Facebook Buys Maps Company In AR/VR Play


Facebook acquired Sweden-based mapping specialist Mapillary, a move Reuters reported was intended to boost the social media company’s development of services for AR and VR devices.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Facebook told the news agency Mapillary would contribute to development of AR glasses and VR headsets.

Mapillary crowdsources images globally from smartphones and cameras and combines these to create street-level 3D maps. On its website, it lists logistics and mobility; cities and infrastructure; and automotive use cases.

In a blog post, Mapillary CEO and co-founder Jan Erik Solem, said its technology will power products including Facebook Marketplace and supply vital data to humanitarian organisations globally.

“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. Lots of exciting results will come out of this, including the data we all need to make better maps.”

Solem emphasised the takeover would not impact the open nature of the service, with no plans to change “the rights given to OpenStreetMap editors” and work with related “communities and companies to continue on the same path as always”.

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