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Nokia extends reach of its map info services

Mobile phone company Nokia has announced it is to launch a new free online map delivery service under the brand name ‘Here Maps’.

Nokia, which already has experience of providing maps for a number of devices – including Amazon Kindle models and the Windows mobile phone – says the new branded service will be made available to users of iOS (Apple) handsets and tablets.

The company says it also has plans to introduce a version of Here Maps for use with the forthcoming release of the new Firefox platform from Mozilla.

In addition, Nokia says it intends on providing software to facilitate access to Here Maps via Android handsets.

The new mapping service is said to not only allow users access to street layouts, but to also offer audio information on pedestrian routes.

Although Nokia’s involvement in the provision of mapping is well-established – and was bolstered by the company’s purchase of Navteq in 2007 – the company admits that the new launch is partly an attempt to offset the challenges posed by rival Google’s own mapping services.

The company has also said that certain of its established mapping facilities will remain solely the domain of its own handsets. These include the Nokia City Lens app, which superimposes any nearby landmarks or attractions over a photograph taken using a Nokia phone.

In a separate move, Nokia has announced further investment in its mapping activities through its purchase of Earthmine – a firm which uses vehicles to photograph street locations in order to develop 3D mapping scenes.

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