Apple Acquires 3D Mapping Company To Take Native Maps To The Next Level

Apple has also acquired two mapping companies – Poly9 and Placebase in the last two years and has been hiring talent to take the native maps application to the next level.

Mark Gurman over at 9 to 5 Mac now reports that Apple has acquired another mapping company called C3 Technologies. They specialize in making 3D maps from photo data using declassified missile-targeting technology.

Gurman reports:

Sources say that C3 Technologies CEO Mattias Astrom , C3 Technologies CFO Kjell Cederstrand, and lead C3 Technologies Product Manager Ludvig Emgard are now working within Apple’s iOS division. The leading trio, along with most of the former C3 Technologies team, is still working as a team in Sweden (interestingly, the division is now called “Sputnik”), where the C3 Technologies company was located prior to the Apple acquisition.

Here’s a look at how the technology actually works:

This video shows a flythrough of Oslo, Norway based on the mapping tech from C3 Technologies:

C3 Technologies had also demoed their technology on both Android and iOS devices at CES 2011. You can checkout the demo of the technology running on an iPad:

Gurman speculates:

We already know that Apple has its eyes set on reinventing their maps solution, and with Placebase being a part of the corporation, moving completely away from Google seems inevitable. Apple – with the speedy custom made chips (A4, A5) in the latest round of iOS devices – could make their mobile mapping solution the best in the world with C3 Technologies’ 3D mapping technology. C3′s solutions are so powerful and remarkble, and would truly transform Apple’s basic Google Maps application into something entirely new, fun, and powerful.

It would be pretty awesome if C3’s Technology makes it to future versions of iOS as the native maps app is in urgent need of a revamp. Let us know what you think in the comments.

[via 9 to 5 Mac]