Looks like Google Earth is soon going to face tough competition from a strong rival. Apple has just bought a Canadian mapping company named Poly9. The company specializes in interactive 3D software designed to be used in browsers.
Poly9 (read Apple’s Google Earth) is a very lightweight program which uses only 303 kb of your browser’s memory. The application is cross platform, does not require any download and can run from your iPhone as well. The interface consists of a spinning 3D globe with comprehensive satellite imagery.
A report from the Apple insider blog reports that Poly9 was purchased “recently” by Apple, though the official confirmation has not been given. The office was closed a few weeks ago and all the employees were asked not to discuss anything regarding the agreement. The company has earlier worked with popular brands across the globe – this includes Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC, NORAD to name a few.
Although Apple has snatched the Canadian company under their grip, there are some companies and web applications currently using the Poly9 technology. A very good example is Skype
[ via Gizmodo ].