FINNISH PHONE FIRM Nokia has announced a major update to its mapping and navigation services called "Here".
The company said that the new Here service will combine its mapping and navigation services for handsets, desktops and automobiles into a single, cloud based product.
Nokia CEO and president Stephen Elop said that Here will provide a common brand that will deliver conventional mapping and navigation services while leveraging the company's 3D modeling and acquired technology expertise.
The result, said Elop, is a cloud based service that will deliver more accurate maps and navigational data.
"Maps and locational experiences should inspire us to sense our world," Elop said. "So that is what Nokia is doing, we are creating more personal maps and locational services."
Nokia is planning to introduce the Here service on a number of systems in mobile markets. The company unveiled an HTML5 based application for IOS as well as a native application for Windows Phone and an SDK designed to allow handset vendors to integrate Here directly into their hardware products.
Additionally, the company is planning to partner with automakers to offer the Here service in embedded navigation systems.
Nokia hopes that third parties will play prominent roles in the development of the service. The company said that it relied heavily on the contributions of partners and acquisitions to craft the 3D modeling techology and key mobile features.
Additionally, Nokia said that it is relying on the input of end users to help complete its maps, a trend that Nokia EVP of location and commerce Michael Halbherr only sees increasing as the company moves to the cloud based service in which maps are able to constantly update themselves.
Halbherr explained that in many parts of the world where the company cannot consistently update its maps, data from user mapping tags and navigation activity can play a vital role in helping to discover and add new roads and side streets into maps.
"It is really about capturing the details we need." Halbherr explained. "It is always the same map, it is all about the content. The map in itself does not change." µ