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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Uber acquires deCarta

March 11th, 2015 by Susan Smith

Last week, Uber announced that it acquired deCarta, a small location based services (LBS) company. As Uber has made its name as the “ridesharing giant,” a company spokesman said that they hoped to improve Uber’s ETA times as well as carpooling service with the acquisition. It also will reduce the company’s reliance on Google and Apple.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 9.40.55 AMLast month Uber’s product chief, Jeff Holden, remarked that they are developing their own maps, and using those of Google and Apple less frequently. Currently, Uber uses Google Maps data to power its apps for drivers and riders.

The terms of the deCarta acquisition were not disclosed. Founded in 2009, Uber has acquired a few other startups.

deCarta’s LBS platform offers comparable LBS technology to Google, Bing and Apple but can be customized to an organization’s individual needs. Their platform offers the full set of LBS technology and is scalable to meet the very largest, global use cases including:

  • Mapping
  • Local Search and Geocoding
  • Routing
  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation application/SDK for automotive and mobile applications
  • High quality APIs and developer-friendly “DevZone”

Founded in 1996, deCarta has provided location-based services to customers such as Blackberry, Verizon, Norwest Venture Partners, Verizon, Samsung, Ford, and was the brains behind the OnStar systems for General Motors cars.

San Jose, Calif.-based deCarta will join Uber, bringing with it approximately 30 of its 40 employees.

A Bloomberg Business Report stated that Google Maps may be planning a ride-sharing application. Interestingly enough, through its venture arm, Google is a primary investor in Uber, according to Mashable. Further, one of its top executives, David Drummond, sits on Uber’s board of directors.

More evidence that Uber and Google may be going their separate ways, was indicated last month when Uber announced that it formed a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to develop its own driverless cars.

The acquisition might also play into the Advanced Technologies Center that Uber’s building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that will research and develop mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology, Mashable reports.

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Categories: 3D PDF, analytics, Big Data, citizen science, climate change, cloud, data, deCarta, geomatics, geospatial, GIS, Google, GPS, iPhone, LBS, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile, sensors, smartphones

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