By Darrell Etherington
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is capitalizing on its strong reputation regarding maps with a new product called Here today, which offers users a number of new features, like Collections, which lets users save and share locations for cross-platform access, 3D imaging via its web platform and an explore feature that offers points-of-interest recommendations based on your location. It also brings Map editing to let you add roads and paths that aren’t present and share them with everyone.
Nokia already offered its maps on the web as Nokia Maps, but this is a significant rebranding with a number of new features designed to show that it’s confident it can build a reputation in the mapping space apart from its strength in mobile. Nokia is quick to point out that it’ll still offer existing Maps features, like driving, public transit and walking directions, as well as point-of-interest reviews, live traffic info and commuter information.
The rebranding means that Nokia’s name is no longer attached to its maps product, likely across the spaces where it appears, like Windows Phone 8. The company also powers maps for Rand McNally, Bing, Garmin and others, so it makes sense that they would rebrand to a more generic name and focus on it as a separately siloed business. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said at the event where Here was unveiled today (via AllThingsD) that Here will be cross-device and cross-OS, and expressed a strategy of using that expanded reach to help it scale and build more capable services.