How The iWatch Could Fix Apple Maps

If Apple launches an iWatch, it could, over time, help the company fix its mapping app.

Bruce Tognazzini, a former Apple employee who now specialises in human-computer interaction, recently wrote on his blog AskTog about how Apple could use iWatch data to fix Apple Maps. 

One of Apple Maps’ biggest flaws is its “3D View,” which has inaccurately displayed a lot buildings, roadways, and bridges because it doesn’t have any altitude information associated with them, Tognazzini writes.

When Apple Maps first launched, here’s how it depicted the Brooklyn Bridge:

Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan side

Photo: Screenshot

But according to Tognazzini, Apple could easily build a precision altitude map of the world using crowdsourced pressure data from iWatches, which would have built-in pressure sensors.

“Because most of the time, most of the people’s arms will be within four feet of known roadways (or rail beds), one can, over time, correct for both local barometric pressure and current GPS error (the GPS, of course, being in the phone, not the iWatch—GPS requires significant power),” Tognazzini writes. “Given that data, one can then look for where current map data and people’s actual locations consistently vary, specifically where people appear to be either diving below or floating above the surface of the earth. If everyone is dropping below nominal ground level, they must be in a cut.”

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