Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nokia Maps 2.0 -Location Detection without GPS

Nokia announced on May 12th at the Where 2.0 Conference in Burlingame, California, that they had released their Nokia Maps 2.0 beta, with a raft of upgraded features and web linkage to its site.

Ovi is a Nokia Web portal for Internet services such as content sharing. Maps on Ovi will let people use and mark up maps on the Web and then upload their changes to a cell phone. This is all part of Nokia new gambit into the world of software development and its desire to extend its reach beyond its own hardware.

However, the interesting part is a not-as-yet-reported initiative by Nokia to make Nokia Maps truly mainstream by eliminating both the need for GPS and the need for the Mobile Network Operator.

How? investing over the last few years in building up its own database of cell IDs matched to geo-cordinates, and then building functionality in Nokia Maps that allows for an estimate of the user's location based only on cell ID.

Gone would be the days of waiting up to 5 minutes for GPS fixes, 'indoor blackspots' and battery drainage... Location Based Services would truly be able to achieve the ubiqitous status that both Navteq and Nokia are placing their strategic bets on.

The implications of this development are truly dramatic and it will not be long before the impact is noted by companies operating in this space...