Apple acquires Locationary to beef up Maps data

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has purchased crowdsourced location services provider Locationary. Apple confirmed the deal to AllThingsD, but declined to supply additional details, including the transaction price.

Locationary's Saturn platform merges information from more than 250 different feeds and repositories to assemble a real-time database for local business listings, building merchant profiles including details like hours of operation, products, services and rich media efforts. The Saturn platform spans more than 5.6 million data fields and 175 million profiles; Locationary services are offered to data providers and distributors, enterprises, and Web and mobile app publishers.

Apple likely will leverage Locationary's data and services to boost Apple Maps, launched last year in association with its iOS 6 operating system update as a replacement for preloaded Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps services. Consumers have been harshly critical of Apple Maps, identifying dozens of inaccuracies, and the outcry even prompted a public apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who later said the company is "putting all of our energy into making [Maps] right."

While Apple has been largely silent on its specific plans to improve the Maps platform, in late March the company acquired indoor GPS services firm WifiSLAM for a reported $20 million. WifiSLAM technology pinpoints a consumer's location within 2.5 meters, using only ambient Wi-Fi signals that are already present in buildings. Its mobile applications span from step-by-step indoor navigation to product-level retail customer engagement to proximity-based social networking.

Google Maps for mobile added indoor mapping tools in late 2011, supplying contextual data helping users determine where they are within a building, which floor they're on and where they might wish to go next.

For more:
- read this AllThingsD article

Related articles:
Apple acquires indoor mapping startup WifiSLAM
Apple makes Maps improvements, but consumer complaints persist
Apple CEO Cook: 'We're putting all our energy' into Maps improvements
Apple CEO Cook apologizes for Maps, suggests alternatives Bing, Waze
Apple promises to improve iOS mapping service as consumer fury mounts

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