We know that Ovi Maps forms a big part of the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia. From this post in Nokiaâ€™s developer forums we learn that Nokiaâ€™s existing developer APIs for Ovi maps will also be supported in Windows Phone 7 Mango, which should help developers port their existing apps to Windows Phone 7 easily.
We already know Nokia is now very dependent on Microsoft executing well, but it seems the solutions of the two companies will also become incredibly intertwined, with Nokiaâ€™s Ovi Maps becoming a central part of the Windows Phone 7 offering for all OEMs, suggesting even if Microsoft did not actually take the step of marrying Nokia, they will certainly be living together very soon, with neither company able to step away cleanly from the partnership without significant disruption.
Thanks Tony for the tip.
Search Engine Land has had an opportunity to speak to â€œa person with close connections to Nokiaâ€ who claims to have more information about the Nokia/ Microsoft deal regarding maps.
According to this insider Nokia will not merely be enhancing Bing Maps, but completely replacing the back end with their own solution.
According to the report â€œâ€¦ Nokia Maps would effectively replace almost everything that Microsoft had developed over the past several years in terms of the Bing Maps infrastructure.â€
While most Europeans would rejoice, given Bing Mapâ€™s apparent deficits on the continent, Search Engine Land notes Microsoft has invested heavily in their own Maps service, which may now be discarded and make many jobs at Microsoft redundant.
Of course Microsoft being a software company was likely rather uncomfortable with the high level of investment needed to create high quality maps, especially in parts of the world where their Bing market share is low and short term return is unlikely, and may be more than happy to off-load this task to Nokia. We have also been pretty wowed by some of Nokiaâ€™s Ovi maps recently.
Of course this in some ways make Microsoft as dependent on Nokia as Nokia will be on Microsoft, which is probably more a good than a bad thing, given the importance of their relationship.
Read more at Search Engine Land here.
Nokia has upgraded their Ovi Maps service, making it a Google Earth equivalent (or even better actually) without having to load an application.
Nokia has achieved photo-realistic 3D maps of cities using C3 modern camera equipment to capture as many as one image per second of the same object from up to 100 different angles. The images are then used to automatically reproduce the shape of the objects with very high accuracy.
After that, an image processing software automatically drapes each shape with the texture chosen from the pictures of each object. The same process is being applied for all objects â€“ buildings, houses, trees, and hills â€“ the result is a seamless canvas of 3D-data where the resolution (8 to 12 centimeters per pixel) and quality is consistent over the entire model.
With the agreement between Nokia and Microsoft finalized Microsoft will soon share in Nokiaâ€™s mapping wealth, with Andy Lees from Microsoft saying â€œIn the case of mapping, Nokia has far and away the largest global footprint,â€ . â€œOur mapping just got better everywhere around the world.â€
Nokia currently has 3D maps available in San Francisco, New York, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, London, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Milan, Venice, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Vienna and more to come. The streets in downtown can be seen in London, San Francisco, Helsinki, Oslo and Copenhagen.
If your city is included try maps.ovi.com and let us know your impressions below. I was certainly blown away. (Don’t forget to click on the 3D button).