On the heels of Google’s patent for an indoor mapping technique, a new patent from Apple, also concerning indoor mapping has just been announced. This is, seemingly, setting up a massive battle for indoor mapping supremacy between Google and Apple. Seemingly, because Apple really fell apart with the early Maps push a few years back, and has been second to Google Maps for a long time. Anyhow, Geek.com has a really good rundown of how the newly patented indor mapping works:
Devices withGPS sensors connect to access points. They then relay pertinent information (latitude, longitude, SSID, signal strength, other nearby SSIDS) back to Apple’s servers which tuck that data away for later use. When a device without a GPS connects later on, its location can be approximated using the info stored in the database.
This particular patent was filed mid-way through 2010. Interestingly enough, that was right around the same time Apple pushed out iOS 4 and started silently siphoning off location data from everyone with an iPhone or 3G iPad.1
It is hard to see any scenario where Apple comes out ahead in this battle. Perhaps that is my anti-Apple bias talking, but the massive tank-job that was the early release of Maps seems to have handicapped any hope of challenging Google. Time will tell.