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FoundedCambridge, Massachusetts (1999)
Reston, Virginia
Key people
John R. Frank, former CTO

MetaCarta is a private company that provides geographic information extraction and search engine products. The company was founded in 2001, and was acquired by Nokia in 2010.[1] Nokia subsequently spun out the enterprise products division and the MetaCarta brand to Qbase.[2] Their headquarters are in Reston, Virginia, with additional offices located in Springfield, Ohio.[3]


MetaCarta was founded by John R. Frank while he was working on his Ph.D. in physics as a Hertz Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[4] In 1999, he received $500,000 from DARPA after developing a search technology which enables finding references to locations in documents and thus allowed documents to be retrieved from a search index when a geographical keyword is entered. MetaCarta also received funding from In-Q-Tel, a CIA-related organization,[5] as well as over $18 million in private venture capital.[6]


MetaCarta was acquired by Nokia on April 9, 2010.[7] Nokia kept MetaCarta's core engineering team to build the search engine behind its location search offering, and spun-out the enterprise products division and MetaCarta brand to Qbase Holdings, LLC in July, 2010.[8]

Products and services[edit]

MetaCarta offers two main products. The first, Geographic Text Search (GTS), combines keyword and geographic searches.[9] The second, GeoSearch News, indexes news stories by location so that users can search by locations or use a map to see any news stories that have occurred in a given area.[10]

MetaCarta Labs[edit]

In addition to its commercial products, MetaCarta maintains MetaCarta Labs, a lab website, which offers a number of unofficial projects. Through Metacarta Labs, the company has funded development of several open source geographic software packages.

Projects funded by MetaCarta[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nokia Acquires MetaCarta". MetaCarta. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  2. ^ "Qbase Holdings, LLC announces acquisition of MetaCarta Inc". MetaCarta. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  3. ^ "MetaCarta: About". MetaCarta. Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  4. ^ "Where 2.0 Conference Speaker – John R. Frank". O'Reilly. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  5. ^ "MetaCarta lands second funding from CIA". Boston Business Journal. 2004-06-29. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  6. ^ "MetaCarta lands $10M in Series C VC". Boston Business Journal. 8 September 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  7. ^ Gonsalves, Antone. "Nokia Acquires MetaCarta". InformationWeek. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Nokia sells MetaCarta 3 months after acquisition". BusinessWeek. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  9. ^ "MetaCarta Geographic Text Search (GTS) For Government Applications" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  10. ^ Mills, Elinor (24 August 2008). "MetaCarta: Mapping the news". CNET. Retrieved 29 August 2013.

External links[edit]