LinkedIn updates suggest that Apple is beefing up its mapping efforts by poaching senior staff from Here – the map technology company which Nokia once hoped to sell to Apple.

Now co-owned by German automotive companies Audi, BMW, and Daimler, Business Insider spotted half a dozen hires over the last few months from Here. Interestingly, the roles appear to be based in Berlin, where Apple does not officially have a base but was once the site of Apple Car rumors …

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The hires include the company’s regional map and content lead for Eastern Europe, as well as a director, product manager, program manager and two senior software engineers.

  • Khang Tran — a senior software engineer at Here. He joined Apple as a software engineer this month.
  • Gilbert Schulz — a program manager at Here. He joined Apple in April and currently works on the Apple Maps team.
  • Konstantin Sinitsyn — a senior software engineer at Here. He joined Apple last November as a software engineer.
  • Manfred Reich — regional map and content lead, Eastern Europe region at Here. He joined Apple in July 2015 after spending seven years at Here Maps and currently works on the Apple Maps team.
  • Andrey Arsentyev — a product manager at Here Maps. He joined Apple in May 2015 and currently works on the Apple Maps team.
  • Torsten Krenz — a director at Here where he worked for more than two and a half years. He joined Apple in August 2014 and currently works on the Maps team.

Five of the six did not respond to a request for comment, while the sixth – senior software engineer Konstantin Sinitsyn – said he couldn’t say what he was working on.

It was reported back in April that Apple had create a ‘secret lab‘ in Berlin for its car project, though more recent indications suggest that the company has abandoned plans to create a car in favor of working just on an autonomous driving platform.

The Here WeGo app is a sophisticated mapping app that has everything from live traffic data to public transport fares and timings, along with POI information drawn from a large number of partners ranging from Trip Advisor to Wikipedia. Apple Maps has been gradually improving its transit and POI data.

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