The Cupertino-based company recently acquired Locationary, a startup that focuses on improving mapping data for local businesses. A lack of reliable local data has been one of the weak points of Apple’s current maps app, so the acquisition will probably bring some welcome improvements.
Grant Ritchie, Locationary’s founder and CEO, wrote an article for TechCrunch last year describing the challenges Apple faced in building a mapping solution, specifically in collecting point-of-interest data, and making it useful to end users. It wouldn’t be surprising if that put Locationary on Apple’s radar.
According to AllThingsD, the deal includes both Locationary’s team and tech. That team’s help may be needed on short notice, since Apple is planning on releasing a desktop version of its maps app with Mavericks, its new version of OS X, which is due out later this year.
While the performance of Maps has been enough to draw an apology from Tim Cook, improvements to it have been incremental at best. Perhaps the team at Locationary can help move things forward.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.