After signing a definitive agreement last year and releasing a unified map design earlier this year, Microsoft has taken another step forward in its collaboration with Nokia by integrating Nokia Maps-powered traffic information in Bing Maps to offer live traffic information to its users.
Nokia stated that these results are powered by its location platform Where which offers a a set of mapping APIs to third party developers and added that Bing Maps will be offering the same traffic information available on Nokia Maps in 24 countries including 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.
Using the new enhanced maps, users will be able to discover incidents that may disrupt their journeys and plan accordingly and in countries like the United States where Bing Maps was already offering traffic information, these new maps will now include traffic information from side streets. In addition to live traffic information, Bing Maps will also be making use of Nokia Maps’ geocoding algorithm to improve the quality of its turn-by-turn navigation and offer better routes and directions for its users globally.
As a side note, Nokia hinted that it will be adding more features to Bing Maps in the near future and Nokia will become “the engine powering Bing Maps on Windows Phone devices and applications”.
NAVTEQ Developments: In Jan 2012, NAVTEQ, the Nokia owned maps and location service company, launched its real-time traffic information service, NAVTEQ Traffic Pro in the Indian cities of Delhi and Mumbai, through which the company delivered real-time traffic information including detailed information like traffic speeds on motorways and main and secondary roads, to more than 26 million users in the two cities. Couple of months later, Nokia extended this service to its mobile maps and the Nokia Drive app on its Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones. Earlier this month, NAVTEQ claimed that it had increased its India map coverage by over 80% to 4,200+ cities in the last two quarters and had extended NAVTEQ’s destination maps which includes indoor navigation solutions to India. These destination maps provided detailed place data of popular destinations and buildings to allow users to easily navigate and explore indoor spaces and claimed to cover 150 malls across 17 cities in India.
MapmyIndia, one of NAVTEQ’s main competitor, also offers a real time online traffic information service for Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore. However, this information is only available online and has not been integrated with its maps, at the time of writing this post. Besides being available on in-car navigation systems, both MapmyIndia and NAVTEQ maps are integrated with navigation apps through providers such as Sygic and Nav4D for iOS and Android devices, and cost around $49.99.