And for that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple you have purchased a small company based in Silicon Valley called WifiSLAM. $ 20 million indicate that it has been the amount of the operation.
For what? Everything in sight are put in the indoor location, something Google has a time worked, even though its use is currently enough minority. But the problem in this case is more than technology in cartography as such.
Usually we are accustomed to use maps of our smartphone outdoors. In this situation we have GPS coverage with what phone returns a position with a small error, of between 5 and 15 meters range. Indoor GPS can not be used It requires that the phone and the satellite “will be” directly.
There are several solutions to deal with this problem. One of the most used is the Triangulation of Wifi networks. This technique takes place by Google Maps and WifiSLAM takes a couple of years developing it and improving it: the phone detects a list of Wifi networks at your fingertips, and through a series of relatively simple algorithms and a server – which stores a huge database with the Wifi nodes and some information about you – is able to estimate a location quite successful, close to the one provided by GPS and of course much better than giving triangulation by antennas. The system of WifiSLAM said to offer an error of only 2.5 meters indoors, which is no doubt a very good thing.
Be that as it may, It seems that Apple is focused on improving its maps. We hope that the purchase of WifiSLAM is the first step to develop an application that can cope with the great Google Maps.