plates being censored on images used for Look Around. Additional censorship will be available upon individual request.