A switch away from Google's mapping data in favor of Apple's own in-house solution is imminent, according to a report by 9to5Mac. Citing "trusted sources," the site says the Maps application for iOS will be done "completely in-house," mapping data and all, thanks to Apple's acquisition of Placebase, Poly9, and C3 Technologies over the last couple of years. Apple's deal to use Google's Mapping data is also said to be expiring soon, opening the door for Apple to begin experimenting with its own technologies.
Poly9 was best known for its "Poly9 Globe," a Flash-based clone of Google Earth. C3 was largely known for its 3D mapping technology. PlaceBase's claim to fame was its PushPin API, which offered richer data integration features than those currently offered by Google Maps. Apple began the acquisitions in 2009 and made the most recent one in October of 2011, apparently completing a trifecta of mapping technologies that many believe are being used to completely revamp the default Maps app for iOS.
According to 9to5Mac's sources, that is indeed the case. "The most important aspect of the new Maps application is a powerful new 3D mode," wrote the site. "This 3D mode is said to essentially be technology straight from C3 Technologies: beautiful, realisitic [sic] graphics based on de-classified missile target algorithms."
No further details were offered about what role the Placebase and Poly9 acquisitions would play in the makeover. But assuming this rumor is close to true, it seems likely that the three would be mashed together to create a version of Maps that has more searching and feature functionality than the current version. It could also offer complex 3D views. Oh, but there is one more detail: the Maps icon is said to be receiving a makeover as well "with a view of Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop Campus."