Nokia is planning to launch a new mapping service in the hopes of rivalling Google Earth and Apple Maps.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has confirmed the acquisition of the 3D mapping company ‘Earthmine’. The struggling mobile company has also launched a new free location cloud service called ‘Here’.
The announcement was made at Nokia’s Mapping event, today. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s move into location services will see it using Here as a brand and platform for its mapping unit. Although the Nokia Maps application can be installed to the new Nokia Lumia phone (which the company is hoping will help to strengthen their ailing balance sheets) from the Windows Phone Marketplace, it is a cross-platform application that should also be available on other mobile operating systems.
Users of Android 2.2 and newer, and all users of non-Nokia Windows 8 smartphones will be able to access Here from their mobile browsers. The mapping application will even be available for desktops, with support for Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome.
The mapping app has been submitted, but will still require Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s approval before it makes it to the app store and becomes available for download. Nokia’s Michael Halbherr, the Nokia VP in charge of Here, said that he expects approval to be made within a few weeks.
The New York Times reported Elop saying that the mapping platform will require scale in order to offer “the highest quality” – hence why Nokia will also offer the app for download on other systems. Elop also added: “Of course, Nokia will build apps, some of them unique to Lumia devices, that gain a competitive advantage for Nokia.”
Nokia’s new mapping system hopes to outdo Apple in some areas – for instance by offering voice-guided transportation and walking directions. Offline support is also planned, allowing users to download maps of a region in advance.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s mapping program has come into strong criticism for being “half baked” at the time of its release. If Nokia manages to learn from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s mistakes, a successful entry may bring the mobile company back to its feet.
Here is available at the URL here.net.