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Apple's request to conduct 3D mapping of Oslo denied by Norwegian government

A request by Apple to photograph Oslo from the air was rebuffed by the Norwegian government, prompting the U.S. embassy to offer support for the initiative meant to broaden Flyover coverage in the Maps app.


Map of Oslo as rendered in iOS Maps.

Apple recently applied for a license to photograph Norway's capital city, but the country's National Security Authority rejected the request because it would not have control over the possibly sensitive data, reports Aftenposten.

Acting director of the NSA Øyvind Mandt told the publication on Monday that Apple's application was denied due to the high precision of the Flyover feature, which maps photographic images over 3D renderings. Such photos can inadvertently reveal secure government installations and classified "sensitive areas."

The issue has reportedly drawn the attention of the U.S. embassy, which contacted Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang for assistance. Stang subsequently asked Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen to reconsider Apple's application, saying the company has already received permits to conduct identical operations in "all Western capitals."

Apple's in-house mapping service usually handles matters of government security by replacing renderings of sensitive areas with low-resolution assets. Such is the case with the White House and other secure U.S. facilities.