Last year, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Nokia in Mapping. Our two companies have spent a lot of time working together, sharing information and investigating better ways provide relevant mapping information to help you find and get to where you’re going more quickly. Today, we’re excited to announce another important phase in that partnership with the launch of Nokia powered traffic results, which are rolling out today in 24 countries on Bing Maps.
The following countries will see improvements through Bing Maps as a result of our use of Nokia services:
· Saudi Arabia
· South Africa
· United Kingdom
New countries with Traffic
São Paulo, Brazil
Johannesburg, South Africa
We’re also improving our existing traffic coverage in the US to include traffic information for side streets in addition to freeway traffic information. See below for enhanced coverage in Seattle.
In addition to these traffic improvements, Bing Maps will also start to use Nokia’s geocoding services in a number of countries offering improved directions. This update, while not always visible to users, is another important milestone in our partnership to build the world’s best mapping platform using Nokia and Microsoft’s assets.
Thanks to our friends at Nokia for their dedication along the way. Together we have enabled a stronger Bing Maps experience and we hope Bing users in these respective countries reap the benefits of our partnership, notice an increase in address search relevance, and enjoy the addition of traffic information – especially those of you in the US who are adventurous enough to travel during the Memorial Day holiday!
Google Earth for iPhone, successfully brings the best free mapping tool on the planet to the Apple device If, like me, you could spend hours gazing at the World through the eyes of Google Earth then perhaps it’s time you installed the app on your iPhone. The application uses the same satellite and aerial photography found in the desktop version, only this time you navigate the globe simply by swishing your fingers across the screen. It’s advisable to have a look at the controls system in the program’s Help section before you start using Google Earth on your iPhone, because some of the commands aren’t immediately obvious.
Anytime a blogger uses the word vague “above the fold” on their blog, you pretty much can be assured they don’t know anything about anything . Greg Sterling sat down with someone close to Nokia and says:
However my lunch companion argued unequivocally that Nokia Maps would effectively replace almost everything that Microsoft had developed over the past several years in terms of the Bing Maps infrastructure. This was shocking because Microsoft has invested hundreds of millions of dollars (if not billions) in creating a viable competitor to Google Maps. Most recently the company has been promoting its roll out of new hi-resolution aerial imagery on a global basis.
So what does this mean? Well first Microsoft already uses Nokia/Navteq for most of their mapping, no big change there. Microsoft has already what might be the best aerial photography in the business, so why would you replace something that is awesome with something that isn’t? What about their API? Could be, I’ve never been a fan of the Bing Maps APIs, so maybe this is Microsoft taking their aerials and Bird’s Eye to the Nokia Maps API and branding it as Bing Maps. That would be a good mix because Nokia Maps is actually a good API, just one that doesn’t get used by anyone. Problem solved!
But wait right?!?!?! Nokia Maps? Wasn’t that called Ovi? Not anymore, the marketing team at Nokia has gotten their sanity back and killed the Ovi name. This means that Nokia has decided their name actually has value and they’ll use it in their products. Now if Microsoft would just realize that Bing means zip and brand their stuff as Microsoft, everything will be back to normal. Or better yet, they could just rename the product “Not Google Maps” which is really how most people know it anyway.
Bottom line is that Microsoft loves drama, feeds on drama and wouldn’t know what to do unless there was drama. Thus Bing Maps powered by Nokia is just something to get us through the next 3 months until the marketing dorks in Redmond get crazy again and start thinking of new ideas to waste time and money on.