Apple has acquired Locationary, a crowdsourced location data startup company whose technology could be used to improve the Maps service.
Confirmed by Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling, the Locationary purchase is said to include all of its personnel and technology, but how much was paid for the company is still unknown.
Apple has a habit of buying smaller companies with unique services rather than major buyouts of well-known brands.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said Dowling after confirming the Locationary purchase.
Apple currently uses Yelp for all its local business data, but should be able to use the Locationary technology to boost its Apple Maps service with accurate and up-to-date business data.
The launch of Apple Maps within iOS 6 last year sparked a high level of consumer outrage, after the service offered misnamed towns, missing roads, and poor journey planner results among other issues.
It got so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook had to issue a rare apology for the disappointing service.
“At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” read Cook’s apology. “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
He even managed to suggest iPhone users head to rival services like “Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps” through their website browsers.
Locationary uses crowdsourcing and a federated data exchange platform called Saturn to collect, merge and continuously verify a huge database of local businesses and other points of interest all over the world.
The company’s location technology also makes the information presented in Apple Maps accurate according to time, presenting the opening times of the business, even if it’s close for refurbishment.
Next, read what you can enjoy in Apple’s next mobile OS with our favourite iOS 7 features list.