Here's how Mapsense describes their purpose:
There are over 10 billion devices on the planet streaming location data on a daily basis. While collecting location data has become mainstream, the traditional tools to visualize, understand, and harness it have been hampered by the speed and scale of this massive and complex new datasource. Mapsense's platform and developer tools help organizations quickly ingest and analyze billions of rows of location data to make more intelligent, locally targeted business decisions across the organization.
When asked about the acquisition, Apple gave its usual reply: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Mapsense launched its developer platform in May and raised $2.5 million in funding from General Catalyst, Amplify.LA, Redpoint Ventures and others.
Notably, Apple just recently announced it was shutting down HopStop, a previous acquisition which helped the company bring transit directions to iOS 9.