Google acquires Instagram-driven social travel guide app Jetpac

The internet search engine giant continues to expand its digital presence, this time around with the acquisition of Jetpac, an app that utilises public Instagram data to determine things like the happiest or drunkest city.

Jetpac launched in 2012 as a social travel guide on iPad but later shifted focus to its Instagram-driven data on its iphone app, “Jetpac City Guides.”

Google will most likely use the Jetpac team to improve search around location information using photo data. Google already announced that it uses computer vision and machine learning to let one search his/her own photos for things like sunsets, food and flowers.

Jetpac’s system looks for visual cues like the amount of pictures with mustaches in them to determine the fashion style or how many hipsters are in a certain location. This provides unique contextual information about an area where the photo was taken. This goes beyond just a Yelp or Google Maps review to visual information about what is actually happening in a given location.

Jetpac has also achieved real-time local object recognition on video from a phone’s camera. This technology could possibly enhance Google Goggles.

Jetpac will be pulling the app from the App Store in the next few days and ending support on 15 September. Details behind the acquisition are not being released at this time.

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