Fee: Apple Taps Talent and IP of, but Does Not Acquire, BroadMap
Apple news source 9to5Mac started a trickle of news on the Monday before Christmas noting that two more companies had joined its fold: mapping company BroadMap back in the first half of the year and Catch (one of its apps shutdown in July), a note-taking tool with a location-based twist in the last few months. But, confirmation was hard to find. Geospatial industry blogger James Fee cited unnamed sources and a tweet from BroadMap's CEO that illustrates his current understanding of the situation:
- Apple bought the intellectual property of BroadMap and licensed it back to them.
- Management of BroadMap and many key staff have joined Apple. I’ve gotten many different explanations as to “the how” of this but they’re at Apple
- BroadMap is still servicing existing clients. They may be doing this with “legacy staff” or have been using a 3rd party for support.
Who is BroadMap? This is the "about us" boiler plate from its latest press release (2012):
BroadMap® provides government, non-profit and commercial business partners with custom-fit Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions. BroadMap® is a driving force and pioneer in the areas of digital mapping products and services, telecom, location intelligence and web & mobile applications. BroadMap® continues its rapid growth by matching innovative GIS solutions with an agile business model and by bringing new solutions to market, including location intelligence and micro-location technologies. BroadMap's GIS expertise and knowledge of geospatial data is unsurpassed in the industry, enabling it to provide customers with turnkey solutions to complex GIS and location challenges. www.broadmap.com
Now what I’m interested in is Apple now has many old GDT [Geographic Data Technology, now owned by TomTom] staff on board. I’m assuming they’re going to be working to replace TomTom with their own mapping data. That’s more interesting that who owns what shell company anymore.
In 2010 Daniel Perrone, Chief Executive Officer at BroadMap referenced the relationship of the two companies in a press release:
We have built the most experienced and talented enterprise solutions team in the country with a group of professionals who played a critical role in making GDT the dominant enterprise data provider in the United States. Now they are all back together again.