Mobile maps are moving forward, as Nokia announces 'Here', a location cloud to deliver maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. Locally, mapIT together with Primedia and Altech Netstar has announced the launch of the online interactive map, route maps, race profiles and mobisite for the 2012 Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge.
Nokia announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring new location experiences to the Firefox OS. It plans to debut a mobile web version of Here Maps for the new Firefox OS next year. The companies are working together to give people the best mapping experience on Firefox OS.
"Mozilla is a leader in HTML5, building the web as a platform for developing compelling applications, and location is a key part of that platform," said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla VP of Products. "We are excited to work with Nokia as the combination of Firefox OS and its location platform provides rich possibilities for mobile application developers to create amazing experiences for users."
Nokia also demonstrated an Android OS-based reference application and announced plans for the availability of a Here SDK for Android in early 2013. This is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia's leading content.
To extend its location services further, Here is launching a maps application for iOS. Based on HTML5, it will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation and public transport directions. The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple's App Store in the coming weeks.
Purchase of earthmine
To advance the 3D capabilities of Here, the company announced the planned acquisition of Berkeley, Calif, company earthmine, whose reality capture and processing technologies will become integral parts of the 3D map making capabilities. It expects the transaction to close by the end of 2012.
"Maps are hard to get right - but location is revolutionising how we use technology to engage with the real world," said Michael Halbherr, executive VP of Here. "That's why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world's most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today."
Using LiveSight to see more of the real world
As part of its announcement, the company introduced LiveSight, a technology based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world. It provides the most precise and intuitive augmented reality experience and uses a phone's camera viewfinder to make discovering the world as easy as lifting up a phone. The brand's City Lens, which was developed exclusively for its Lumia devices, is the first application providing a LiveSight-enabled experience.
"Establishing a new brand is the right move for the company in the map and location business, as its assets in this space is world class. We believe mapping and location will be increasingly important to developing next generation devices and services across a wide array of segments," said Crawford Del Prete, executive VP and head of worldwide research at IDC.
Mobility for race goers, viewers
The mapIT route maps and race profiles, which visually show the gradient of the route, allow entrants to prepare for the race. The interactive map can be viewed on www.947.mapservice.co.za
and contains the routes, live tracking of charities, points of interest as well as road closures, which will enable race participants to plan their movements and meeting points for the day.
Supporters will be able to navigate to their meeting spots, around road closures with the help of the mobisite
, which will also provide the real time tracking of the cyclists 'Riding for a Purpose'. The race marshals, organisers and safety crew will also plan their operations based on this mapping and tracking technology.