Nokia launches Here location and mapping service

Apple might be having a few problems with its own mobile mapping service, but Nokia claims to have it sorted with its new Here service. In fact, Here could be an option instead of Apple's own offering.

Nokia has launched its new location and mapping service as a web-based program, so you can use it on your computer, but crucially, you can also run it on iOS 4+ and Android 2.2 onwards via an internet browser.

On top of that, an iOS app has already been submitted to Apple with offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport direction. It could be on iTunes in a matter of days. There's also talk of it being part of the upcoming Firefox OS too, so this is a big thing for Nokia and the mapping industry.

'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,' said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop. 'Additionally, with Here we can extend our 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.'

As you would expect, all the maps and directions you require are part of the new service. But there's more too. A map creation tool will allow users to add more detail to Nokia's own maps and satellite imagery, a Collections feature will allow you to store regularly-used routes for quick access. Live traffic information and transit directions are also included, with speed also the name of the game, as much of the work will be done in the 'cloud'. 3D maps will also be a key part of Here, with Nokia announcing a planned acquisition of Earthmine, which specialises in that very thing. 

That's for the future. If you want to try Here right now, check it out here.

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