Google Moving Aggressively to Develop Its Global Location Based Services

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Aug 17, 2014

Mountain View, Calif.-based tech mammoth Google (

GOOG, Financial)(GOOGL) is in the process of adding another feather to its hat. After acquiring Titan Aerospace this year in April, and Quest Visual and Skybox Imaging in May, now the company plans to buy JetPac Inc., a San Francisco based software startup that develops social travel apps. Here’s what Google plans to do with JetPac, and how it fits into Google’s broad plans. But before that, let’s take a quick look at the target.

JetPac Inc. - Company snapshot
Founded by Pete Warden and Julian Green, JetPac develops social travel apps by pulling information from Instagram. The technology behind the app uses special algorithms to bring together different pictures to organize and form a collection that provide answers to the user’s search requirements. The app creates city guides based on the millions of pictures available online.

By analyzing and finding similar traits in pictures, the app generates guides such as the top outdoor adventures in say Hong Kong or Singapore or any other city for that matter. So far the startup has raised $2.4 million through venture capital funding. As always, Google has been very hush-hush about the deal. So, what amount of money it had to part with and how it plans to reform the acquired company stays a mystery.

How JetPac will complement Google’s broad plans

More importantly than the app that JetPac has developed, Google is interested in the technology under the hood. Tech analysts believe Google will use the technology to enrich its Google Maps and Google Earth offerings. Location based services are expected to gain huge traction in days to come. It’s not just Google that’s investing in this field. Recently Nokia (

NOK, Financial) also acquired Desti, a personalized travel planner that uses artificial intelligence to provide the user exactly what information he wants. The Finnish company plans to incorporate the expertise of Desti to its Here Maps.

If we try to link all the acquisitions that Google has made in the recent past, it becomes pretty clear that the company is onto something big. By combining the capabilities acquired from Titan Aerospace and Skybox Imaging, Google can manufacture a satellite that will be able to fly almost endlessly, and provide vivid and descriptive video footage and images.

Next, the Mountain View company can further add the features of JetPac’s app to build a stronger offering. This way the users will have access to pictures and videos of places spread across the globe, and JetPac’s technology can pull similar pictures together to offer a comprehensive search solution to the users. Now, add the 3D imaging features that Google is working on. So, the final outcome will be that you can just toggle with your smartphone for a minute or two, and you will have right in front of you all the information that you wanted, compiled and put together in proper sets, and you will also be able to take a 3D look at objects in the pictures. That’s powerful!

Parting thoughts
The tech world is changing very fast, and at times it becomes really difficult to assess the direction and the momentum of the change. This sort of a situation calls for a company to be constantly alert and to upgrade itself. So, the acquisition from Google seems logical only. The company is trying to build a robust global location based offering and it’s taking small steps, one at a time. It would be really interesting to see how the tech giant brings together all the capabilities from various acquisitions into one single offering, to make the life of its users a lot easier. Surely this wasn’t the last of such acquisitions from Google. Let’s keep a tight watch on the future moves of the company.

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