Google acquires Urban Engines to better understand location-based big data



Google has acquired Urban Engines, location-based analytics start-up that aims to help cities and companies better understand urban mobility.

The company has been founded in 2014 by a bunch of ex-googlers, with investors including Google Ventures and Eric Schmidt, so at the end the acquisition is not a surprise.

The idea behind Urban Engines was to leverage big data and spatial analytics to help local governments and businesses understand and assess urban mobility and improve transportation offerings. The company was trying to translate data coming from different urban systems as well as its own proprietary app to understand how people move from one place to another and how changes to transit systems impact the overall mobility.

Urban Engines will join Google Maps team, “we’re excited to combine forces to help organizations better understand how the world moves” the statement in their blog post said. Although great in decrypting individual mobility patterns, Google does not address well the B2B and public sector of urban planning… And imagine what could be done with Google’s data… Urban Engines might bring location intelligence to Google Maps in that area.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.


  1. EOS did a great job! Land Viewer is the only such advanced satellite data analytics web tool available for free. It is packed with features but easy to use at the same time. And oh boy, this thing is fast. So if you need to do a quick analysis of remote sensing data don’t look any further.


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