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iPhone maker nabs “Android centric” mapping system, as it seeks to catch up to Google.

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Image credit: Fonearena

After a series of mapping misadventures, Apple buys WiFiSlAM – part founded by ex-Google staffer.

The tech company which specialises indoor GPS mapping has been snapped up by Apple, who struggled against the might of Google Maps after its fledgling Maps, released last year, made a series of embarrassing errors (including sending Victorians on a wild goose chase to get to Murray-Sunset National Park).

Cupertino coughed up $20m for the indoor mapping experts.

Google Maps has had indoor capabilities since November 2011.

The indoor GPS gurus has strong Google links, one of its founders is ex Google staffer Darin Tay, while Don Dodge – a current Googler – is also an investor.

WiFiSLAM was “an Android-centric” indoor location positioning tool for ‘Droid developers, but is now no longer available to them, reports Apple Insider.

The technology analyses WiFi signals inside buildings to pinpoint a users location. Nokia mobile has similar technology.

Apple told WSJ it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time”.

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