In an ongoing attempt to compete with Google, Apple bought small mapping company Placebase over the summer in a deal that went unnoticed until this week

PlaceBase is a Los Angeles-based company who have produced their own mapping API called Pushpin, a service that is very similar to Google’s Latitude.

Computerworld first reported on the deal when they noticed the Los Angeles-based company's founder and CEO, Jaron Waldman, now heads Apple's Geo team.

The price and the deal were apparently too small to require any announcement of the deal when it was made in July.

The deal may provide an explanation as to why Apple rejected Google’s Latitude app for the iTunes store, while more rumors suggest that Apple is in the midst of developing their own Latitudish application for iPhones.

The acquisition is seen as a sign that Apple will move away from using Google Inc.'s Maps program for its iPhone and iPhoto software.