Apple acquires online mapping company Poly9 - report

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    Both interesting and questionable at the same time, given that the software appears to be Flash-based. Maybe Apple just wanted the talent(?).
  • Reply 2 of 50
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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...
  • Reply 5 of 50
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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
  • Reply 6 of 50
    icyfogicyfog Posts: 338member
    Bye bye Google Maps.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    To me, this is definitely in line with their philosophy of not depending on any other entity for core services.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    jpcgjpcg Posts: 114member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 50
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    kyle76kyle76 Posts: 54member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 50
    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!
  • Reply 16 of 50
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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....
  • Reply 17 of 50
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    jpcgjpcg Posts: 114member
    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...
  • Reply 19 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    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?
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