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Apple expands Maps capabilities with new Flyover, Nearby and Traffic location data

Apple's efforts to build out its in-house Maps service moved forward on Thursday with the addition of four new Flyover locales, public transit data for Los Angeles, a European expansion of Nearby POI suggestions and Traffic data for Hong Kong and Mexico.

The additions were listed on Apple's iOS Feature Availability webpage, which notes new Flyover support in Aomori, Japan; Bruges, Belgium; Lake Powell, Utah; and Limoges, France. Counting the four cities, Flyover is now available in 220 locales around the world.

Flyover is a tentpole Apple Maps feature that applies high-resolution imagery to computer generated three-dimensional models to create interactive 3D views of buildings, landmarks and other topographical features. Apple is also said to be working on a competitor to Google's Street View, which would provide finer street-level detail for easy metropolitan navigation.

Apple also flipped the switch on Traffic data for users in Hong Kong and Mexico, while residents in the Netherlands and the UK can now take advantage of iOS 9's new Nearby feature. Introduced in the latest iteration of Maps, Apple's Nearby provides automated, proximity-based search of commonly queried points of interest. Results of nearby businesses are split into categories like Food, Health, Services and Shopping, among others.

Previously limited to six countries including the U.S., France and parts of China, Nearby is accessible via Maps and is turned on by default in iOS Search.

Apple last updated Maps in December with Flyover destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.