Apple acquires Poly9

The so-called Canadian "brain-drain" is still ongoing. Quebec City based mapping API producer Poly9 has recently been acquired by Apple in a move that has seen the majority of the company's staff pack up and head for Cupertino.

This is the company's second purchase of a map-related developer in just under a year, as Apple purchased Placebase in late July 2009. The Placebase purchase, combined with Poly9 and the ongoing feud with Google, has led some to believe that the company is gearing up to replace the popular search provider's current mapping solution across the iDevice line.

The company, who has developed map management APIs for the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC, and even NORAD's Santa Tracker, specializes in the aggregation of maps from many different sources; their current offerings provide similar functionality to that of Google Earth and to Mapspread, allowing users to create custom, layered maps from spreadsheet input.

Poly9's software has also proven useful in other elements of the geomatics sector. In addition to their work on Santa Tracker, Poly9 has also produced maps that include real-time traffic output and even created a service that provides turn by turn directions over the phone. The company's large brain-trust will be a huge addition to the Apple team and will allow Cupertino to develop its mapping and navigation in-house rather than by relying on its largest competitor.

Although neither side has commented, Poly9 employees have confirmed that they are under a "confidentiality agreement." While they have not revealed with whom this agreement has been made, Le Soleil also confirms that observers believe this acquisition of "agile web ninjas" [sic] is a positive move for Apple as the small company's talent has been noted by the likes of Where 2.0 and Tim O'Reilly.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

iOS 4.0.1 for iPhone, 3.2.1 for iPad released

Next Story

Google earnings for Q2 2010 less than expected

13 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Nothing beats Google Maps. Google is been at it for years, they can buy whatever API firm they want...the experience and loyalty of people will keep them on Google Maps. Besides, the worst I can see happening is they remove "Maps" from being a bundled App into a user-download able App from the App Store.

GRAND! We've got many problems with our current phone so instead of reserving money to have the phones fixed as they should be, we're going to waste it on buying a bloody company instead! Great move apple, great move.

n_K said,
GRAND! We've got many problems with our current phone so instead of reserving money to have the phones fixed as they should be, we're going to waste it on buying a bloody company instead! Great move apple, great move.

Reserve money? Do you know how much cash apple has sitting doing nothing other than gaining interest. $40 Billion. I think they still have enough in reserve to fix the iPhone 4 fiasco... the real question is will they bother?

Tom W said,
I hope they don't kill off Google Maps!

Well we'd still have Google Earth, I get why they didn't just bundle Earth instead of Maps, can't be to save space because iOS is bloated anyway.

thealexweb said,

Well we'd still have Google Earth, I get why they didn't just bundle Earth instead of Maps, can't be to save space because iOS is bloated anyway.

I'm the opposite. I don't understand why people download Google Earth when the built in maps app is fine?

Tom W said,
I hope they don't kill off Google Maps!

That's probably exactly what this move by Apple is going for. In time, since the whole Android vs iPhone bit has heated up, they're going to start doing their own things and dropping google stuff completely. iAds was just the start of things.

Tom W said,
I hope they don't kill off Google Maps!

I agree. At least with Google Maps, I know what I get. And I get good map coverage where I live. I don't with Bing Maps, and I have no idea where this will head.

great alot of browsers and compaines are going to need map providers. Stupid move from Apple,they should fix the company problems. man has jobs put a brick wall infront of his face.Steve Jobs I present to you the slow and painful death of Apple inc.

Xypro said,
great alot of browsers and compaines are going to need map providers. Stupid move from Apple,they should fix the company problems. man has jobs put a brick wall infront of his face.Steve Jobs I present to you the slow and painful death of Apple inc.

Wishful thinking my friend... Apple is far from going down...