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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.

l_SF1.jpg
Realtime map screenshot from C3 Technologies​

Nyteknik.se reports only that the buyer is a western company.
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.
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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Clive At Five

macrumors 65816
May 26, 2004
1,438
0
St. Paul, MN
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.
 
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jaison13

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2003
253
7
pittsburgh
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!!!
 

Pumpkin King

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2007
41
21
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.
 

Benjamins

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2010
652
88
buys a company and shut down it's operation....

sounds like something someone would do. :cool:
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
You mean is still a perfect angel?

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.
 

davidwarren

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
782
2
I can't wait until I see the "Something Happened Somewhere; Someone Alleged to be Involved" headline.
 

erohloff

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2011
4
0
WI
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.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,059
5,291
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.

arn
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
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.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
16,399
5,218
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.
 

Detlev

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2003
509
0
$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.
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
$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. :p

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. :D
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,929
1,612
New England, USA
OK, get this for pitiful, pathetic, naked paranoia. (I'm ashamed to admit I even had this thought :eek:)

Would this type of application be useful to terrorists? :eek:

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 :p
 
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