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Apple acquires online mapping company Poly9 - report

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Apple has purchased a Web-based mapping company from Quebec, Canada, that creates interactive 3D software for use in a browser, according to a new report.

French-Canadian news site cyberpresse.ca reported Wednesday (via Google Translate) that Poly9 has been purchased by Apple, and a majority of the company's employees were moved to California. Poly9's official website is no longer available.

Among its products is Poly9 Globe, described as a "cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe which does not require any download." The interactive software allows users to spin a three-dimensional rendering of the Earth, while providing real-time statistics on the user's virtual location, including altitude.

The total application, which includes high-resolution imagery for U.S. metropolitan areas, is just 303kb. It is now listed as discontinued on the official website, though the interactive demo remains. It can also be seen in action on a number of other websites, including Skype and Surveys.com.

The report claims that Poly9 was purchased "recently" by Apple, though official confirmation has not been given. It was said that the Cupertino, Calif., company asked Poly9 employees to not discuss the matter.

Poly9 still has an office in Quebec, but the report said that it was closed a few weeks ago. The Canadian company has worked with numerous clients in the past, including Apple, as well as Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and NORAD.

Poly9


If true, the purchase of Poly9 would be the second mapping related acquisition for Apple. Last year, it was revealed that the company had purchased Placebase, a Google Maps competitor.

Some have speculated that the acquisition of Placebase, along with the growing rivalry with search giant Google, is a sign that Apple plans to create its own mapping software for use on mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. Currently, Apple partners with Google for its Maps application.

Evidence that Apple could pursue its own Maps application came last November, when a company job listing sought to hire someone to help take the iPhone's Maps application "to the next level." It said that the company intended to "rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We've only just started."
post #2 of 51
Both interesting and questionable at the same time, given that the software appears to be Flash-based. Maybe Apple just wanted the talent(?).
post #3 of 51
I don't think the fact that it was Flash-based matters all that much. People can rewrite software.

As a matter of fact, many developers are already rewriting Flash-based software (sites, etc.) into other technologies (such as HTML5) at this very moment.
post #4 of 51
Apple was either buying the expertise for a problem they had not yet solved, or patents.

Now Apple needs to solve the "last mile" problem... that of street level views as currently offered by Google.

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post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple was either buying the expertise for a problem they had not yet solved, or patents.

Now Apple needs to solve the "last mile" problem... that of street level views as currently offered by Google.

I was reading how google's taking it a step further, taking photos of the insides of shops and restaurants in cities so you can actually click on a place and see what it's like inside...
post #6 of 51
That site is a pretty good example of how the Flash plug-in drives my 2.33GHz Core2 Duo to 150% or more of CPU utilization.

not sure how that would work on the iPhone or iPad.

and I've been waiting a few minutes for the zoom level to load at anything better than half a continent
post #7 of 51
Bye bye Google Maps.
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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post #8 of 51
To me, this is definitely in line with their philosophy of not depending on any other entity for core services.
post #9 of 51
Flash Actionscript isn't that different from regular Javascript.. Another factor is talent. They also already have the rights to use the map data and experience in handling those content providers.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

Bye bye Google Maps.

LOL!

that's one of the funniest things I've ever seen anyone say around here
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

That site is a pretty good example of how the Flash plug-in drives my 2.33GHz Core2 Duo to 150% or more of CPU utilization.

not sure how that would work on the iPhone or iPad.

and I've been waiting a few minutes for the zoom level to load at anything better than half a continent

Site's not even loading for me. I guess as more people wake up and read the news, they're going to the site and now it's down from too much traffic.

Serious question: Why do people always bring up the cpu utilization of flash in osx? The tone is always geared towards placing all the blame on Adobe, but some of the blame should be placed on Apple as well. 150% utilization is ridiculous when compared to what it is in Windows on a machine with similar (if not exactly the same) hardware... I'll let you know what I see on my work machine if I ever get it to load.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


As a matter of fact, many developers are already rewriting Flash-based software (sites, etc.) into other technologies (such as HTML5) at this very moment.


Flash is dead. Every developer worth his salt is busy getting rid of it and coding in HTML5, which is much better.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Serious question: Why do people always bring up the cpu utilization of flash in osx? The tone is always geared towards placing all the blame on Adobe, but some of the blame should be placed on Apple as well. 150% utilization is ridiculous when compared to what it is in Windows on a machine with similar (if not exactly the same) hardware... I'll let you know what I see on my work machine if I ever get it to load.

Serious answer: Adobe puts very little resources/effort into optimizing Flash for Mac OS X. Windows gets almost all the attention. This is why Apple doesn't want to rely on Adobe.
post #14 of 51
Google screwed with the wrong company. Apple will slowly replace Google Maps and later even their search engine with better more up to date products and turn Google into the next MS.

Controlling both hardware and software on their Eco-system has been successful in the past and will continue to be so.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

Flash is dead. Every developer worth his salt is busy getting rid of it and coding in HTML5, which is much better.

Thanks for the input. How's that black turtleneck feel today?
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

To me, this is definitely in line with their philosophy of not depending on any other entity for core services.

Bingo!
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Serious answer: Adobe puts very little resources/effort into optimizing Flash for Mac OS X. Windows gets almost all the attention. This is why Apple doesn't want to rely on Adobe.

Ok, now do you have an answer that's truthful? Not the same misinformation being spread over and over?

Lets look at the facts: Adobe writes software for OSX that runs just fine. They are not lacking in experience when it comes to software design. Apple does not work well with others, by Jobs' own admission. So knowing this, which is more plausible: That flash works better in Windows because MS worked with Adobe while Apple refuses, or that Adobe suddenly does not give a crap about OSX even though a LOT of their business comes from OSX users...

hmmm....
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sellitman View Post

Google screwed with the wrong company. Apple will slowly replace Google Maps and later even their search engine with better more up to date products and turn Google into the next MS.

Controlling both hardware and software on their Eco-system has been successful in the past and will continue to be so.

I assume you aren't referring to when Apple faced off against Microsoft in the 80-90's and nearly went bankrupt while Microsoft went on to dominate the PC market and had to literally bail out Apple to avoid regulatory issues.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sellitman View Post

Google screwed with the wrong company. Apple will slowly replace Google Maps and later even their search engine with better more up to date products and turn Google into the next MS.

Controlling both hardware and software on their Eco-system has been successful in the past and will continue to be so.

Apple will need a search engine when they want to find the closest Starbucks on their maps. They probably already have something in the oven with Siri. I doubt though that they will create a true websearch...
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

That site is a pretty good example of how the Flash plug-in drives my 2.33GHz Core2 Duo to 150% or more of CPU utilization.

Why do you even bother watching your CPU? If the Flash application is working, just use it. That is like the people watching their cell signal bars. It doesn't matter how few bars you have as long as you can make calls.

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post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I was reading how google's taking it a step further, taking photos of the insides of shops and restaurants in cities so you can actually click on a place and see what it's like inside...

I can just see Google "people" walking into such places, helmet cam and all And will Google actually ask permission to shoot inside or are they going to break into property, akin to what they did in the wifi intrusion fiasco?
post #22 of 51
Man those guys in Quebec should be ecstatic .... they are moving from arctic to the beach!

Anyway, google still offers the best maps experience in my opinion. I just like the look of their map overlays better then MS or mapquest. Plus google offers street view (I think MS does too though not sure) and I don't think these guys do.

It would also be pretty hard for apple to really challenge google in maps since google already has a vast database of businesses and APIs. They offer walking, biking, public transit directions and even turn by turn navigation. Doing all of this once again by apple will be a time consuming process.

If apple wants to distance away from Google so much they can switch to Bing Maps. (I would still prefer Google maps though).
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post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

I can just see Google "people" walking into such places, helmet cam and all And will Google actually ask permission to shoot inside or are they going to break into property, akin to what they did in the wifi intrusion fiasco?

Oh yea, I saw that on TED a while back. Looks pretty interesting. They were talking about using augmented reality to help you find the shop and tell you what the prices / menu are like.
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post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Oh yea, I saw that on TED a while back. Looks pretty interesting. They were talking about using augmented reality to help you find the shop and tell you what the prices / menu are like.

http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?...Idpsqdc&pos=11

Better be careful. MSFT might hire them to write Win 7 Phone Apps on the side.

Don't you just love the MSFT socialist model. Pay the developers even if their doggy apps don't "hunt".
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

I can just see Google "people" walking into such places, helmet cam and all And will Google actually ask permission to shoot inside or are they going to break into property, akin to what they did in the wifi intrusion fiasco?

No no they get permission. It's actually good for business in a way. Think about it, if you're someone looking around at the city you're going to visit next week, and you find a restaurant, you go in, and it looks awesome, what are the chances you might stop by to see it in person? I think it's pretty cool, but I'm sure there will be many store owners who opt out.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sellitman View Post

Google screwed with the wrong company. Apple will slowly replace Google Maps and later even their search engine with better more up to date products and turn Google into the next MS..

it amazes me how many people have NO IDEA how absolutely enormous Google is, AND how GOOD their software and hardware solutions are. NOTHING beats Google maps - traffic integration, streetview, the sheer number of listed businesses. Apple, start your photocopiers.

still, GMaps is an insignificant sliver of a fraction of a percent of what Google is doing. there's Android, WebSearch, YouTube, 138 public brick and mortar corporations, Google is working on 1Gbps connections to your home. Google is hosting every image taken for the Human Genome Project. GCloud, More than one million data centers around the world, massive [and i mean massive by server farm standards] offshore-ocean water cooled server farms.

Google.org has spent more than a billion dollars to create awareness about climate change, global public health, and global poverty. the only awareness Apple raises about global poverty is when workers in it's factories commit suicide.

the only way Google will turn into the next MS is that they will have a 95% market share of the Mobile OS market. [don't get me wrong, i'll still be on iOS, but don't kid yourself about Google.]
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I was reading how google's taking it a step further, taking photos of the insides of shops and restaurants in cities so you can actually click on a place and see what it's like inside...

The question I have about street view is how often are they going to update it. I recently noticed that there are newer aerial photos of my neighborhood on Google Maps so they have updated that at least once, but the street view photos which only recently went online are more than two years old in our case. I wonder if a restaurant were to remodel or improved their furnishings if they could request an update from Google.

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post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

LOL!

that's one of the funniest things I've ever seen anyone say around here

You'll be laughing out of the other side of your mouth when it happens.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Why do you even bother watching your CPU? If the Flash application is working, just use it. That is like the people watching their cell signal bars. It doesn't matter how few bars you have as long as you can make calls.

Uhm, maybe the Flash application was NOT working well and he wanted to see what the problem was???
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Ok, now do you have an answer that's truthful? Not the same misinformation being spread over and over?

Lets look at the facts: Adobe writes software for OSX that runs just fine. They are not lacking in experience when it comes to software design. Apple does not work well with others, by Jobs' own admission. So knowing this, which is more plausible: That flash works better in Windows because MS worked with Adobe while Apple refuses, or that Adobe suddenly does not give a crap about OSX even though a LOT of their business comes from OSX users...

hmmm....

That Adobe (not just suddenly) does not give a crap about OSX even though a LOT of their business comes from OSX users.

It's a poorly run company, so it's not surprising that they don't behave logically.
post #31 of 51
Note To Apple: Fewer Aquisitions and and Greater Focus on Fixing What You Already Have.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I recently noticed that there are newer aerial photos of my neighborhood on Google Maps so they have updated that at least once.....

They just updated the aerial views about 2 months ago in my neighborhood while I was getting my pool back up and working. Now the whole world can see my GREEN pool.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

That Adobe (not just suddenly) does not give a crap about OSX even though a LOT of their business comes from OSX users.

It's a poorly run company, so it's not surprising that they don't behave logically.

That is what happens when you bundle industry standard apps into a suite. Same thing happened to MS with Office. Once you go down that road you cannot return. The suite becomes the cash cow and the shareholders become very risk averse. So they stay on course and do not innovate for fear of a misstep. The only thing they can do is make tiny changes that won't break the legacy formats.

Although it always seems like a good idea in the beginning, eventually, bundled software suites become a curse for both the consumer and the publisher.

Apple on the other hand is much more of a risk taker. For example switching from OS 9 to OS X and from Power PC to intel.

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post #34 of 51
Good riddance to google maps in a year or so.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

They just updated the aerial views about 2 months ago in my neighborhood while I was getting my pool back up and working. Now the whole world can see my GREEN pool.


Ha ha, same here, I was in the middle of a huge renovation, my place was all torn apart when they shot the photo.

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post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

it amazes me how many people have NO IDEA how absolutely enormous Google is, AND how GOOD their software and hardware solutions are. NOTHING beats Google maps - traffic integration, streetview, the sheer number of listed businesses. Apple, start your photocopiers.

still, GMaps is an insignificant sliver of a fraction of a percent of what Google is doing. there's Android, WebSearch, YouTube, 138 public brick and mortar corporations, Google is working on 1Gbps connections to your home. Google is hosting every image taken for the Human Genome Project. GCloud, More than one million data centers around the world, massive [and i mean massive by server farm standards] offshore-ocean water cooled server farms.

Google.org has spent more than a billion dollars to create awareness about climate change, global public health, and global poverty. the only awareness Apple raises about global poverty is when workers in it's factories commit suicide.

the only way Google will turn into the next MS is that they will have a 95% market share of the Mobile OS market. [don't get me wrong, i'll still be on iOS, but don't kid yourself about Google.]

I nominate this for garbage post of the month, high runner for the same yearly award.

Are you interested in telling us about big brother google's spying and tracking everyone of us? Would you care to go into how they are pimping every commercial enterprise for ad profits? And what the c.ck is creating awareness about? Do we really need google to create awareness for global warming, or to actually do something about it in terms of their products? I am using the web on average 5 hours a day and I ve not been made aware about any of this I have just heard self serving claptrap about how good and open google are, and comments at their privacy policy boils down to "if you don't want something to be known, then you probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Google is the new, nastier, and more covert than ever face of global totalitarianism. A bunch of shallow, cultureless slef serving nerds in their thirties and forties with all the senility of octogenarians, and none of their temperance and wisdom.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

That is what happens when you bundle industry standard apps into a suite. Same thing happened to MS with Office. Once you go down that road you cannot return. The suite becomes the cash cow and the shareholders become very risk adverse. So they stay on course and do not innovate for fear of a misstep. The only thing they can do is make tiny changes that won't break the legacy formats.

Although it always seems like a good idea in the beginning, eventually, bundled software suites become a curse for both the consumer and the publisher.

Over-integration. Integration is a blessing and a curse. It's nice to have things work well together, but, when they become entwined with each other, that's what happens. Even standalone applications can suffer from this if they are complex and not well architected.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

I can just see Google "people" walking into such places, helmet cam and all And will Google actually ask permission to shoot inside or are they going to break into property, akin to what they did in the wifi intrusion fiasco?

They would most definitely have to ask permission. You can't shoot in malls etc for security purposes. Permits for major brand stores are very hard to acquire.
turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

They would most definitely have to ask permission. You can't shoot in malls etc for security purposes. Permits for major brand stores are very hard to acquire.

They already got in some hot water when they first launched Street View because they were taking pictures of people without their permission. They fixed it by writing a program for face recognition that automatically went through all the photos and found the faces and blurred them. One instance that was pretty funny involved a horse and buggy ride in Central Park, I believe, where the software blurred the horse's face as well. It was hilarious.

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post #40 of 51
....is that Poly9 worked closely with Garmin. I wonder what this relationship looks like now?
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