Nokia talks location with us and shows off its new fleet of HERE tech

Nokia today invited Windows Phone Central along to their UK offices in London to talk about HERE location services and to show off the new technology in the new fleet of vehicles. These mobile machines are tasked with keeping the data collected fresh and relevant, as well as adding yet more detail to services and apps that utilise HERE data.

Both Pino Bonetti, Social Media Lead at HERE, and Stuart Ryan, Director of Maps and Everyday Mobility, walked us through exactly what Nokia is doing with location services - much is already covered in the past and we're all more than aware of the HERE apps on Windows Phone. The company is certainly looking to surpass Google and other competitors.

What's interesting to note is how important location services is for Nokia as a business, especially with the devices and services division looking to move to Microsoft. HERE will be left with NSN (Nokia Solutions & Networks) and the patents team. 

We've looked in the past at how Nokia is attempting to not only build on its services on mobile and desktop platforms, but also moving into the automobile industry. Partnerships have been formed with various car manufacturers for HERE services to be integrated into vehicles directly - just another way Nokia is attempting to bring location-based content to consumers.

The goal is to not only "map the world," but provide a service for consumers to use wherever they may be to better interact with surroundings. 

New world-class map collection tools

We noted some shiny new vehicles above, and here's one of them. If you've seen a Nokia HERE car cruising down streets nearby, have you ever wondered exactly what is being collected?

The HERE vehicles collect 700,000 3D data points at any given time and store up to 140GBs worth of data in just 24 hours. This creates an exact digital replicate of the street level environment. You've got cameras, as well as on-board LiDAR for 3D and more. The vehicles can records street signs, business names and other details that are relevant to the experience. The data is then automatically extracted and stored for further use.

It's an impressive setup and is in part down to the acquisition of earthmine last November. This has helped Nokia further develop and improve the way the company collects and processes data, increasing the usefulness and capabilities of 3D. This new technology is being deployed on vehicles around the world in supported countries - 27 this year. 

Some cool little details include the four cameras capturing 16.8MP (nearly 68 megapixels combined) and the LiDAR technology has an accuracy range of less than 2 centimetres. All this has enabled Nokia to effectively triple the amount of 3D street-level content available. It's going to be both interesting and exciting to see what Nokia will delve into post-acquisition of its devices division.

​So there you have it, folks. Expect to see continued improvements made to the HERE service as a whole, as well as more detailed 3D content and relevant information to help you out in the big, bad world. Check out some more photos of the vehicle below.

HERE Vehicle

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Cool
  • So does this mean there will be a here street view?
  • There is a here street view, it just is in very limited areas and has horrible quality, id love to know when these new street view images will be viewable
  • You can see here street imagery at  and The shiny new vehicles in this article will greatly improve the quality of these maps in the very near future.  
  • I love HERE Maps and Drive. Use it on my ventures for the east coast. I wonder when HERE drive will get the new update like maps and transit.
  • I need this as a job lol
  • Me too, the driver job made cool
  • Did they say how to get a job driving one of those? :) I'd blast Nokia Music playlists while using Here.
  • Here maps has been working really good for me here on the east coast, it's always up to date.
  • Awesome. Love their services.
  • I wish Here Drive was available in my country, the weird thing is that I used to use Nokia Drive without any problems in my WP 7.8. Now I can't use it in my L820.
  • What country are you live at?
  • Guatemala :/
  • Not available in Japan ether, and I mean not a single here service. What's up with that?
  • Same problem here in Dominican Republic, i have been using this since Nokia Drive on Symbian and WP7. Now on WP8, it just doesn't work, by the way i have the Lumia 820 too.
  • With Windows phone division of Nokia moving to Microsoft, it will be interesting to see the love HERE shows for Windows Phone moving forward. In order to compete with Google maps, it would make sense for them to invest a lot of time in native iOS and Android apps. I just hope they dont start ignoring WP.
  • I love here maps + drive on my Lumia 925! It works great, at least in Northeast Ohio! Why don't the here cars have Nokia branding on them, though?!  
  • MDak280 - what part of NE Ohio are you from? I'm from Warren. Currently working in Pataskala and have a 100% grassfed Black Angus farm in Perry County.
  • All very cool...but if they allow MS to butcher the D&S out of them, they'll end up bankrupt and their D&S team unemployed as soon as MS's new CEO axes Windows Phone. "HERE" can be cool...but they'll have to face the smashing power of Google. Alone. Yeah. Good luck with that.
  • Nokia navigation is already aboard in most new cars...
    Guess they'll do just fine :)
  • Well, last quarter didn't say it. Also, most new cars only come with GPS as an option. You have to pay extra for that. And it's not in "most new cars" just a few.
  • Didn't Naviteq get purchased ?
  • HERE aka Navteq is staying with Nokia. And Nokia will make plenty money off HERE, NSN and patents. Don't let DJ negativity fool you.
  • I'm not fooling anyone. Just pick up the bloody results of last quarter and read them, will you? And while you're at it, read Nokia's proxy materials where they warn shareholders that there's absolutely no certainty that they will be able to survive only with NSN.
  • You really have to be handed it in with spoons, do you?
    Most new cars WITH navigation, not all new cars. Meaning the cars that are delivered WITH navigation, not those without navigation.
    Also, repeat; Most new cars WITH navigation get their navigation system from...? Yes, that's correct, Nokia (also, Here/Navteq)
    Nokia is the one delivering navigation systems to most of the new cars which are equipped with such a fantastic thing. But not the cars that are not equipped with navigation systems, these cars do not have any navigation system...
  • Gotta have our maps updated for Bing Maps.
  • Any news on when we can expect to see these new street view images in use?
  • Nokia HERE. Mapping the world with 2cm accuracy for the Matrix.
  • Let's just hope they improve address data. There are many streets I've encountered where addresses in Here data don't actually exist in real life, especially in residential areas.
  • I concur.  I have used Here Drive only a couple times, and one of those times it couldn't find the destination address which was in a suburb of Chicago.
  • Is that a Lumia 2520 mounted in the car? :)
  • Surface Pro
  • What will Nokia here service  provide that's different from google maps?
  • Support for Windows Phone.
  • ^ true
  • Boom! HEADSHOT
  • offline mapping
  • Yes, I understand. But support for windows phone is already here. From this article I read arguments as improved services, automobile support,higher ress pictures and streetview. But google already has this. So what is(are) the differentiating facotr(s)  that makes here maps an added value over google maps? What makes here maps stand out of the croud compared to all the other map makers?
  • Its not google, but the main significance is that this will be the main focus for Nokia after MS buys thief device division. Its safe to assume Hear services will be a direct competition to google maps.
  • Well Here Drive is ok, but still behind the Symbian version from 2 years ago. No live traffic rerouting. No speed cameras. Adequate but should be better.
    Here Transit small tiles are also better, they show destination. Here Drive small tiles do not. When is the next version of here drive coming?
  • "No live traffic rerouting. No speed cameras." I need it yesterday!
  • Here should work on a Google Earth type of app. I really need one since I've thrown away everything Google.
  • Love the fact that our "Designed for Surface" ProClip USA holder is featured. 
  • Is this holding Lumia 2520 or Surface? Can you please provide link to the holder?
  • Hi Rahul, That is the Surface Pro or Pro 2 :) The link was embedded. But here is the full link of all our Surface Pro / Pro 2 holders
  • Nice. Thanks.
  • That's just awesome! Question - How is the holder mounted to the dash (or where-ever its mounted)?
  • This one doesn't look like a dash mount. Possibly with one of our pedestal mounts and angled extension plates.
  • Should've used 41 megapixel cameras ;-)
  • How about they get us some updates to the HERE Applications.  The navigation is still too basic!
  • Would love to see the street sign view that Navigon and Garmin use in their navigation software.  The text showing which exit/street/hwy you need to take is too small.
  • Wondering why nokia drive and map not covered japan. one of biggest and advance country...
  • Does Japanese law allow the collection of that sort of data without proper burocracy? Some countries don't, hence my question.
  • Japan, South Korea, China do not allow foreign companies to collect map data. The data must be made, coded and developed by a local company.   What NAVTEQ/Nokia then have to do is to license those companies to create their database to the specifications required for their customers in those countries. SO, when you are using a device that has NAVTEQ/Here data on it , it is actually created by a national company, but it is made to Here specifications which can be used by garmin, magellan, etc.  
  • I love here maps more accurate than others maps
  • I'd settle for some more attention to the basics. NavTec's database has been missing two 100 level Interstate US Highways for the past 5 years! Lord knows how many people have reported it to them, but they certainly haven't been driving their cute little cars down them. These are billion dollar roads and they can't seem to be bothered with them!
  • waiting for HERE drive for windows 8/RT
  • Odd, but I don't see the word Nokia anywhere on the car.