If there’s anything harder than navigating a foreign city, it’s navigating a new airport. Seemingly bigger than many small towns, the interior of one of these bustling structures often seems to be something of a city within itself. And while Apple Maps has long been in the business of helping us navigate unknown streets and avenues, it hasn’t always been the most helpful when it comes to helping us navigate terminals and gates. But that’s all beginning to change.
You can now check out the layouts of 30 airports around the world thanks to Maps. As it stands, most of the covered airports are in the United States, with the majority of major city hubs included in the new rollout. That said, a number of busy international airports have also been mapped, like Hong Kong International, as well as airports in Amsterdam, Geneva, two in London and Berlin, as well as a number of Canadian structures.
Completing an interior map is no small task — after all, you can’t just drive a vehicle an airport and take photos. Instead, both airlines and airports have to cooperate and collaborate with Apple Maps, and a number of in-person surveys were also conducted in order to provide accurate information. In fact, much of the data was collected by individuals roaming the terminals (a much safer alternative to cars).
In order to check out an airport, you’ll have to look for the “Look Inside” option within Maps. If that feature is available, tapping on it will give you an overview of a terminal’s layout. Everything is done in bird’s eye view — after all, most airports look pretty similar, so having the equivalent to Street View wouldn’t be all that helpful.
That said, you can see each gate highlighted in yellow, as well as key areas like check-in kiosks, baggage claims, and airport lounges. You can also look into restaurants (Maps also provides its location, floor number, phone number, hours, and reviews), as well as the location of the all-important bathrooms.
In order to accurately locate where its users are, thereby providing the most accurate information about their surroundings, Apple uses Wi-Fi points, which can triangulate your positioning. Apparently, this is accurate regardless of whether or not you’re actually connected to the airport Wi-Fi, which is pretty nifty.
You can check out all currently supported airports on Apple’s website.
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