Apple buys mapping data analytics and visualization firm Mapsense for between $25M to $30M

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2015
Apple quietly acquired San Francisco startup Mapsense last week for a reported $25 million to $30 million, adding yet another firm to a growing arsenal of mapping data IP and personnel assets.




The Mapsense buy was reported by Re/code on Wednesday and subsequently confirmed by Apple through its usual boilerplate statement regarding purchases. Sources familiar with the matter pegged the acquisition at somewhere between $25 million and $30 million, though Apple did not offer further comment.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Apple said.

Mapsense is a relatively new company founded by a former Palantir Technologies engineer Erez Cohen in 2013. According to the company's still active website, its cloud-based high-speed mapping system provides crucial data analytics and tools for developers. Mapsense says customers can upload terabytes of location-tagged data to its service, which then creates a customizable visualization with powerful search and filter tools for easy analysis.

Apple has shown intense interest in mapping technology over the past couple years, acquiring crowdsourced map data analytics firm Locationary and public transit navigation firm HopStop in 2013. Earlier this year, Apple bought Coherent Navigation, a company specializing in highly accurate GPS hardware and software.

Apple is thought to be conducting a major Maps overhaul that might one day include imagery from mapping vans currently gathering data on streets around the world. Most recently, Apple added transit data to its Maps product with full support for navigation, search and Siri integration.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Will Google Maps fans celebrate or decry the arrival of competition? Or will they stick to the one-sided "Apple needs competition" meme? Let's see what they say...
  • Reply 2 of 8

    i hope apple can do better in the eastern world. i loved using maps in the States and Europe, but in the East there are some things that need to be improved, especially finding smaller companies. that being said, google maps is just awful. it shows where i am, searching for a location that is not a large city is a joke.

  • Reply 3 of 8
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    Apple Map is on par with Google Map right now. I use it with the Watch every other days and didn't miss Google Map at all.

  • Reply 4 of 8
    Speaking of Maps, which I like very much, the roll out of Routes for transit mid-size to large size metros will be critical to adoption.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    My biggest complaint is how much more updated Google satallite images are. Apple has got to get more current imagery. However, Apple maps has come a long way fast and is gaining on Google. If they keep up their current pace, Google will no doubt have a serious contender!
  • Reply 6 of 8
    pennywse wrote: »
    My biggest complaint is how much more updated Google satallite images are. Apple has got to get more current imagery. However, Apple maps has come a long way fast and is gaining on Google. If they keep up their current pace, Google will no doubt have a serious contender!

    Depends on where you live. My house hasn't been white in two years and Google's latest image may say 2015 from space, but it's street view update is from 2011.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,507member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

     

    Apple Map is on par with Google Map right now. I use it with the Watch every other days and didn't miss Google Map at all.


    My experience isn't quite that, but definitely Apple is closing the gaps.  On pure map functions for driving & walking - routes, POI, etc - I find Apple just as good.  However, Apple is weaker in:

    - search

    - transit in many locations (iOS9 is making this better in some cities)

     

    However, I like Apple's iOS implementation far better than Google's (default view takes up too much screen).

  • Reply 8 of 8

    Apple Maps in iOS 9 totally rocks.  The UI, the presentation and usability of Apple Maps are better than Google.  I think Apple Maps is about to get a lot better with superior Street View seamlessly integrated with FlyOver view.

     

    Apple may be working with the Iridium Constellation after their purchase of Coherent Navigation leading to near live map updates with high resolution Satellite imagery.

     

    Time will tell.

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