If you prefer HERE Maps to Google Maps for the former's offline functionality, and you live in a few specific (and some other VERY specific) places around the world, you're getting better service starting today. The Nokia-created subsidiary announced a host of improvements on its official blog, most notably in Belarus, Barcelona, Brazil, and even some other places that don't start with B.
Belarusians get improved coverage across the board, including 22,000 kilometers of mapped roads and 11,000 new points of interest. HERE reports that most of this is thanks to local users who have added or corrected information with the HERE Map Creator tool. Read More
Nokia has hinted at a sale of its HERE mapping and location unit since April, when it announced its merger with Alcatel-Lucent and a strategic review of HERE. The rumors at the time pegged Uber and unnamed German carmakers to be interested in the acquisition, then were more substantiated last month when Bloomberg revealed that the trio of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz were the most likely candidates. Read More
Nokia, in their continuing withdrawal from the mobile phone and software industry, appears close to selling off their best remaining asset in that market: HERE Maps. According to a report by Bloomberg, Nokia will sell their mapping technology and know-how to Germany's three biggest automakers, BMW, Audi (owned by Volkswagen), and Mercedes-Benz. Though they typically compete against one another, each shares common concerns about Google's market position and privacy policies.
The report estimates the asking price of HERE to be nearing $4 billion USD, though the final offer may be closer to $2.5 billion. While that sounds like a big number, HERE is a product of Nokia's acquisition of NAVTEQ for $8.1 billion in 2008. Read More
In Lebanon, we have one seaside road where traffic direction reverses reliably at 11am and 11pm to lower congestion and help more people get into or out of Beirut as fast as possible. It doesn't do miracles on very busy days, but it helps a bit. The idea isn't unique to us and if you live in big metropolitan U.S areas with heavy traffic on some of the highways, then you know what reversible lanes are. The problem is that mapping software doesn't take these lanes into consideration when planning your routes, or isn't always up-to-date on the direction or load of traffic in those lanes. Read More
Nokia's HERE Maps application continues to be a popular alternative to Google's own maps, thanks to wide availability and an easy-to-use download feature. The latest update adds a few new bells and whistles in the name of accuracy, especially if you happen to live in sub-Saharan Africa: according to this blog post, the downloadable maps in the regions of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and the Seychelles have all been considerably improved.
The updates are specifically for HERE's downloadable maps, not the Android app itself - if you're a regular user of the compartmentalized maps in Africa, you should get a notification to re-download the relevant files. Read More