Apple is certainly beefing up its Mapping team with some interesting and exciting acquisitions. Earlier today we reported that Apple had acquired a Canadian mapping start-up called Locationary. Locationary harvests crowd sourced data to deliver what All Things D termed a "Wikipedia for local business listings."
Now comes word via Bloomberg that Apple has also acquired HopStop.com, a public transit app which shows users in hundreds of cities how to get to and fro via public transit.
Indeed, one of the glaring omissions in Apple's homegrown mapping app is that it lacks the public transit directions that many consumers became accustomed to with Google Maps. Hopefully the acquisition of HopStop means that Apple is finally serious about integrating transit directions directly into Maps instead of directing users to download third-party transit applications.
To get a sense of all HopStop can do, the app's description on iTunes reads:
Get detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions, real-time transit information via "HopStop Live!", as well as official transit maps, nearby station search, and station-to-station schedules in over 600 cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition, you'll benefit from our latest feature, HopStop Live!, which lets you see what other HopStop users are saying, in real-time, about the stations, trains, lines and buses you use most. HopStop Live! empowers our community of millions of transit riders to work together towards a common goal to get everyone to where they need to go, faster.
With HopStop Live! you can:
- Follow your favorite lines, stations or stops
- Report real-time delays and issues
- Contribute pictures of what you're seeing on buses and trains
- Share to Facebook and Twitter
The app also supports these great features as well:
- Get directions from your current location
- Get schedules for hundreds of regional rails, subways, buses, ferries, light rails, streetcars, trams, trolleys & more
- Map a location & see nearby subway & bus stops
- Estimate travel time & cost for a taxi & call cab companies
- See a list of all possible routes with Smart Route
- Get biking directions in NYC, DC, Chicago, & SF
In the wake of Bloomberg's report, AllThingsD was able to get a confirmation on the acquisition from Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.