Apple Buys Locationary To Improve Maps Service

Apple has acquired a crowdsource location data company in an apparent effort to further bolster its highly-criticised Maps application.

The Californian tech giant purchased Canada-based Locationary for an undisclosed sum, according to All Things D.

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

Apple launched Maps last September, but was immediately criticised for inaccurate listings, poor 3D imagery and a lack of features compared to competitors including Google Maps.

Interestingly, Locationary's CEO Grant Ritchie wrote a post for Techcrunch last September in which he outlined the five big challenges Apple needed to overcome in order to succeed with Maps.

"Data integration is a complicated but crucial process for local search, mapping, and directory apps. It's also something that most people don't think about or notice until it goes wrong. It's clear that data integration is already difficult with only basic details like name, address, telephone, and location.

This is why the industry will need proper platforms and tools to address these challenges and to progress into the real-time world that we all anticipate: where products, inventory, menus, deals, events, and job postings are synchronized across every mobile device and users can instantly transact regardless of app or device."

Locationary is described as a cross between Wikipedia and the Yellow Pages, and uses user submissions and the federated data exchange platform called Saturn to build its database.