Google Maps has arguably become one of the Internet Giant’s most recognizable products. Many of us use it on the way to work every single day. Google has been adding to Google maps consistently over the past five years. To take that even further, Google has now acquired urban-planning firm, Urban Engines, which should help Google understand how a metropolis moves throughout the day in order to improve its traffic-beating feature.
Urban Engines, is a data analytics startup based in Silicon Valley that uses data to give insight into cities and how people move around in them. Founder and CEO Shiva Shivakumar says the company is mapping the “Internet of Moving Things,” as quoted by the New York Times, which is a new way of mapping objects in motion. The company’s goal is to improve mobility in cities.
The firm announced in a blog post that Urban Engines has now become a part of the Google Maps team, and they even enthused that the idea of an “urban OS” could be possible, using GPS beacons as well as devices from the Internet of Things revolution to create a smart overlay to keep the city running on time as well as smoothly from day-to-day.
Here’s a small video that shows how Urban Engine works:
There’s not a lot in the way of information regarding how the company will fit in the larger Google ecosystem, but certainly it has a lot to bring to the Google Maps app, as well as data analytics that will help bolster the mapping team’s underlying infrastructure.
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