Apple's Maps app for Mac OS X, iOS could get a 'live maps' feature

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,147,286) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for "non-static 3D map views." Think of the invention as the iOS 9 Live Photos feature applied to the Maps app for Mac OS X and iOS — and kicked up a notch. 

The patent — for a mapping app that generates views of a 3D map — could animates water, foliage, buildings and other map elements based on your input The app includes a geographic data module for identifying a set of geographic data that represents a portion of the 3D map. 

The set of geographic data includes a set of camera captured images that correspond to the portion of the 3D map. The mapping app includes an image processing module for rendering the view of the 3D map based on the geographic data by animating a type of map element in the view of the 3D map.

In the patent filing, Apple says its invention would animate different defined types of map elements and/or constructs (bodies of water, shorelines, buildings, foliage, etc.) in the 3D view of a map. The mapping app would animate some or all of the different defined types of map elements and/or constructs differently. For instance, in some embodiments, it would animate bodies of water and buildings differently by using different shaders for rendering the bodies of water and the buildings. 

It would also animate the defined map elements and/or constructs differently based on different types of input (e.g., touch input, gesture input, audio input, motion input, etc.) received at an iOS device on which the mapping application is operating. For example, Maps could animate bodies of water based on touch input differently than when it animates the bodies of water based on audio input, motion input, etc. 

Apple has also been granted another Maps-related patent (number 9,146, 125) for "navigation application with adaptive display of graphical directional indicators." The app includes an interface for receiving data describing junctures along a route from a first location to a second location. 

The data for each juncture comprises a set of angles at which roads leave the juncture. The navigation application includes a juncture simplifier for simplifying the angles for the received junctures. The navigation application includes an arrow generator for generating at least two different representations of the simplified juncture. The representations are for use in displaying navigation information describing a maneuver to perform at the juncture during the route, according to Apple.