Handset major Nokia India has introduced a new venue-based map service called ‘HERE Venue’, reports The Hindu Business Line. It states that this service will be available within HERE Maps and will offers details specific to a venue like specific stores, product offers, floor levels, elevators and restrooms within a mall.
Nokia India General Manager (East Market), Kislay Kumar told the publication that the service is currently available across 20 cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata among others, although it is currently limited to shopping malls, with plans to extend the service to Airports in the future. When we contacted, Nokia told Medianama that it has been piloting the service in India for quite some time now, although it didn’t disclose any specific details on the service.
Availability: The service is currently available on Nokia’s Lumia and Asha range smartphones and its in-car mapping solutions across various automobile partners like BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Hyundai, as indicated by the report.
However, considering the revenue potential of this service, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company extends the service to other platforms as well. HERE Maps currently offers a native iOS app, a mobile site and a Windows Phone 8 app for non-Lumia Windows Phone devices, besides in-built apps for Nokia devices across Lumia, Asha and Belle smartphone range.
NAVTEQ Destination Maps: Its worth noting that Nokia already offers Navteq destination maps in India, which features indoor navigation solutions and offers interior map attributes like escalators, elevators, among others, with detailed place data to navigate and explore indoor spaces in a bid to offer the ‘last mile guidance’ to users. At launch, destination Maps were available for 150 malls across 17 cities in India.
While these maps weren’t integrated to Nokia’s online maps or its Symbian navigation app, app developers that offer hyper-local listings in their apps, could make use of these solutions to offer extended navigation functionality for these hyper local listings. Its not clear if Here Venue is an improved version of destination maps which has now been integration to Nokia’s mapping service.
In November 2011, Google has introduced a similar service called Google Maps Indoors, which offered indoor mapping information for various public places like Airports, Shopping Malls and retail stores through its Android Maps app. It had later extended this service to iOS and the web last November.
In February 2013, Google had also launched Google Business Photos program as part of its Google Maps services, to businesses in India through which businesses could offer interactive, 360 degree interior imagery of their showrooms, restaurants and real estate, among others on Google Maps.
Besides this, Bing Maps also offers Venue Maps and claims to offer 4,700 Venue Maps in more than 59 countries including three Indian airports and 121 malls in India, at the time of writing this article.