Nokia launches new cross platform brand for its location and mapping services

Finnish mobile phone-maker Nokia introduced a cross platform brand for location and mapping services dubbed HERE, billed as “the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems.”

Nokia’s announcement comes not so long after the embarassing errors on Apple’s maps platform which later led to Apple boss Tim Cook advising users to use competitor’s map services.
Nokia’s chief executive Stephen Elop said: “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,”

Elops says that with  HERE, Nokia can extend its 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia.

“As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service,” he said.

To extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. Based on HTML5, it will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple’s App Store in the coming weeks.

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.

Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s vice president of products, said: “Mozilla is a leader in HTML5, building the Web as a platform for developing compelling applications, and location is a key part of that platform,

“We are excited to work with Nokia as the combination of Firefox OS and HERE’s location platform provides rich possibilities for mobile application developers to create amazing experiences for users.”

Nokia also demonstrated an Android OS-based reference application and announced plans for the availability of a HERE SDK for Android OEMs early next year, which is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia’s leading content.

Also, Nokia showed it is still a force to be reckoned with after it also announced the planned acquisition of a California-based company called Earthmine, which is expected to help the phone-maker to advance the 3D capabilities of HERE.

The acquisition is expected to be concluded by the end of 2012, Nokia said.

Michael Halbherr, executive vice president of location and commerce and responsible for the here brand, said: “Maps are hard to get right – but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world. 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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