Google gobbles Jetpac, maker of social travel apps

By Joseph Mayton, Tech Times | August 17, 8:20 AM

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Jetpac City Guides

Google has acquired the social travel app developer Jetpac. The move should help the search company hone its ability to advance location-based technology.
(Photo : Jetpac)

In what appears to be a move by Google to give better search results for photo-driven searches, it has acquired Jetpac, the developer of social travel apps.

Jetpac has become known for its research into social media, including its app that takes public Instagram data and allows users to learn strange facts about a number of things, including the drunkest city or the happiest one around.

The startup was launched in 2012 as an iPad social travel guide, but since then morphed into something different as it used its research and data-driven concepts to take Instagram's open public data and created its Jetpac City Guides.

According to observers, Google is expected to use the Jetpac team to continue to develop new and better search means surrounding location-based information using photo data. The company recently announced that it is using computer learning and machine learning to give users the ability to search their own photos for a number of items, including foods, flora or pictures of sunsets or mountains.

It appears to have analysing photos down to a science. "We can spot lipstick, blue sky views, hipster mustaches and more, through advanced image processing on billions of photos," it boasts on its site. It curates those images into Jetpac City Guides, which it calls visual guides to local recommendations "for over 6,000 cities all around the world, from San Francisco to Kathmandu."

The acquisition comes as Google appears to be taking a user-first approach to its many services. DigitalGlobe, a provider of satellite imagery for Google and Google Earth, launched its latest satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, the WorldView-3, Tech Times reports.

The launch has many in the tech world excited over the expected high-resolution images from the satellite, along with a number of enhancements for those who love watching the planet from above the surface. It should help continue to develop Google's overall focus on location-based technologies.

The new satellite features the means to capture images at 31-cm resolution. It would be the highest resolution currently available on the commercial market, and has the ability to snap images on a windshield of a car. It is being pushed as being able to take a picture of a license plate.

 

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