The current www.here.com browser interface
|Operating system||Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, Fire OS, Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch and Tizen|
HERE (formerly Ovi Maps from 2007 to 2011, and Nokia Maps from 2011 to 2012) is a Nokia business unit that brings together Nokia's mapping and location assets under one brand. The technology of HERE is based on a cloud-computing model, in which location data and services are stored on remote servers so that users have access to it regardless of which device they use.
HERE captures location content such as road networks, buildings, parks and traffic patterns. It then sells or licenses that mapping content, along with navigation services and location solutions to other businesses such as Garmin, BMW, Oracle and Amazon.com.
In addition, HERE provides platform services to smartphones running Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, Fire OS and Sailfish OS  It delivers location services through HERE applications, provides solutions for GIS and government clients and powers major mapping providers, such as Bing, MapQuest, Facebook and Yahoo! Maps. HERE has maps in nearly 200 countries, offers voice guided navigation in 94 countries, provides live traffic information in 33 countries and has indoor maps available for about 49,000 unique buildings in 45 countries.
- 1 History
- 2 Services
- 3 Availability
- 4 Content delivery
- 5 Platform partnerships
- 6 Nokia versus Lowdownapp
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
For more than a decade, Nokia has built its mapping and location business by acquiring location technology and know-how. It all began in 2001 as Smart2Go, a generic 3D-map interface for access to tourist information on mobile terminals. It was developed by an EU consortium named TellMaris. Nokia gained the rights to the software when it acquired Berlin-based route planning software company Gate 5 in August 2006, which has become the cornerstone for the company's mapping business. It then made the Smart2Go application free to download.
In October 2007, Nokia acquired the Chicago-based company NAVTEQ, which was the largest maker of automotive grade map data used in car navigation equipment. That acquisition brought Nokia 25 years of experience in creating automotive grade content and a deep footprint in the automotive industry.
In 2008, Nokia picked up geo social networking site Plazes and the following year it bought mobile applications developer Bit-Side, social location pioneer Plum, and social travel service Dopplr. In 2010, it acquired Metacarta a leading enterprise local search service used by security and military.
In April 2011, Nokia released a beta version of 3D maps that covered 20 cities in the world. By August 2011, the coverage has expanded to 23 cities, and in 2012, Nokia bought EarthMine, which specialises in street level 3D image capture.
In May 2011, Ovi Maps was renamed to Nokia Maps when Nokia streamlined its services offering under the HERE brand.
In October 2011, Maps & Drive for Windows Phone 7 (Mango) was announced, which was available on Nokia Lumia phones (710, 800 and in 2012, the 900). However, major features such as off-line routing and text-to-speech navigation of street names, compared to the Symbian version, were absent. These features were eventually brought over to the Windows Phone platform in 2012.
On 13 November 2012, Nokia announced that it would rebrand its location offering as HERE to highlight its vision for the future of location based services and its belief in the importance of mapping.
HERE app was re-launched for iOS 8 platform on March 11, 2015
The website HERE.com evolved out of the maps.ovi.com and then maps.nokia.com site and provides the web companion to the HERE suite. It works on all major browsers. Users can organise their favourite places on collections and sync to mobile devices. HERE.com also uses WebGL to offer 3D map views without a plug in. With 3D goggles users can get stereoscopic views of 25 cities. HERE.com also provides detailed street level imaging for many cities.
The HERE.com website offers, routing support between many waypoints, city pages of over fifty popular cities showing local time and weather conditions, along with information from Lonely Planet and suggested places, 3D maps of 25 cities, with routing support. Live traffic flow visualisation. public transport search, synchronisation of user's points of interest (Collections) between the website and mobile device. heatmaps visualising areas popular for food, nightlife, shopping and local sights in select cities, listing and managing businesses (HERE PrimePlaces).
Currently, HERE Maps is available in 196 countries and its features include turn-by-turn walking navigation, offline availability, 3D landmarks and indoor venue maps for 90,000 unique buildings in 70+ countries. A favourites list shows the top 25 most popular places in the vicinity looking at positive reviews, search queries and other user data. The application is also integrated with an augmented reality technology called LiveSight that lets users hold up their phone to reveal information about the buildings including contact information, hours and reviews in their line of sight from the phone camera display.
HERE Map Creator
HERE Map Creator is a service launched by Nokia in November 2012  to allow users to map their neighborhood. Users are able to, add new roads (trails are included here), edit a road, add new place, edit a place. In addition, users can edit road details such as speed limits, number of lanes, 1 or 2 way, type "open road", "tunnel" or "bridge", pavement type, etc. Users can also report map changes. As of 2015 the service is available for more than 100 countries and in 8 languages.
HERE Drive provides navigation designed for in car driving in 94 countries. Its features include visual and audio speed limit warnings, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation with spoken street names (optional) in more than 60 countries in 50 different languages and offline availability. The user interface is designed for drivers and map data includes 260 attributes such as turn restrictions, physical barriers and one-way streets. HERE Drive and HERE Drive+ have optional live traffic information where available, but both lack dynamic rerouting, which is restricted to everyday commuting in a few countries only and then does not come with voice guidance.
HERE Transit has public transportation information for more than 700 cities in 50 countries. It combines bus, train, ferry, tram and walking information in one application.
HERE City Lens
HERE City Lens, is augmented reality (AR) software that gives dynamic information, through the phone’s camera display, about users' surroundings such as shops, restaurants, and points of interest, shown as virtual signs overlaid on or above buildings. A commercial Beta version was release in 2013.
It also has free of charge turn-by-turn voice guided navigation, HERE Drive 3.0 (earlier Nokia Drive), which can also be used without internet connection using preloaded maps. It is also possible to de-clutter the surroundings: version 1.5 has a "Sightline" feature where users can narrow their view to just what is in the direct line of sight, making it easier to spot interesting places.
HERE City Lens is powered by Bing Maps, and Nokia introduced HERE Prime Place for listing. The newest release has 3D icons and the ability to disable places which are not within the camera's line of sight.
In November 2012, HERE announced the decision to open up its location platform to all operating systems so that anyone with any kind of device could access it. With an open platform HERE broadens its reach and acquires more users, which in turn generates more data for its location cloud. HERE developed a HERE Maps API for Android which is available to partners. Apps built with the HERE Android API will be able to interact with extruded 3D buildings, search for specific buildings and preview their routes in detail.
In October 2014 the app became available on all Android devices running on 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher.
In November 2012, HERE created an HTML5-based web service for iOS. The free app provides iPhone users with maps in almost 200 countries as well as public transit, walking and driving directions. Voice guided navigation is available for walking directions. It also provides multiple map views including a satellite view, public transportation view and live traffic view. HERE Maps on iOS received lukewarm praise mostly because it was a web application and not a native one. HERE Maps for iOS got multiple bad reviews from the start stating it was "a mess", "a wreck", "unfinished", "buggy" and "rushed out HTML5-powered turkey". It was pulled from the App Store in December 2013 after having not been updated for 10 months. The HERE web site was offered as replacement, however as of December 2014 HERE noted that they plan to "officially launch HERE for iOS in early 2015." 
HERE was re-launched as a true app designed for iOS application on March 11, 2015.
Because the suite runs on Windows Phone 8, users can save their favourite destinations as live tiles to their start screen and the app will calculate routes based on current location. The suite is integrated so that users can access individual functions going from one app to the next without going back to the home screen. Favourites are saved to the cloud so that they can be accessed on all of the different applications.
In February 2013, Nokia announced that HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit would be available on all Windows Phone 8 devices at the Windows Phone Store.
In February 2013, Mozilla launched its Firefox OS for mobile phones and announced that the new platform would use maps and navigation services from HERE.
HERE draws on more than 80,000 data sources including a vehicle fleet, which collects data through panoramic cameras, position sensors and laser technology for 3D footprints. The cars have an array of cameras, which capture 360-degree street views and LIDAR sensors, which capture 1.3 billion data points every minute. Another bank of high-resolution cameras capture signs such as speed limits and street names. In November 2012, Nokia acquired Berkeley based company Earthmine to further bolster its 3D street level imagery processing capabilities. In addition, HERE relies on local source data and input from map users to generate constant daily map updates, such as real time traffic, turn by turn directions, public transportation routes and information about local business and attractions.
As a result, four out of five cars with fully integrated in dash navigation systems use HERE data. HERE supplies map content for BMW, Mercedes, Garmin, Hyundai, Pioneer, Volkswagen and Toyota among other car companies and enterprises.
HERE licenses its location platform to other major companies including Amazon, Bing, Yahoo!, Flickr, SAP and Oracle. Each partner uses the HERE location platform, which is available to any business or screen, to optimise experiences for its own users depending on the particular context. Amazon, for example, uses the HERE platform for maps and geocoding. The platform computes 11 billion traffic probes a month, receives 80 million geocoding requests daily, handles 24 million route requests a day and more than 1 billion search queries in a year.
Nokia versus Lowdownapp
Nokia has threatened legal action against a small UK technology firm over its use of the word "HERE". Lowdownapp, a digital personal assistant allows users to tell friends they have arrived at a location by pressing the "HERE" button. In a letter seen by the BBC, Nokia gave London-based Lowdownapp a deadline of 10 February 2015 to rebrand the "HERE" function of the apps. "Our client has invested heavily in building and promoting the HERE brand since launch,". The firm said it had registered trademarks for the word when it related to computer software, such as apps. David Senior, chief executive of Lowdownapp, described the threat as a real-life David versus Goliath.
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