Nokia aims at Apple Flyover with 3D map acquisition

Nokia's new 3D maps taking on Apple Map's Flyover
Nokia is about to enter the third dimension

Nokia is in the process of purchasing 3D mapping firm earthmine as it looks to build in 3D capabilities to its newly-announced Here location service.

The Finnish firm is taking a big gamble on mapping services, launching its new, cross-platform Here service, providing Windows Phone, iOS and eventually Android and Firefox OS users access to its cloud-based service.

Nokia expects its acquisition of earthmine to be completed by the end of the year, as it plans to use the California-based firm's technology as an "integral part of Here's 3D map making capabilities."

Entering a new dimension

The 3D map will directly compete with Apple's Flyover feature in the new iOS Maps service – although Nokia will be hoping for a smoother launch than the Cupertino-based firm, which witnessed numerous errors in its service, which are still in the process of being fixed.

The 3D technology is going to be coupled with the new LiveSight feature used in the Nokia City Lens app, which lets you explore points of interest in your area while you look through your smartphone's viewfinder.

There's currently no information on when exactly the deal will be done, and when we can see the fruits of Nokia's acquisition, but it looks like Apple and Google will need to up their respective mapping games once again.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.