Apple is looking to hire an iOS Software Engineer with a Ph.D who has experieicne with multi-view stereo and 3D reconstruction, geometry and texture data, SLAM, Mesh texturing techniques, and surfaces in a 3D environment. All of these job descriptions point to the possibility that Apple could be working on 3D maps in iOS according to our friends over at 9to5Mac.
If true, it’s starting to look likely that Apple is actually planning to move away from Google Maps in iOS, and instead could be adopting OpenStreetMap in iOS 6. Apple has already implemented OpenStreetMap in iPhoto for iOS, and it sounds like it may only be a matter of time until the Maps application gets an upgrade from Google’s services.
The rumors about Apple creating its own mapping service have been floating around for years. Apple purchased C3 Technologies last year. Back in May of 2011, Apple was looking to hire an iOS Maps Application developer, which really kicked off rumors that the company was looking to create its own mapping system. Apple was awarded a patent system for preparing and presenting schematic maps. The company has also purchased Placebase and Poly 9, both amazing mapping companies.
The idea of Apple replacing Google Maps has been around since 2009 when Seth Weintraub wrote a piece for Computerworld suggesting that the Placebase purchase signaled the end of Google Maps when he titled his article Apple purchased Placebase in July to replace Google Maps?. It’s 2012, and Google Maps is still kicking around. Who knows, maybe 2012 is the year with see a new Maps application from Apple.