Google brought a new company under its wing this week: online mapping company, Waze.
As maps and navigation services have become vital for technology companies, Waze uses satellite signals along with user engagement to offer real-time traffic information. “It’s not just crowdsourcing. It’s personal participation,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, Waze’s vice president for platforms and partnerships to the New York Times. The map program lets its users know about traffic data including accidents, road construction, and police up ahead.
This move by Google ends several months of speculation of who would purchase Waze. Google’s acquisition of this technology will improve the accuracy and usefulness of its own navigation system and safeguard their dominance in the smart phone mapping world. “We’re seeing maps become the canvas to everyone’s app,” Eric Gundersen, chief executive of MapBox, told The New York Times “The map is alive; the map is responsive.”
While the final purchase price for Waze has not been released, speculation places Google’s acquisition of the Israeli company ranks among the largest purchases of an Internet company this year. Internet buy out deals have been heating up recently. Just last month, Yahoo! closed a $1.1 billion deal of the blogging service Tumblr, and Facebook bought the photo sharing Instagram for $750 million.