Facebook acquires the Swedish startup Mapillary, a mapping platform that collects images from around the world thanks to the contributions of its users, to upload immersive maps. The amount of the acquisition has not been communicated.
Launched in 2013 by Jan Erik Solem, a former Apple employee, Mapillary could be Facebook’s way to compete with Google Maps. The American giant itself bought the Australian startup Where 2 Technologies in 2004 to launch its Maps division. With this new acquisition, Facebook is pursuing its objective of developing immersive and up-to-date online maps, in particular for its Facebook Marketplace platform, which makes it possible to buy and sell articles.
Focus on users
” Facebook is developing tools and technologies to improve maps by combining machin learning, satellite imagery and partnerships with mapping communities », Comments Jan Erik Solem. ” These cards power products like the Facebook Marketplace that enable millions of small businesses to transact and provide vital data to humanitarian organizations around the world.. “
Unlike Apple and Google, which send vehicles equipped with cameras, Mapillary relies on its users to solve the main issue of mapping: keeping maps up to date. Mapillary will not change its operation, the images will always be available and can appear on the platform for free.
For the founder of the Swedish startup, joining Facebook will allow Mapillary to reach its full potential and achieve its goal of keeping maps up to date around the world. ” With Facebook, we will be able to create the tools that will keep our maps detailed, accurate and up to date, for everyone, everywhere. “