It has been well documented that Apple’s launch of its in-house iPhone mapping application was an embarrassing misstep rarely seen from the company. Apple has since taken a number of steps to repair that damage and improve the quality of its Maps application, including acquiring other companies like Locationary, a Canadian startup that specializes in keeping location data up to date.
Apple has confirmed to AllThingsD that it purchased Locationary for an undisclosed price. Though Apple declined to say what it plans to do with the technology and employees that will now be under its direction, the obvious benefit is having more sources for up-to-date information. Locationary uses crowdsourced information and official sources to maintain accurate listings about businesses. The service knows if a business is still operational, closed, or relocated; all of that information is useful to a company that wants to ensure its providing navigation to the correct place.
Location data that can be verified and current is very valuable. Consumers can submit map corrections, but having a system in place to anticipate changes to points of interest information or quickly respond to tips can improve Apple Maps. Acquiring Locationary will not have an immediate impact on Maps, but it will surely improve the reliability of business and POI listings in the future.