Reports out of Canada indicate Apple has acquired its second mapping company in less than 12 months. Poly9, a Quebec-based company specializing in interactive 3D mapping software is the same company that NORAD contracted to track Santa Claus’ escapades on the eve of Christmas.
There’s no official word from either side but the Poly9 site is no longer accessible and cyberpresse is reporting that Apple has moved all but two members of the Poly9 staff to Cupertino and asked they not say anything to anyone about the recent purchase.
Poly9’s most notable product was Poly9 Globe, a standalone piece of software that allowed users to interact with a 3D globe that provided real-time stats on a user’s virtual location that included altitude.
If this isn’t a clear indication that Apple will soon sever its ties with Google then I’m not sure what is. Rumors swirled last summer when Apple acquired Placebase, a Google Maps rival and things between the two Silicon Valley giants have been less than amicable in recent months. Google’s two major products for the iOS platform, Maps and Search, have been slow to iterate if at all since the iPhone first launched in 2007.
A job listing from last November all but indicates change is afoot on the Maps app front for Apple. What else could Apple possibly when they plan to “rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.”
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