Social check-in service Foursquare may be serving up more than restaurant tips and reviews from your friends. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has been chatting it up with Foursquare Labs in recent weeks to mine location data for use with the less than popular Apple Maps.
It’s the data, stupid
Ever since Apple dropped Google Maps from iOS 6, there has been a shit storm of bad press because of bad location information. There have been inaccuracies such as missing streets and incorrect location data that could even cause travelers to get lost and die in the Australian outback. This could all change if Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of Internet Software and Services, writes a check for Foursquare’s location data. Apple already partners with Yelp for reviews and Tom Tom for road data – about 2 dozen providers in all – to guide iOS users to their destinations. Mapping is no easy task and Google has years of data compiled giving them a huge head start on Apple.
Adding Foursquare seems like a smart move since it would integrate several years’ of location data into Apple Maps. I would love to see my favorite check-in service gain a huge base with millions of iPhone users.