Facebook Acquires Swedish Map Company to Compete with Apple and Google
Earlier this month Patently Apple posted a report titled "Facebook is determined to stay ahead of Apple on HMDs and Win the Race on being first with Smartglasses to replace Smartphones." In order to that, Facebook revealed back in December that they were developing their own operating system so that their smartglasses wouldn't be dependent on iOS or Android. These operating systems each provide users with a maps app and Facebook understands the importance of such an app for their future OS. On Friday we learned that Facebook acquired the Swedish maps company 'Mapillary.'
Mapillary's CEO and co-founder Jan Erik Solem made the announcement in a press release late last week that reads in-part as follows:
"From day one of Mapillary, we have been committed to building a global street-level imagery platform that allows everyone to get the imagery and data they need to make better maps. With tens of thousands of contributors to our platform and with maps being improved with Mapillary data every single day, we’re now taking the next big step on that journey.
Today, we’re excited to share that Mapillary has joined Facebook to be part of their open mapping efforts. As some of you know, Facebook is building tools and technology to improve maps through a combination of machine learning, satellite imagery and partnerships with mapping communities, as part of their mission to bring the world closer together. These maps power products like Facebook Marketplace that drive transactions for millions of small businesses, and supply vital data to humanitarian organizations around the world.
At Mapillary, we’re building the tools for creating a living and visual representation of every place in the world, made available for anyone to update the maps they care about. By merging our efforts, we will further improve the ways that people and machines can work with both aerial and street-level imagery to produce map data. Lots of exciting results will come out of this, including the data we all need to make better maps.
Our OpenStreetMap Commitment
Our commitment to OpenStreetMap stays. The plan is for the rights given to OpenStreetMap editors to remain unchanged and for our work with OpenStreetMap communities and companies to continue on the same path as always. Mapillary will continue to spearhead a collaborative model where all map communities, companies, cities, and others work together to keep the maps of our world accurate, detailed, and up to date.
The Road Ahead
Although much has happened since we first launched Mapillary, we’re still just at the beginning. So much of the world still needs to be mapped, and so many of the world’s maps still require updates. As the world changes, our maps need to change with it. Together with Facebook, we’ll be able to build the tools that will keep our maps detailed, accurate, and up to date - for everyone, everywhere."