Taking on Google Maps, Facebook has acquired Swedish startup Mapillary, that is building a detailed, accurate, and up to date global street-level imagery platform, for an undisclosed sum.
Facebook is building tools and technology to improve maps through a combination of machine learning, satellite imagery and partnerships with mapping communities.
These maps power products like Facebook Marketplace that drive transactions for millions of small businesses, and supply vital data to humanitarian organisations around the world.
“With tens of thousands of contributors to our platform and with maps being improved with Mapillary data every single day, we’re now taking the next big step on that journey,” Mapillary co-founder and CEO Jan Erik said in a statement on Thursday.
“By merging our efforts, we will further improve the ways that people and machines can work with both aerial and street-level imagery to produce map data,” he added.
The startup plans is to continue being a global platform for imagery, map data, and improving all maps.
“Our commitment to OpenStreetMap stays. The plan is for the rights given to OpenStreetMap editors to remain unchanged and for our work with OpenStreetMap communities and companies to continue on the same path as always,” the startup explained.
By continuing to make all images uploaded to Mapillary open, public, and available to everyone, “we hope to enable new use cases, and grow the breadth of coverage and usage to benefit mapping for everyone”.