Nokia Launches “Walking Directions” for Series 60 and 40 Phones

Nokia announced this morning at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona the launch of their Maps 2.0 service, for its Series 60 and 40 phones. According to the BBC News Web site,

Nokia has launched navigation tools designed to make the paper street map obsolete for pedestrians. The firm’s next generation of digital maps gives real-time walking directions on the mobile phone screen, just like sat-nav systems which guide drivers. “Nokia is taking navigation services out of the car so it can always be with you,” said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, president and CEO of the firm. “Struggling with oversized paper maps will become a thing of the past.”

Nokia 6210 Navigator Maps 2.0Nokia_6210_Navigator

What it means: another local application attached to mobile devices. This one is squarely competing against any mapping web site or any site that relies heavily on mapping as a main attraction. It could also be a threat to paper travel guides (see also Travel Guides Still Selling Well, Saved by Portability) (pictures by Nokia)

Nokia Bets on Local, Acquires NAVTEQ

(via eWeek and Reuters)

Nokia said on Oct. 1 it will offer $8.1 billion for U.S.-based digital map supplier Navteq in one of its largest takeovers ever, but its shares fell as analysts dubbed the deal “expensive.” The acquisition would give the world’s top cellphone maker—which is looking for new revenue sources as the cellphone industry matures—a stronghold in the navigation business, one of the fastest-growing segments in the technology industry.

What it means: in a deal that underlines the importance of mobile in the local space (and vice-versa!), Nokia makes its biggest bet so far and buys an important piece of the local search ecosystem. I think it confirms some of the things I was writing about last week in my When will Mobile Become the Next Big Thing? post.

Cool Google Maps & BMW Navigation System Integration

My friend Eric Baillargeon just sent me a link to his blog (and to a YouTube video). In the video, a man searches on Google Maps Germany for a place and sends the information to his BMW’s navigation system. When he gets in the car, he’s able to program his navigation system to lead him to the desired destination.

What it means: what a great connection between the online world and the offline world. I couldn’t find any reference to this BMW/Google Maps partnership, so I can’t confirm if it’s true. But I did find this link that talks about a partnership between Volkswagen and Google working together on an advanced navigation system though. Anyone has information out there?

Update: it’s true! Thai Tran from Google Maps just announced it on the Google Blog. “users in Germany can send a business listing found on Google Maps Deutschland directly to cars enabled with the BMW Assist service. Drivers can then set it as the destination for the in-car navigation system, or they can call the business from within the car. No more having to write down the address and re-enter it in the car — now you can just click and drive!”

The Google Operating System blog has a screenshot.

Cool Google Maps & BMW Navigation System Integration

My friend Eric Baillargeon just sent me a link to his blog (and to a YouTube video). In the video, a man searches on Google Maps Germany for a place and sends the information to his BMW’s navigation system. When he gets in the car, he’s able to program his navigation system to lead him to the desired destination.

What it means: what a great connection between the online world and the offline world. I couldn’t find any reference to this BMW/Google Maps partnership, so I can’t confirm if it’s true. But I did find this link that talks about a partnership between Volkswagen and Google working together on an advanced navigation system though. Anyone has information out there?

Update: it’s true! Thai Tran from Google Maps just announced it on the Google Blog. “users in Germany can send a business listing found on Google Maps Deutschland directly to cars enabled with the BMW Assist service. Drivers can then set it as the destination for the in-car navigation system, or they can call the business from within the car. No more having to write down the address and re-enter it in the car — now you can just click and drive!”

The Google Operating System blog has a screenshot.