Here Maps By Nokia: Better Than Google, Available For iOS & Android
Formerly Ovi maps, Nokia maps have been rebranded to be called as Here maps. While we have already seen Nokia maps are better than others in comparison of Mobile maps, Here maps adds to more improvement. Here delivers the best maps and locations services across more streams and operating systems.
Here maps have its online version available at Here.net similar to Google Maps.
Are Nokia Here Maps Different?
Nokia Here maps is the same maps application which lets you search, track location and get directions like any other service. But, it has something more:
Collections is the name of Nokia Here functionality that lets you save your favorite locations and synchronize them with your Nokia account to be available on any browser or device you use.
Map creator is a tool that allows users to collaborate with the construction or repair of the map completely. You can add streets – with their names and traffic direction – including points of interest, etc.
Realtime updates: Around Me service not only shows the locations of surrounding places of interest, but can draw in up-to-date feedback, such as Zagat ratings, number of people checked in here and more.
Better Than Google Maps?
Offline Maps: One thing that makes Here maps stand out is its Offline availability. Maps can be stored on device memory and accessed without any Internet connection. Though, Google has offline maps but it isn’t as sophisticated as Nokia.
Vector based: Nokia Here maps are vector based instead of Tile based (used by Google) which dramatically reduces the size without any loss in quality of graphics and details. This certainly helps in offline storage of maps. For example: Entire United States could be totalled up in 2.5GB which otherwise would have required 122TB of size using traditional Tile based maps.
3D View: If you don’t want to go in too much details like it is in Street view, 3D map view can suffice your need. I tried it on Here maps web version and I must say 3D rendering is appreciable. The overlay of 3D buildings helps to give a sense of location or, if you don’t like them, then dump them out of view and go to a more “traditional” top-down map in any number of display modes. (Not available for all places yet).
At the moment, Nokia Here is available only for Nokia and Windows phones as an app. Others can access the HTML5 version of Here.net website on their mobile browsers.
- Free Android and iOS (subject to approval by Apple) maps application by Here will be available in early 2013.
- A Here SDK for Android will let companies which partner with Nokia embed its maps.
- Nokia is working with Mozilla to build mapping and location features into the Firefox OS mobile software.
- It’s buying a company called Earthmine which uses roving camera-equipped trucks to capture Google StreetView-like photography.
It will be interesting to see how this cross-platform maps application proves to be challenging for Google Maps.