Nokia has unveiled a major update to its mapping and navigation platforms, with a new service dubbed "Here" which bundles it offerings for handsets, desktops and cars into a single, cloud-based platform.
Chief executive Stephen Elop said the Here platform would provide a single brand for conventional mapping and navigation services while leveraging the company's 3D modelling and acquired technology.
The result, said Elop, is a cloud-based platform which provides for more accurate maps and navigational data - a point given additional significance in light of Apple's struggles with its woeful Maps app.
"Maps and locational experiences should inspire us to sense our world," Elop said.
"So that is what Nokia is doing: we are creating more personal maps and locational services."
Nokia is planning to introduce the platform for several mobile operating systems. The company unveiled an HTML5-based application for iOS, as well as a native application for Windows Phone and an SDK designed to allow handset vendors to integrate Here directly into their hardware.
Additionally, the company is planning to partner with automakers to offer Here in embedded navigation systems.
Nokia hopes that third-parties will play a prominent role in the development of Here. The company said that it relied heavily on the contributions of partners and acquisitions to craft the three modeling platform and key mobile features.
Nokia said that it is relying on the input of end users to help complete its maps, a trend that Nokia executive vice president of location and commerce Michael Halbherr predicts will increase as it moves to the cloud-based platform in which maps are able to constantly update themselves.
Halbherr said in many parts of the world where the company cannot consistently update its maps, data from user mapping tags and navigation activity can play a vital role in helping to discover new roads and side streets into maps.
"It is really about capturing the details we need." Halbherr explained.
"It is always the same map, it is all about the content. The map in itself does not change."
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