Microsoft today announced that it had acquired MultiMap, “one of the United Kingdom’s top 100 technology companies and one of the leading online mapping services in the world.”

The acquisition gives Microsoft a powerful new location and mapping technology to complement existing offerings such as Virtual Earth, Live Search, Windows Live services, MSN and the aQuantive advertising platform, with future integration potential for a range of other Microsoft products and platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The addition of Multimap enhances Microsoft’s position as a leading provider of mapping and location platform services,” said Sharon Baylay, general manager of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. “This acquisition will play a significant role in the future growth of our search business and presents a huge opportunity to expand our platform business beyond the U.K. and globally. We are thrilled to welcome Multimap onboard.”

For me, this is quite a surprising move as Microsoft has already established its own mapping technology with Virtual Earth, so it will be interesting to see just how this acquisition pans outs and what will actually come out of it for the end user.

SL