Apple’s mapping technology has never been very impressive. Certainly not impressive enough to compete with the much more popular Google Maps, especially after the last revision to the service that made Apple’s mapping software almost unusable by many consumers. But the company is on a mission to change that, as shown by their latest acquisition of Locationary.
The Canadian startup is a big data mapping firm, and the latest of four companies to be bought out by the mobile device giant. The first were C3 Technologies, Poly9 and Placebase.
Locationary is a local mapping software that works by gathering the most up-to-date information on nearby businesses. This data is taken from multiple sources, aggregated and filtered, so the user always has the best possible recommendations. If something has been getting bad reviews in the past couple of months, moved locations or shutdown, you will be able to find out from Locationary before you waste a trip.
Considering the trouble that iOS’s Maps has encountered with recent and accurate info, it isn’t hard to see why they would invest in a technology that aims to be more precise. Now both the software itself and the staff who created and ran it will be a part of Apple’s attempts to make it right.
But in spite of this transparent move to fix the disaster that is their mapping software, Apple isn’t doing anything more than confirming the acquisition.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” company spokesman Steve Dowling said in an official statement.
Even if they are being coy about their reasons, Apple users can be happy about the move. Even better built map apps out there have a serious problem when it comes to providing recent data on local businesses. They aggregate their data from websites that often keep pages open for businesses that closed years ago. I have an app that has a listing for a Chinese restaurant near my home that went out of business before the app was created. It happens.
The fact that Locationary, and so coming iOS Maps by extension, uses multiple sources to make sure it is the most recent update is a great sign for positive changes coming in the future. Even if it means another startup has been gobbled up to lend more power to a corporate powerhouse.