Apple has acquired Locationary, a Toronto-based startup that organizes data on local businesses for an undisclosed amount.
Apple which confirmed the deal on Friday, describes the small Canadian startup as a Wikipedia for local business listings. The company maintains a database of continuously updated business listings by pooling crowdsourced data with business-provided data. By synchronizing this data from many different sources, Locationary ensure its database is always as up-to-date as possible.
Apple’s launch of its own maps service last year in a bid to unseat Google’s service on its devices was a spectacular flop. Directions to locations were incomplete, buildings and monuments were out of place, as was information about public transportation glaringly missing. Consumer reaction to Apple’s mapping fiasco was so bad that CEO Tim Cook issued a rare apology
The Locationary acquisition appears to be part of Apple’s effort to continue developing and improving its mapping apps for iPhone and iPad. Apple has previously acquired several other mapping-related startups, including Poly9 and Placebase.