Nokia Announces HERE Mapping And Services Platform

In recent years, Nokia's biggest announcement has revolved around its decision to partner with Microsoft and make Windows Phone the company's exclusive smartphone OS. But this -- this might be just as monumental in time. The company has had an impressive mapping system for years, and in a bid to expand that market share, it's releasing HERE. It's a new platform for its location and mapping service, which involves a partnership with Mozilla and a planned acquisition of 3D capture company, earthmine.

To further 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. Nokia also demonstrated an Android OS-based reference application and announced plans for the availability of a HERE SDK for Android OEMs in early 2013. This is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia's leading content.

In other words, this project enables other mobile operating systems, and even automotive operating systems, to integrate Nokia's maps and services. Only time will tell if automakers and smartphone companies will bite, but it's surely a bold move that could move Nokia's brand forward.