Nokia rebrands its mapping service, expands it to other mobile platforms

Nokia rebrands its mapping service, expands it to other mobile platforms
Nokia continues playing to its strengths by expanding its mapping service to other platforms and launching a new web portal.

Nokia introduced 'Here'
Yesterday at a San Francisco event Nokia introduced 'Here', a rebranding of its mapping and location-based services. According to Nokia, the openness of Here is what truly sets it apart - instead of just Windows Phone, the service will be also available for free on the competing smartphone platforms. In addition to that, Nokia has also partnered with Mozilla to bring its new location service to Firefox OS.

Just like on Nokia Lumia phones, users on other mobile platforms will soon be able to benefit from voice guided turn-by-turn navigation and the ability to save complete map data for offline use.

To coincide with the new mapping platform, Nokia has also launched a web portal that you can check right now on your desktop or mobile browser. In comparison to the previous iteration, the web based map offers a number of cool features that take advantage of the cross-platform compatibility of the service. For example, Collections lets users bookmark locations that they can then sync and access on different devices using a Nokia account. There's also a collaboration tool called Map Creator that lets users update street names or traffic information that can then be seen by other maps users.

The new web portal has also the option to render 3D models of buildings in an eye-catching detail. This particular feature, however, works only for several key locations at the moment, but nevertheless it's a nice glimpse of what's to come in the dedicated 'Here' apps for smartphones.

And, speaking about what's yet to come, Nokia also announced that it has acquired earthmine, a 3D street level imagery firm based in Berkeley, California. Founded in 2006, the company offers technology that has the potential to seriously rival Google's Street View service, giving Here maps the competitive edge it needs.

Indeed, Nokia's ambitious expansion plan puts its mapping and location services platform on a direct collision course with Google, who saw its own Maps app accumulate massive popularity by running on several different mobile software platforms. Hopefully the fierce competition will force both companies to come up with some truly unique and innovative services that will only benefit the consumer.


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