Mobile location-based services provider Geoloqi has been acquired by Geographic Information System (GIS) provider Esri for an undisclosed amount.
Although not well known in mobile app development circles, Esri is the world’s premier GIS provider. The California-based company’s ArcGIS products are used by more than 300,000 organizations including national governments and Fortune 500 companies.
According to Geoloqi co-founder and CEO Amber Case, the two companies have already begun integrating their products. While Esri already had its own range mobile of GIS SDKs supporting iOS, Android, Java and Windows, its tools were primarily designed for GIS developers and geography experts, not mobile app developers, explains Case.
“With us joining them, we’re [now creating products for the] whole range of application developers,” she says. “You don’t have to know geography or GIS to get started, but you will be able to leverage the power of those services. What we’ll be doing is exposing more and more of ArcGIS’ online features, SDKs and toolkits within our own API to make them very developer friendly and easy to get started with.”
The integration means that Esri’s existing customers can now use Geoloqi’s geotriggers and real-time location services for mobile app development. On Geoloqi’s side, Esri’s GIS database has allowed the company to beef up its geocoding services.
Developers using the Geoloqi API now have access to an improved reverse geocoding system that automatically pairs latitude and longitude information with “human readable” data like city names. Geoloqi customers are now also able to conduct address-based searches — for example, searching for “the closest museum to 500 Broadway, Portland” rather than using “the closest museum to 45.5246, -122.6843.”
Most importantly however, the newly joined companies are also collaborating on a new iOS mapping library powered by the ArcGIS SDK. This means iOS developers using maps in their applications will soon have an alternative to MapKit, the default mapping library Apple rolled out with iOS 6 when it replaced Google Maps.
Before it was acquired by Esri, Geoloqi had raised $350,000 in venture capital and had turned down several acquisition offers before choosing to unite with Esri. Case tells us it was the similarities between the two company’s cultures, philosophies and long-term product plans that caused her to change her mind about selling Geoloqi.
Under the terms of the deal, Geoloqi’s Portland, Oregon headquarters will become Esri’s new research and development center. All Geoloqi products will continue to be supported, and will retain their existing names, functionalities and code-bases. Geoloqi will also continue its partnership with Appcelerator to provide location-based services via the Titanium 2.0 development platform.