Big news on the Apple Maps front. The iPad maker has just acquired crowd-sourced location data company Locationary. With the help of the startup’s CEO, Grant Ritchie, Apple may finally get the help it needs to fix what is wrong with Maps.
According to AllThingsD, Apple acquired the Canadian company, including all technology and team members, this month. The cost of the acquisition was not made public.
This information was confirmed by Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling in a statement. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Locationary is a Wiki-based listing of local businesses around the world with a federated data exchange called Saturn. Saturn collects data and continuously merges and verifies information on those businesses and points of interest around the world. This service would be a great help to one of Apple Maps’ most egregious problems of displaying old and incorrect information.
Locationary keeps track of location and status of various businesses. So, if you are looking for something to eat in an unknown town, not only would you be able to find the nearest Thai restaurant, but you’d also know whether it went out of business and was replaced by a hip coffee shop.
Apple has been working hard to fix its iOS Maps mistake. There have been plenty of updates that add cool new features, but the problem with incorrect information has been slow to repair. Hopefully, Locationary will be a step in the right direction. I haven’t used Apple Maps since it first launched and I was unable to get directions to a popular campground in my state. I’d love to be able to trust it someday.