Google buys Jetpac to help build out its travel and location features

Google Maps might be getting a lot smarter. 


Elizabeth Robinson


Published Aug 18, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 6:18 pm CDT

On Friday, Google announced its acquisition of travel-based image recognition app Jetpac.

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Jetpac uses publicly available images via Instagram to rank local hot spots in cities around the world. The company’s software also detects things in pictures such as gender, mustaches, and smiles in order to find the bars where most women go, rank the most hipster places to hang out, or where people are the happiest.

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The company has not announced financial details about the deal nor how it plans to use Jetpac’s technology, which could enhance many of Google’s products.

Jetpac will join Google’s Knowledge team, according to Cnet. The Knowledge team works to integrate real world understanding into search results. In addition to improving its search function, Google could use Jetpac’s software to improve location information for Google Maps, Google Now, and Google+.

Jetpac also allows for real-time object recognition from a phone’s camera, which TechCrunch reports could be used for Google Goggles, an Android app that allows its users to point mobile phone cameras at pictures, objects, or barcodes and receive relevant information about it.

Jetpac has announced on its website  plans to pull the app from app stores and remove support for them on Sept. 15. 

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H/T Cnet | Photo by Melinda/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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*First Published: Aug 18, 2014, 1:59 pm CDT