In a somewhat puzzling move Nokia have officially announced that “Nokia Maps” will from now on be known as “Here”, no not “Nokia Here” just plain “Here”. Apparently this rebranding is to somehow help
Nokia Maps “Here” take on Google Maps which has for a long time dominated the US Market. Although I fail to see the need to remove the name Nokia from the mapping service I’m sure someone out there thought it was a good idea for some reason or the other. Along with the re-branding Stephen Elop also announced a new service of 3D Street Maps (like Google Street View) powered by the recent acquisition of earthmine, as well as some data gathering vehicles.
To help “Here” compete with Google maps Nokia plan to bring it to multiple platforms across the range in the form of true apps rather than in browser web apps, let’s see how this works out..
“We want to give everyone with any type of device the ability to use this, the best location platform in the industry,” Elop remarked, arguing that “openness is what sets Here apart” from any mapping service in the world.
Also worth noting is that the Nokia maps site can now be accessed by Here.net, which brings along with it some extended services such as the ability to book hotels in advance through the site. Also follow here on twitter here.
My first impression of “here” is that it’s pretty darn fast; which would of course be due to the fact that it’s all located in the cloud; so no need to communicate with Nokias servers for the data, and it seems Gizmodo agrees with me