Nokia is going to leverage Microsoft’s tools

Now I’m not Nokia user, in fact I think I’m pretty sure I’ve never owned a Nokia phone. But since Nokia owns Navteq, I pay attention to them. When I saw this announcement on Nokia’s website about Ovi Share being discontinued, I figured I’d look closer. Since I don’t user Ovi Share, the graphic that Nokia had on their blog post caught my eye.

Ovi Share

It appears Ovi Share uses Google Maps to display the picture locations. How crazy is that? Nokia doesn’t use Ovi Maps/Nokia Maps on their own products. Of course maybe it is because their users prefer Google.

I’m guessing with the Microsoft Phone integration, Nokia is going to leverage Microsoft’s tools (and probably Bing Maps) to share your “experiences” with others. Can we add Nokia to yet another company leaving Google Maps?

Unified Map Design of Bing Maps and Nokia

Last year, we entered into a strategic partnership with Nokia which included plans to offer a unique and compelling mapping experience for our customers. Since then we’ve been working with Nokia and Windows Phone to deliver a unified map style based on one set of design principles with the goal of providing a more intuitive and pleasing online mapping experience. Our Bing Maps designers teamed closely with our partners at Nokia Maps and the Windows Phone team to unify our map elements, improve contrast and usability to ultimately create a more beautiful and functional map. Today we’re excited to share the new map design, available on desktop and mobile versions of Bing and Nokia maps.

Let’s take a closer look at the updates.

Common color palette for road map style
We’ve updated our color palette to create a cleaner and consistent view of roads and landmarks resulting in a map that’s easier to interpret. For instance, the new road color is further clarified from rivers while not competing with traffic colors or overlaid information.

Celebrate Typography

We focused significantly on improving various typography components in order to provide further clarity on maps including font updates, improved readability and contextual labeling. Type size hierarchy further delineates classes of labels. The user watches city names consistently grow and become more transparent through the zoom levels. Small type is demystified from its surroundings with a technique that reduces clutter instead of adding glows or ever-present strokes. The right use of typography helps our customers consume mapping details more quickly.

Using Visual Hierarchy to create Focus and maintain context

At each level, there’s an appropriate amount of information conveyed to the user. Too little or too much information can lead to overload and thereby an unpleasant user experience. We’ve redesigned with this in mind, so a very different level of information is presented to you when you zoom compared to when you pan out. Go in for detail, pull back for context. We strive to keep the orientation and context of a user within the map surface persistent across various levels of zoom.

In addition to our map design updates, we’re also adding a significant amount of mapping coverage and data due to our partnership with Nokia and NavTeq. Each map data refresh from NavTeq brings with it many improvements, and each one also attempts to include as many new roads/subdivisions/ changes/etc. as possible.  This update is no exception and the changes are too vast to list but most notably, there are a few entire countries that really improved including Egypt, Israel, Malta, Philippines, Uruguay and Venezuela to name a few.

All in all, we believe that the new map styles available on Bing Maps ( and Nokia Maps ( and on your mobile device are easy, satisfying, and truly a delight to use.

Nokia Maps WebGL (Beta)

Nokia Maps WebGL (Beta)
Nokia Maps WebGL – Toronto, Canada
Using Google Chrome Nokia Maps WebGL is extremely smooth and fast rendering 3D Buildings with photo-realistic quality, on par with Google Earth Desktop
WebGL (Web-based Graphics Library) is software hat extends the capability of the Javascript programming language to allow it to generate interactive 3d Graphics within any compatible Web Browser. WebGL code executes on a computer Graphics card’s(GPU), which supports shade rendering.
To try this – use the latest version of Google Chrome.
Nokia Maps WebGL: