Apple patent peels back the layers of a new Maps evolution

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A freshly published Apple patent recommends that the Apple Maps app might someday include new types of interactive layers that make the navigation experience simpler.

Users of Apple Maps are made use of to the experience being more difficult, so this would be a nice change.

The functions described in the patent, which is titled merely ‘Interactive Map,’ go far beyond the layers available in existing mapping apps (satellite view, traffic overlay, weather condition, etc.).

The map layers Apple has recommended adding include data appropriate to the roadway you are traveling, particular types of offices and even more.

Travelin’ app

In one example, this hypothetical new Apple Maps would allow users to tap a roadway and therefore display a layer of information just pertaining to that roadway: junctions, off-ramps, easily accessible companies, and so on

Or, if you are on the road and feeling hungry, it could display a map layer that only reveals close-by dining establishments, instead of all neighboring offices.

apple map patentThe exact same opts for if you run out of gas or tear a hole in your pants on a night out, Tap that business-specific layer, and you’ll see all close-by gas stations or pants shops, and nothing else.

You could also choose layers that show only highways, when you are driving fars away, or just side streets, when you want to avoid highways.

‘Siri, show me ads’

There are more location-specific applications too. Touching an airport on the map may bring up a flight schedule, or touching a restaurant could raise a menu.

Still other kinds of map layers might customize the map to your particular needs as a vacationer, commuter, or other kind of traveler. Relevant info, like the history of a monument or other vacationer location, can appear automatically on the map.

On the flip side, this feature can also be made use of to show ads from nearby shops.

And the patent hints at custom-made layers that users would’ve the ability to program to show whatever businesses, roadways and various other points of interest they select.

Even navigation itself would be easier, The patent describes how tapping two points all at once could produce a path between them quickly.

None of this functionality is possible in existing map apps, however it’s not difficult to picture Apple including it to Apple Maps in the next iOS update.

And this hypothetical layers-centric variation of Apple Maps might interact rather nicely with a virtual individual assistant like Siri.