Apple has reportedly acquired Canada-based location data startup Locationary for an undisclosed amount.
AllThingsD reports that Apple recently closed the deal for Locationary’s technology as well as team. Apple confirmed the acquisition to the publication, but declined to comment on what it plans to do with the startup, saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
What Apple plans to do with Locationary is not difficult to guess – integrate its data with Apple Maps, which were released last year to widespread criticism, culminating in an apology from Apple’s CEO and the exit of another company executive. While the release of Google Maps for iOS shifted the attention away from Apple somewhat, the company obviously understands the importance of improving its own offering, if it ever wants to convince people to start using Apple Maps.
Locationary is a step in that direction, since it’s often known as the ‘Wikipedia for local business listings.’ It uses crowdsourcing – combined with a rewards system to incentivise users to participate – to make sure that the data is always up to date.
The company has a few aces up its sleeves, that differentiates its data from those of other similar offerings, as AllThingsD reveals:
“Not only does Locationary ensure that business listing data is positionally accurate (IE: the restaurant I searched for is where Apple said it would be), it ensures that it is temporally accurate as well (IE: the restaurant I searched for is still open for business and not closed for renovation or shuttered entirely).”
Having accurate, up-to-date local business listings data would be one step in the right direction for Apple.