Apple has acquired Locationary, a small Canadian startup that crowdsources location data, according to a report from AllThingsD. Apple has refused to comment on its plans for the company, but the acquisition will undoubtedly help improve Apple’s widely criticized Maps service.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said company spokesman Steve Dowling in a statement to AllThingsD. But it doesn’t take a genius to work out what the acquisition is for.
Apple has been working to improve its Maps service since it debuted in iOS 6 last fall. It has received a deluge of criticism from users and the media for inaccurate data and therefore unreliable navigation, prompting an apology from CEO Tim Cook.
But Apple has promised to work hard to improve Maps. “We’re putting all of our energy into making it right,” Cook said last December, and the acquisition of Locationary will almost certainly be a part of those plans.
Locationary, which is backed by Extreme Venture Partners and Plazacorp Ventures, specializes in local business listings from around the world. It crowdsources its data using an exchange platform called Saturn in an effort to ensure it is always up to date.
So expect the accuracy of business listings inside Maps on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (and soon your Mac) to improve in the not-so-distant future.