Apple on Friday confirmed that it had purchased Locationary, a location-based data firm based in Toronto, Canada. AllThingsD, which received official confirmation on the acquisition from Apple, 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 didn't mention why it bought Locationary. When asked for comment, the Cupertino-based company told AllThingsD: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." That said, you'd have to be a fool to not see what Apple is getting at with this purchase.
Apple last year stepped away from Google Maps and began shipping iPhones with its own solution, Apple Maps, installed. Though the application got off to a rocky start, it's improving and a service like Locationary could go a long way.