Nokia Unveils HERE Mapping And Location-Based Services Platform

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Nokia has announced HERE, the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. With the new brand, HERE, Nokia aims to inspire a new generation of location services and devices that make the mobile experience more personally significant for people everywhere.

“People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world,” said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop.

To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. The new IPhone app, created in the HTML 5 language that works on many different types of computers and smartphones, is a clear effort to capitalize on the much-publicized weaknesses of Apple Inc’s new mapping product. Michael Halbherr, Nokia’s executive vice president for location and commerce services, joked at the San Francisco launch event that the iPhone app was created “on the off chance that there are some iPhone users who want a different map.” The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple’s App Store in the coming weeks. Nokia also said it would release an Android mapping app early next year.

Nokia further announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring new location experiences to the Firefox OS. Nokia plans to debut a mobile Web version of HERE Maps for the new Firefox OS next year. The companies are working together to give people the best mapping experience on Firefox OS.

Nokia also said it would acquire a Bay Area start-up called Earthmine to provide 3-D street views for its maps. The company’s reality capture and processing technologies will become integral parts of HERE’s 3D map making capabilities. Nokia expects the transaction to close by the end of 2012.

“Maps are hard to get right – but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world,” said Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President of Location & Commerce and responsible for the HERE brand. “That’s why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world’s most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today.”

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