Facebook Inc has obtained a Swedish publicly supported mapping technology company, Mapillary that helps collects images from many contributors to build immersive and up-to-date maps.
The transaction was confirmed by Facebook but later on, refused to open up about the terms involved. However, Mapillary hesitated in responding to a request for comment.
According to Mapillary Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Solem, who founded the Malmö-based startup after leaving Apple Inc in 2013, he said his company’s technology would be used to power products like Facebook’s Marketplace and also supply data to humanitarian organizations.
The Swedish company, Mapillary aims at solving one of the most difficult problems when mapping is concerned; that is keeping maps updated with what they call, “street-level data” about signs, addresses, and other vital information that can be observed or seem from the road.
There are also other well-known companies such as Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google that address the same problem by sending out vehicle fleets that come with cameras and other sensors which helps gather images too.
However, Mapillary solves the problem by using crowdsourcing of the images, ingesting pictures contributed from smartphones, other cameras types as well as what they call the “computer vision” technology to bind them together into a three-dimensional map.
A Facebook spokesman said that this would support Facebook’s products under development like augmented reality glasses and virtual reality headsets even though many people take that information as a way of self- motivated car technology.
Mapilary is a web mapping technology service for sharing crowdsourced geotagged photos, which was developed by remote company Mapillary AB, based in Malmö, Sweden, and was initially released 6years ago in 2013 and works on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry OS. It also available in English.