Nokia has announced that in its first week, its new (and free) Ovi Maps service has been downloaded over one million times.

The Finnish company has shown that this means the new map service is being downloaded once every second worldwide, which is a pretty neat stat.

The top five devices installing the application are the 5800 XpressMusic, N97 mini, E72, 5230 and N97, with the latter only recently getting support for the new Ovi Maps.

Happy Finns

"This is great news for our 3rd party application developers. Within a matter of days there is an installed base of more than 1 million active users all potentially hungry for new and innovative location-aware apps," said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President for Nokia.

"When we announced free walk & drive navigation we knew it would be a game-changer. The number of people now using their Nokia for navigation, and as a result looking for more location-aware software, is growing faster than even we predicted."

Nokia's Ovi Maps strategy is a bold one - by offering free mapping software it hopes to see significant growth in both the online community surrounding it and handset sales too - and early signs show the Finns might have got it right.