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Apple adds 3D Maps Flyover coverage to Paris and surrounding areas


Over the past few months, Apple has consistently, and yet silently, continued to increase the number of areas which receive the 3D Flyover treatment in its homegrown Maps app.

Now, the French-language site iGeneration is reporting that Apple has added 3D Flyover support for Paris, France. The report adds that the 3D coverage extends to Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, to Disneyland Paris and to L'Hay-les-Roses

Previously, the only city in France subject to 3D Flyover coverage was Lyon.

Apple's Maps team has certainly been keeping busy as of late. This past March, for example, Apple added new and expanded Flyover coverage to a number of cities, including Baltimore, Glasgow, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona, Vancouver, Portland, London, Cleveland and Buffalo.

You might also recall that Apple's Flyover effect comes from C3 Technologies, a company Apple acquired back in October 2011.

The video below, shot well before C3 became an Apple property, explains how the 3D mapping process works.

As a more detailed companion to the above video, C3's mapping process was described thusly by the MIT Technology Review back in April 2011.

C3's models are generated with little human intervention. First, a plane equipped with a custom-designed package of professional-grade digital single-lens reflex cameras takes aerial photos. Four cameras look out along the main compass points, at oblique angles to the ground, to image buildings from the side as well as above. Additional cameras (the exact number is secret) capture overlapping images from their own carefully determined angles, producing a final set that contains all the information needed for a full 3-D rendering of a city's buildings. Machine-vision software developed by C3 compares pairs of overlapping images to gauge depth, just as our brains use stereo vision, to produce a richly detailed 3-D model.

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