Apple’s purchase of map firm Placebase a sign of Google rift?

“Apple has stealthily bought an online map firm in what could represent an aid to the iPhone but a split with Google, a search has discovered,” Electronista reports.

“A startup company, Placebase, was bought by Apple in July but provided so little attention about the takeover that it wasn’t until a check on former CEO Jaron Waldman’s LinkedIn profile confirmed the move,” Electronista reports. “Waldman is now part of a ‘Geo Team’ at Apple performing in an unspecified role.”

“The move hints at a possible shift away from a dependency on Google for location data for the iPhone and apps like iPhoto, though to what extent isn’t clear,” Electronista reports. “Placebase was noted for overlaying maps with specialized data, such as population demographics, rather than generating maps themselves. However, much of Google’s information for Apple products comes through specific utilities, such as routing or Street View. Apple writes its own software even in the case of the iPhone’s Maps utility, and Google’s own maps are often generated based on third-party map information.”

Full article here.


  1. It means Apple has now got the resources to make iPhone/iTouch/OSX API’s to add great customised things to Google maps.

    Imagine having your contacts showing up like Wiki pages on Google maps, or your customers, etc etc.

    More collaboration if you ask me.

  2. This only means that Apple wants to do something with location that Google Maps is not capable of supplying. No riff, or animosity. Simply Steve Jobs’ MO of wanting to control all the pieces of the ecosystem in which Apple products reside.

  3. The evidence doesn’t seem to support the conclusion. Placebase is better known for adding info to maps, rather than making maps themselves, and Apple is already writing its own software to manipulate Google’s maps. So how does the acquisition of Placebase suggest Apple is splitting with Google?

  4. One of the holes in Apples software lineup has been trip routing. Maybe they’re going to fix that. I hope so. Microsoft has had one of the best apps for that, Streets and Trips, but never brought it to the Mac. Pity they don’t know they are a software company and any customer is a good customer.

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