Apple Buys 3D Swedish Mapping Company

Sayonara, Google Maps. Apple’s been working on an independent mapping solution for quite some time now, heavily recruiting applicants with navigation software experience for its Geo Team. Apple also acquired two mapping companies in the last few years – Placebase and Poly9.

Now, according to 9to5 Mac , the company has a third mapping company in its arsenal – Swedish-based 3D mapping company C3 Technologies. C3 CEO Mattias Astrom, CFO Kjell Cederstramd, and Product Manager Ludvig Emgard are reportedly now part of Apple’s iOS division.

C3 Technologies is a company that creates photo-realistic, detailed 3D maps using cameras to pick up buildings, homes, and small objects like trees. The technology comes from declassified missile targeting and image processing methods from aerospace and defense company Saab AB.

Automated software and advanced algorithms allow C3 to create precise 3D models that can be integrated with 2D maps, satellite images, and street level photography. This is all largely done without the need for human input.

With the combination of its powerful A4 and A5 processors and C3’s mapping technology, Apple is poised to create the most advanced mobile mapping solution in the world.

Using C3’s 3D models and Placebase’s backend, Apple can build an all new mapping application from the ground up, freeing the company from relying on Google maps. Because Poly9 and C3 are both 3D mapping companies, it stands to reason that Apple’s future mapping application will be rendered in 3D.

So far, there’s no word on when we could see a new Maps program from Apple, but in the realm of mobile mapping, there are amazing advances coming within the next few years.

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