If you remember correctly, back in 2009 Apple quietly purchased a GPS mapping software company named PlaceBase. The move was strange considering how big a part Google has played in iOS mapping software. But it is now clear Apple may be looking to independently develop mapping software for their mobile platform.

9to5 Mac has stumbled on an Apple job posting that calls for an iOS Maps application developer. The add specifically asks for an “exceptional developer” that will help “radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services.” What is Apple planning?

Well, it looks like Apple is going to give iOS a huge facelift. We’ve reported previously that Apple was looking to improve its Voice Control software for iOS. We also gave word earlier today that Apple filed a patent depicting a substantial UI overhaul to the ‘Contacts.app’ and other media.

The enhancements of the ‘Maps.app’ could also be the result of a growing feud between Apple and the current ‘Maps.app’ development source, Google. It is fairly likely that Apple is looking to independently design and maintain its own GPS map software to directly compete with Google Maps.

But it is also a possibility that Apple could  just be looking to change the way the current ‘Maps.app’ interacts with users and other applications in iOS. Regardless the reason, it appears that Apple’s iOS Maps application is going to be getting a much needed upgrade. The question is, will we see any of these improvements by the time iOS 5 drops?

Do you think Apple is trying to directly compete with Google Maps? What improvements would you make to the Maps app?