Apple dropped between US$25 million and $30 million to buy Mapsense in its continuing efforts to beef up its own Maps service. Mapsense specializes in visualizing and analyzing location-based information, and considering how much location data Apple can collect, those could go a long way to helping the iPhone and iPad maker compete with Google Maps.
Apple buys another map company: Mapsense
Mapsense is a San Francisco-based company founded in 2013. Here's how it describes itself:
There are over 10 billion devices on the planet streaming location data on a daily basis. While collecting location data has become mainstream, the traditional tools to visualize, understand, and harness it have been hampered by the speed and scale of this massive and complex new datasource. Mapsense's platform and developer tools help organizations quickly ingest and analyze billions of rows of location data to make more intelligent, locally targeted business decisions across the organization.
In other words, Mapsense can pick apart the location data collected from smartphones to find patterns and trends companies can then use to form more effective business and marketing strategies.
Sources tipped off Re/code to the purchase, and when asked about the deal Apple replied with its usual, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
This isn't the only company Apple has bought to support its location-based service offerings. In 2013 Apple bought the pedestrian, bike and mass transit map company HopStop, along with the crowdsourced business information company Locationary. Earlier this year it snapped up the GPS location data company Coherent Navigation, too.
Mapsense hasn't commented on the buyout report, nor has it shut down any of its services. That is, however, something that typically happens after Apple buys a company, so we'll likely see Mapsense's current clients on the hunt for alternative services soon.