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Old Aug 1, 2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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3D Mapping Company C3 Technologies Acquired by... Someone




Swedish 3D mapping company C3 Technologies appears to have been acquired in July. Saab AB announced last month that it had completely divested itself of its 57.8% stake in the company for approximately $150 million US dollars. Meanwhile, C3's website has since been completely shut down though portions of it remain in Google's cache.



Realtime map screenshot from C3 Technologies
Nyteknik.se reports only that the buyer is a western company.
Quote:
We have promised not to say who the buyer is. But there are no Chinese or other Asian companies. It is a company in the Western world, says one of Saab today after the deal is worth 1 billion.
That opens the door to one of many companies, but certainly the big players such as Apple, Microsoft and Google are the prime candidates.

C3 Technologies made a big splash in January at CES 2011 when it began demoing its technology on both Android and iOS devices. The company uses formerly classified missile targeting technology to achieve its impressive 3D mapping effects.

As described by Technology Review.
Quote:
C3's models are generated with little human intervention. First, a plane equipped with a custom-designed package of professional-grade digital single-lens reflex cameras takes aerial photos. Four cameras look out along the main compass points, at oblique angles to the ground, to image buildings from the side as well as above. Additional cameras (the exact number is secret) capture overlapping images from their own carefully determined angles, producing a final set that contains all the information needed for a full 3-D rendering of a city's buildings. Machine-vision software developed by C3 compares pairs of overlapping images to gauge depth, just as our brains use stereo vision, to produce a richly detailed 3-D model.

"Unlike Google or Bing, all of our maps are 360 explorable," says Smith, "and everything, every building, every tree, every landmark, from the city center to the suburbs, is captured in 3-D--not just a few select buildings."
This is one of their promo videos that remains on YouTube demonstrating how the technology may be used on an iPad:

Other even more impressive videos include a 3d map of Hoover Dam, and Flythrough of Oslo.

Unfortunately, we don't actually know which company has purchased the technology, though with the complete removal of C3's website, it seems the buyer has uses for the technology beyond just supplying app developers an SDK for its use. We were only able to find one possible link with one Nyteknik.se commenter claiming that they "happen to know it was Apple!".

Apple would be a good fit for the company, as they have already admitted to be working on their own turn-by-turn direction GPS service, and we've also found evidence that they have licensed map data from a number of companies. It would also reduce their dependance on Google's mapping solution which presently is used on iOS devices. Apple previously purchased mapping company Placebase and has been aggressively hiring for their Geo Team to take Maps to the "next level".

Article Link: 3D Mapping Company C3 Technologies Acquired by... Someone
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Or maybe Google bought them instead of Apple?
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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re picture of the city
nice pic
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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It'd be pretty cool to have the next gen of GPS technology
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:07 PM   #5
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Does "the next level" = 3D?

I personally dislike satellite view with google maps -- it's distracting. I can only imagine 3D being even more-so.

Last edited by Clive At Five; Aug 1, 2011 at 03:22 PM.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:08 PM   #6
baryon
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Image
Meanwhile, C3's website has since been completely shut down though portions of it remain in Google's cache.
So that's what happens after you die: You go into Google's cache!
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:09 PM   #7
Skika
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Wow! This is really impressive.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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very cool! i hope it's apple and along with other purchases they can get rid of google maps all together. i hate google!! they are this centuries microsoft!! they use the steal and license approach just like MS!!!
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:12 PM   #9
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It looks amazing. I also don't use satellite view because it's distracting but my bigger fear is loading that level of detail. Maps on iOS is getting unusable primarily because it's so slow.

I want a faster way to enter a search, clear a search, revise a search or a route. Google's 3D is cool but the real win for that wasn't the 3D, it was the move to vector maps. Storing a 100mi radius of maps on your phone is what we need.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:15 PM   #10
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(Fake nerd rage)

This is MACrumors, not SOMEONErumors. Stop posting about SOMEONE.

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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:15 PM   #11
TMay
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Next, Apple buys The National Reconnaissance Office

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...issance_Office

and trademarks iKeyhole...
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:16 PM   #12
Benjamins
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buys a company and shut down it's operation....

sounds like something someone would do.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:20 PM   #13
arn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
Or maybe Google bought them instead of Apple?
Sure. possible. Google seems to be pretty open about their acquisitions though.

arn
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:21 PM   #14
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You mean is still a perfect angel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaison13 View Post
very cool! i hope it's apple and along with other purchases they can get rid of google maps all together. i hate google!! they are this centuries microsoft!! they use the steal and license approach just like MS!!!
Apple seems to do the same thing. Just ask some software developers that had the apps copied by Apple rather than purchased.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:23 PM   #15
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I can't wait until I see the "Something Happened Somewhere; Someone Alleged to be Involved" headline.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
Or maybe Google bought them instead of Apple?
Google doesn't need it enough to spend $1B on it. Apple has the money, the motivation, the secretive nature alluded to by the seller, and the commitment to take mapping to "the next level", as Clive suggested.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:26 PM   #17
erohloff
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I was thinking it would be cool to see that level of detail in a GPS app... until I read Pumpkin Kings post... then realized I'm on AT&Ts network and would take forever to download on the fly... OR if it was an app like Tom Tom or Navigon... Yikes! I'll need an iPhone with more space... 16Gb just won't due.

Love the idea though... it's only a matter of time.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:28 PM   #18
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Green Water

What is it St. Patrick's Day in that city? I wouldn't want to drink that water.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:29 PM   #19
arn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacinDoc View Post
Google doesn't need it enough to spend $1B on it. Apple has the money, the motivation, the secretive nature alluded to by the seller, and the commitment to take mapping to "the next level", as Clive suggested.
The quote was from a swedish magazine so it's in swedish kronor.

1 billion SEK = 157 million USD.

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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacinDoc View Post
Google doesn't need it enough to spend $1B on it. Apple has the money, the motivation, the secretive nature alluded to by the seller, and the commitment to take mapping to "the next level", as Clive suggested.
+1

I would agree with this logic. I hope so. Looks cool.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:31 PM   #21
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If this acquisition is material to the purchaser, it would be disclosed in filings to the SEC. $150 million might not be that material quantitatively to either Apple or Google, but if there is a significant strategic value, it's likely someone will be putting out a press release and filing.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:31 PM   #22
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$150 million? That's cheap. I wouldn't be surprised this has nothing to do with Apple. Imagination knows no bounds so let's here who you might think it could be.

Google and Apple have already been stated.

How about Eastman Kodak (didn't they just win their court battle with Apple [ca-ching] and aren't they in the business of images and patents, and don't they need to reinvent themselves for the 21st century)?

Don't forget, you've got all of Europe too.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:33 PM   #23
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Maybe it was Nokia..? They already have a pretty cool 3D map thing going! This could be because C3 is the technology behind it, or that Nokia want their tech to incorporate.

Check out: http://maps.nokia.com/3D/
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detlev View Post
$150 million? That's cheap. I wouldn't be surprised this has nothing to do with Apple. Imagination knows no bounds so let's here who you might think it could be.

Google and Apple have already been stated.

How about Eastman Kodak (didn't they just win their court battle with Apple [ca-ching] and aren't they in the business of images and patents, and dot they need to reinvent themselves for the 21st century)?

I can think of some nefarious reasons to have this tech too.
I don't think Kodak can afford to acquire an air flight to go see a company, never the less buy them.

Thinking more on it... I bet it's Microsoft. I'm guessing Balmer figures they need to make a splash and he's seen how secrecy works in Apple favor, so he bought it and didn't tell anyone.... including his own board! I can see him in his office bouncing up and down with fiendish glee.
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 03:37 PM   #25
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OK, get this for pitiful, pathetic, naked paranoia. (I'm ashamed to admit I even had this thought )

Would this type of application be useful to terrorists?

Before anybody jumps on me - I'm not suggesting in any way that these type of apps should be censored.

Just asking...





I might be losing it
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