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Apple Just Bought Their Own Google Earth

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Apple's gone out an bought itself another mapping company. This time it's Canadian firm Poly9, which makes interactive 3D software designed for use in a browser. It could be an important step towards Apple making their very own Google Earth.

The acquisition was made "recently," though it's not clear exactly when. It comes on the heels of Apples purchase of mapping service company Placebase last year. Combined, the technology from the two companies would give Apple the foundation for a potent mapping platform. The Poly9 Globe project, for instance, is a Google Earth-like program that takes up just 303kb and can run on any platform.

Moving away from Google's 3D globe imaging would be a major salvo in the ongoing Apple/Google feud, but it would also give Apple something they very much value in the iPhone and iPad ecosystem: control. Neither company has commented so far, but expect to see some Cupertino cartography sooner than later. [CyberPresse via Apple Insider]