Apple's Using Spy Planes With Military Grade Cameras to Film You and Your City in 3D

By Sam Gibbs on at

WWDC is just hours away and reports are flooding in about Apple's next generation 3D mapping attempt. Apparently it's hired a fleet of private spy planes with "military standard" cameras that can snap you sun bathing in your back garden, or even film you in the buff through your roof windows.

It's all based on Apple's purchase of a Swedish 3D mapping firm last year called C3 Technologies. Google's been using aerial photography for some time to enhance its terrain view in Google maps, so this shouldn't really come as a shock. In fact, Google's also recently announced that it'll do something similar with its own fleet of planes to produce 3D maps of towns and cities.

We're expecting Apple to bust out a non-Google mapping solution for the iPhone and iPad later today; perhaps this is what Cupertino's up to. Replace the much-loved Google Maps on iOS with something not just different, but actually better (at least until Google rolls out the same features). Privacy groups are, of course, up in arms about the whole thing. If Google's Street View is anything to go by, I reckon the benefits will outweigh the possible problems though. Let's just hope it's anonymising blurring system is actually up to scratch -- I'm not sure I'd want to see 3D pictures of pasty-white Brits sun bathing in their backyards. [The Telegraph]

Image credit: Spy plane from Shutterstock