Nokia Unveils Mapping Platform, Nokia Maps

Nokia announces the availability of its smart2go mapping and navigation platform.

Nokia has announced the availability of its smart2go mapping and navigation platform, enabling users to access map coverage on their mobile devices.

The platform aims to allow mapping and routing in over 150 countries with support for full turn-by-turn satellite navigation in over 30 countries. The application allows people to view where they are on a map, search for points-of-interests (POI) around them and create routes to get them there, free of charge. Now by paring non-GPS enabled mobile device with a Nokia Wireless GPS Module LD-3W or other compatible GPS module, Nokia Maps claims to provide the same navigation experience for a broad range of Nokia devices.

Nokia will offer the smart2go free application on Saturday, February 10th, for select Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. The company has plans to roll out support for most of the major mobile OS platforms including Nokia S60, Series 40, PocketPC, Linux and other Windows Mobile devices.

Nokia unveiled plans to pre-install the smart2go mapping and navigation application on all future Nokia Nseries multimedia computers under the name 'Nokia Maps'. Existing owners of Nokia devices may also download Nokia Maps to their supported devices.

The platform claims to contain over 15 million POIs that help people explore the most interesting sights, restaurants or accommodations around them. Customers may select their favorite locations and send them to friends by multimedia message, Bluetooth wireless technology, infrared or e-mail. They can also send map excerpts and routes or save map screen shots to the gallery on the device.

Also, recognized brand names like McDonald's will have the option to place branded icons across the world's digital maps downloaded onto millions of mobile devices.

Ralph Eric Kunz,vice-president, Nokia, Multimedia said, "People will trust and use maps if they have those maps with them when they need them, and smart2go allows consumers the full freedom of which maps they want to carry with them. By offering Nokia Maps and smart2go for free on your mobile device, cost is no longer a barrier for anyone to enjoy the convenience of maps and routing on-the-go. Nokia is on track to build the world's most connected location based platform for mobile devices which also opens up interesting opportunities for future services."

Map data from Tele-Atlas and Navteq can be downloaded directly via wireless network (GPRS/3G/WLAN) and stored on the devices memory card as needed. If all the desired map data is stored, no network connection is needed for mapping, routing and navigation. For managing downloads of bigger sizes there is an additional PC desktop tool available.

Moreover, smart2go comes with the option to upgrade to full fledged turn-by-turn navigation. Customers can turn their device into a voice guided navigation system by purchasing a navigation license, ranging from a period of a one week, to a three years.