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Talk about pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Computerworld blogger Seth Weintraub has discovered that Apple ever so quietly acquired the mapping company Placebase way back in July.  Yes, July.  The reason for  this somewhat important piece of news going relatively unnoticed until now is that Weintraub had nothing else to go on at that time except for a single tweet from Placebase CEO Jaron Waldman indicating the acquisition.  Weintraub decided to revisit the case recently by checking Waldman’s LinkedIn profile, and sure enough, Waldman is now part of the “Geo Team” at Apple.

As we all know, Apple relies heavily on Google’s mapping technology, not only for the iPhone and iPod touch, but also for iPhoto.  Acquiring and utilizing Placebase could help Apple sever even more ties with the search giant.  It goes without saying that Apple’s rift with Google has already been well documented.  Not only has Apple rejected, or “not approved,” Google Voice, they have also forced Google to make Latitude a web app, and to to top it off, Google’s own Eric Schmidt recently stepped down from Apple’s board of directors.

It’s also possible that Apple may just sit on this technology for a while and see where it takes them.  It could be their fallback option, you know, just in case the two companies keep going on their diverging paths.  Just because Apple acquired a mapping company doesn’t mean they will put it to use immediately.  They could be working on some super secret mapping technology that goes well beyond the scope of a simple mapping app.  It is Apple after all.

[Image via Computerworld]