One of the results of this partnership is available today: we’re pleased to announce that Bing Maps is now using our Nokia Maps traffic information and geocoding algorithms (taking latitude and longitude information and connecting that to a readable address).
This is one example of the power of Nokia’s Where Platform, which we outlined last month: as well as Nokia location-based apps built on this platform, we are also offering compelling, market-leading functionalities to third parties to help them quickly and easily create their own app experiences with location-based features.
Traffic comes to Bing
Thanks to Nokia’s Where Platform, Bing Maps can now offer traffic information in 24 countries (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK and US).
People in nearly all these countries will also be able to find out about incidents that might disrupt their journeys. Also, the traffic information in the US that was already available on Bing Maps now includes side streets.
Although traffic information is the most visible feature that Nokia Maps is offering to Bing Maps at this stage, there are also other improvements.
Most notably, Bing Maps is now using Nokia Maps geocoding in several countries to offer better routes and directions for people around the globe.
Magic in the numbers
What does this mean exactly? Geocoding (and reverse-geocoding) is a series of algorithms that are the essence of digital maps. This is the magic behind Nokia Maps.
Back in the day, you had to browse an index of towns or streets to find their location on a paper map. Now you just perform a search and what you are looking for is one click or tap away.
It’s how we know that Seattle’s Space Needle is at the geocoordinates N47° 37′ 13.807″, W122° 20′ 57.088″ and vice versa. But in practical terms it means something simpler yet: you can find places and get to them faster than ever.
Watch this space for more ways that Nokia will become the engine powering Bing Maps on Windows Phone devices and applications.