The current Here.com browser interface showing the map of Europe.
|Operating system||Windows Phone, Symbian, Series 40, MeeGo, Maemo, iOS, Firefox OS, Android (API)|
Here (stylised HERE), formerly Ovi Maps (2007–2011) and Nokia Maps (2011–2012), 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 Windows Phone 8 smartphones as well as those that run on other operating systems including iOS, Android and FirefoxOS. It delivers location services through Here applications, provides solutions for GIS and government clients and powers major mapping providers, such as Bing, MapQuest 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 Availability
- 3 Content delivery
- 4 Platform partnerships
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 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 head brand.
In October 2011, Maps & Drive for Windows Phone 7 (Mango) has been 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.
Windows Phone 8
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. The offer is available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia.
Here has the following applications available on Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8:
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 29,000 unique buildings in 45 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 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 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 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 + LiveSight
Here City Lens provides information on more than 85 million points of interest including restaurants, cafes, shops and museums pulling data from local guides and users. Users can pause the view and freeze the screen to browse the area around them without holding up the phone.
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.
SDK for Android OEM
Here is developing 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 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. However, it is worth mentioning that a popular iOS app Trapster is using the Here map platform in a native way.
HTML5 and Firefox OS
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.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 (Internet Explorer 6 is not supported). 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).
Locations available in 3D are:
|Italy||Florence, Mestre, Milan, Rome, Venice|
|South Africa||Cape Town|
|United States||Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco|
|Vatican City||Vatican City|
Here is available on Symbian^3 platform under the previous name Nokia Maps. The latest, and probably last, Version 3.09 included:
- Driving and walking turn-by-turn with international voice guidance.
- Live traffic rerouting in some countries.
- Live traffic visualisation on the map in some countries.
- Third-party content such as ViaMichelin and Lonely Planet.
- Social networking service integration.
- Support for preloading street maps for offline use.
- Users can report errors in the maps (from version 3.03 except on Nokia E66 and E71 models)
- Local weather conditions by the hour and forecasts for the week.
- Night View mode.
- Satellite maps and terrain maps.
- 3D buildings and 3D maps.
- Public transport routing in some cities.
- Saving of favourites.
- City Lens (augmented reality) (Beta only).
Nokia stated that the Nokia 808 from 2012 will be the last Symbian phone. Symbian development has halted, therefore no new features for Nokia Maps are to be expected. Accenture is responsible for maintenance of Symbian and Nokia Maps until 2016.
Older Symbian phones
Version 3.09 (12 November 2012, also called Maps Suite 2.0): only for Symbian Belle phones (500, 603, 700, 701, N8-00, E7-00, C7-00, C6-01, X7-00, E6-00). Version 3.08 (15 November 2011) and 3.07: supported on Symbian^3. Version 3.06 (2 December 2010): Symbian S60v5 (N97, N97 mini, X6, C6-00, 5800XM, 5235 & 5230, etc.). Version 3.04 (20 May 2010): Symbian S60v3 FP2.
S40 Asha Platform
Maps for S40 are limited compared to other platforms. The maps are streamed online into the device or you can pre-download them with Nokia Suite. At some markets, the phones comes with a SD card with preloaded local maps. They don't have turn-by-turn navigation and you can only plan pedestrian routes max. 10 km (6 miles) long with them. As none of Asha series phone has a GPS, positioning is done by Cell ID of the cellular network or by using the Wi-Fi positioning system.
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.
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