What the Heck? Apple Acquires Maps Company

Posted: October 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Discovered, Guesswork | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Apple acquires maps company. Shocking news indeed. I know I am late to the actual news, but the idea of Apple owning a maps company is a rather intriguing idea. One that deserves attention, exploration and a little imagination…

First off, the facts. From Gizmodo:

The Apple/Google divorce continues to come into focus: Apple quietly bought Placebase, a mapping service company, back in July. Apple doesn’t buy companies it’s not going to use. Meaning, Apple’s getting into making their own maps. Peace out, Google.

According to Gizmodo, the main reason for the purchase was the fact that the application had a very good API with great customization abilities.

Many astute commenters in the Gizmodo article point out that if Apple takes Google Maps off of the iPhone, they will encounter many issues, including not having many key Google Map features (streetview, traffic).

My guess is that Apple will use this aquisition for several purposes.

A) Geotagging. The iPhone is becoming one of the most popular cameras on Flickr. I bet that Apple will use this company to expand their photo geo tagging features, implanting the equivalent to an Eye-Fi into the iPhone.

B) For iPhone Apps. When Apple first released the capability to have turn-by-turn apps in the app store, the stated one key limit. You cannot use Google Maps for the apps. While this was most likely done for legal purposes and other apps have taken unique paths to fulfill turn by turn apps, a native turn by turn app would be amazing.

What do you think of the maps company acquisition? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Chris Blakeley

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