Nokia rebrands mapping and location service to 'HERE', announces LiveSight

Nokia has announced a new partnership with Internet giant Mozilla, which includes the acquisition of 3D capture company earthmine. Introducing 'HERE', a cloud deployment that's planned to deliver "the world's best maps and location services and devices" to help make the mobile experience more personal while on the move.

Stephen Elop had the following to comment on the unveiling:

"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. 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."

Nokia Here Places

Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS using the HERE brand (after being recommended by Apple), which will surely help out consumers who have been suffering through use of Apple's disastrous mapping solution. Based on HTML5, the new service will include offline capabilities, voice-guided navigation and public transport directions. It's scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks.

The Finnish company has also announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring the location experiences to Firefox OS and plans to debut a mobile web version of HERE for the new OS next year. If Apple's iOS and Mozilla wasn't enough then behold more news with Nokia planning to support Android too.

With a location-based application in the works for Google's mobile platform, Nokia will make available a HERE SDK for Android OEMs in 2013. This will enable partners to create the location-based solutions for consumers to take advantage of. It's a clear sign that Nokia is moving into the services space as well as being a competitive mobile phone manufacturer.

Nokia HERE 3D

3D capabilities of HERE will be improved on through the acquisition of California company earthmine. The company's reality capture and processing technologies will become integrated into HERE's 3D map generation capabilities. This transition is expected to be finalised by the end of 2012. Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President of Location & Commerce and responsible for the HERE brand, had the following to add:

"Maps are hard to get right - but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world. That's why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world's most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today."

Nokia still isn't finished with the announcements as the company has also revealed LiveSight, a technology based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world. LiveSight will provide a more precise augmented reality experience, something Nokia has already begun working on with future Nokia Maps updates. Nokia City Lens is an example of an experience making use of LiveSight.

We're excited by the news of the rebranding, as well as the new technologies being deployed by Nokia to further enhance the experience of its Windows Phone range of handsets. The Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 sports intuitive functionality that will welcome advanced mapping and location services. 

Source: Nokia

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • mind = blown
  • Will this be available on all windows phones or just lumia?
  • LiveSight will only be for Lumia's.
  • No Windows Phone?
  • WP and Win8 will probably have the best version :) I hope
  • Interesting
  • Its a like a fire hose full of excitement this week.
  • And its only Tuesday. Lol.
  • Hey,.. Nice comment!
  • iOS and Android?? I see Nokia is really taking to the Microsoft "strategy" and making differentiating, killer features available to the competition. Does Windows Phone have a chance if they keep giving away their best stuff to tge competitio? Seriously, why #SwitchToLumia if you can have Xbox games, XBox Music, Office, Nokia killer mapping, Photosynth, etc? They are getting all of this and do you think Google is about to bestow full Google capabilities to us? Do you think Apple is going to hand over Siri and video editing? Not a chance.
  • Nokia is world largest map provider. LiveSight is only for Nokia's and all of this is integrated to your Lumia phone when you log into your account.
  • Do us a favor and never use a hashtag again unless you're on Twitter.
  • Well, he is referring to Twitter #SwitchToLumia thing, where everything connected to that was with hashtag, even on FB or anywhere else, so he is doing it right. And you are wrong.
  • To answer the above question^... There are a ton of people that have PC's and Xbox's that have iPhones and Androids.
  • I recommend to watch this video, if you are interested in how the Android API looks like:
  • Laggy but good...
  • Just a warning to business owners. Once you verify your place at you cannot make any changes to the address (such as adding Suite #) without having to issue a request to remove the place and then readding it manually and reverifying.
  • Damn I can tell where nokias business is going...
  • In the article you say the transition will be final in the first half of 2012 when it should be 2013.
  • This is out of the topic. Did you notice that The Harvest is out of the marketplace?
  • Will be back after wp8 support, hopefully.
  • Great, so iOS is getting Nokia mapping solutions. Probably before the 8X gets Drive. Way to go MS.
  • Only if Apple decides to use the API. It's not a guarantee you will see this on iOS. Simply that Nokia is making it available, just like Nokia maps is available for all WP8 OEMs, but they have to use it, and license it from Nokia.
  • No, that's not what they are doing - they are making an app available to all iOS users.
  • Just doubble-checked that, yes my mistake, confused it with the Android implementation. For Android my point stands true, and the iOS app is pending Apple approval.
  • Exactly...
  • So Nokia is making transit directions available to every smartphone on the market but non-nokia windows phones?
  • You can use the website?
  • That's not how it will work. Read the press release carefully. Nokia will provide the API for iOS and Android OEMs, and *they* will have the *ability* to provide apps based on this API. That means it's ALL up to Apple and the Android OEMs as to whether you ever see this on iphones or Android phones. Realistically you likely may not. Even if some of them do end up making an app based on the Nokia API, then Nokia is going to making money off it, LOTS of money. If Apple or Android OEMs decide not to use the API, then there will still be mobile browser and web versions that will make Nokia money. Then there is the Mozilla partnership. 
    This is the exact same situation as Nokia's map apps for WP8 for other companies. It's all up to HTC, Samsung etc. to licence it from Nokia and they can use it. Exact same thing with this HERE platform.
    And yes, I bet that the BEST will still be exclusive only to Nokia Lumia devices.
  • Not quite.
    The API will be opened up to Android developers.
    Nokia are actually producing a HERE app for iOS which is apparently already submitted and pending Apple's approval.
    So yes, iOS will have all the new capabilities of the HERE platform, including turn-by-turn voice guided navigation, while windows phone manufacturers, other than Nokia will not, unless a different developer licenses HERE, and develops their own apps. No turn-by-turn voice navigation for us HTC 8X + other windows phone owners, but iOS gets it's own special app, direct from Nokia...Not impressed.
  • that is pretty weird indeed.
  • Yeah, a bit of confusion on my part. The iOS app is indeed pending Apple approval. However a key difference is that the iOS app will NOT have voice guided drive navigation - only voice-guided pedestrian navigation. Voice guided drive navigation seems reserved exclusively for Lumia. Also augmented reality apps and functions like City Lens seemingly will also be reserved for Lumias only for quite a long while. The iOS app doesn't get the full functionality that Lumias have. And on Android, it's exactly like WP8; it is up to the OEMs to either create an app or license Nokia's map data for their own apps. The truth is Nokia has actually a decent relationship with Apple, but not with Google. That's why this makes a lot of sense. Last year Nokia and Apple had a patent infringement disagreement and instead of going to a long court battle, Apple settled with Nokia and now pays them a license fee for every iPhone sold. Also add to the fact that Apple pointed out Lumias as an example of unique design during their Samsung court case, and Tim Cook himself recommended Nokia maps as a good alternative for those that were disappointed with Apple's map app. The iOS app for Nokia will allow for a lot more user data for maps, same with any Android OEM who decides to use the API to make an app for Android users. Plus the web browser version as well. Nokia still stays differentiated from other WP8 OEMs, and importantly stays differentiated from Android and iOS as well. City Lens will not be available on Android and iOS for example, nor do any WP OEMs have access to that. That and voice guided drive navigation is 100% exclusive to Lumias.
  • is already connected to Nokia - that was quick.
  • Incredible! Amazing! Look at the youtube video for the API, the way it integrates that circular map with the street view imagery is genius!
    Nokia is going to blow away Google in maps! The world's strongest maps provider just got stronger now.
  • It's a shame that us that own non-lumia WP8 handsets will probably never get a dedicated here app, while those using iOS/Lumia/Android get the best of everything.
  • If you want nokia apps buy a nokia phone!  You didn't want their phone so do not complain that you don't have their apps.  I wonder why I don't see people complaining about not getting HTCs flashlight app or their HTC hub???
    I'm not trying to be mean but its starting to get on my nerves when I see people say this stuff all the time.  They are sharing their maps with other WP OEMs they did not agree to make their apps for all other competing windows phones....what would be the point of them putting their stuff on windows phones?  Yes they compete with every phone made wp or not but if some one wants a WP and they are choosing between htc samsung and nokia why would you buy a nokia phone if you think all their stuff is going to be on htc phones anyway?  At that point they are just whoring out their software and hoping people buy their phone for looks.
  • It's just bad for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Nokia are just helping people stay with Android and iOS by announcing something like this, why bother trying out WP when everything (even Nokia stuff) is available on the biggest OS's. To the outside world it simply looks like Nokia are losing faith in WP.
  • It makes no sense! Nokia should be competing with Apple and Google, not with other Windows Phone OEMs. Yet they are giving away stuff to iOS users for free and don't do that for fellow WP users.
  • And yet another Nokia press release in which Windows Phone isn't even mentioned. For Nokia there is iOS, Android and Nokia Lumia.
  • I noticed that too... doesn't seem like a good omen.
  • What about MS? Why MS giving Xbox, smartglass and other apps to non-WP users? I think it's all about creating awareness for users and trying to show them the quality of the apps and try to eventually switch to WP. 
  • Nokia location platform just getting better and better, I personally like the "Remember where you park" feature.