Thursday, July 15, 2010

Apple buys mapping company

News has just started circulating that Apple Inc. has purchased Poly9, Canadian mapping company. It developed a cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe application, similar to Google Earth and Bing’s 3D globes, but which apparently "...did not require special plug-ins to work". The list of users included Skype and LinkedIn. The site is barely working now so I am unable to verify how good it was in comparison to Google and Bing but it appears it is build with Flash! So, it requires a plug-in after all. Also, it makes it quite an interesting development given Apple’s recent history of resentment towards Adobe Flash…

This is actually the second acquisition of a mapping technology by Apple Inc. within a period of 12 months. Last year it bought map group Placebase – developer of Pushpin, an API used to layer commercial and other data sets, such as demographics and crime data, onto maps. It appears that Apple is trying to develop its own mapping platform to eliminate reliance on its main rival – Google!


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