updated 10:53 am EDT, Fri July 19, 2013
Could be used to bolster Apple Maps' business listings
Apple has bought out a Canadian firm called Locationary, spokesman Steve Dowling confirms. The latter company, based in Toronto, specializes in crowdsourced location data. In particular it deals with local business listings; Apple likely wants the company's technology and staff to improve its Maps app for iOS/OS X, even though the app already uses business data from Yelp.
Locationary is responsible for a data exchange platform called "Saturn," which aids in eliminating out-of-date information. That could be crucial for Apple Maps, which was widely criticized for inaccuracies when it was launched last September. Since then Apple has worked steadily to fix those problems, but is still fighting to bring its service up to par with Google Maps.
The cost of the Locationary buyout is unknown, but Apple normally doesn't reveal such figures. The acquisition is at least Apple's 10th since October 2012.