Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,182,243) for its Maps app on Mac OS X and iOS. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has awarded the company the patent for a “navigation application” that’s not too resource intensive.
The application identifies a location of an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad, and identifies a style of road signs associated with the identified location of the device. The app then generates navigation instructions in form of road signs that match the identified style.
To generate the road sign, the app can identify a road sign template image for the identified style, and generate the road sign by compositing the identified road sign template with text and/or graphical instruction. The road sign can even be generated as a composite textured image that has a texture and a look associated with the road signs at the identified location.
In the patent filing, Apple says that the maps used in mapping and navigation apps are usually two-dimensional (2D) maps or three-dimensional (3D) maps. However, a large number of the apps use 2D maps due in part to the processing-intensive demands of viewing 3D maps. For the same reason, Apple says the apps that use 3D maps “are often slow, inefficient, plain, and/or simple, to the point that renders the application useless.” Apple thinks it can do better with Maps.