Navteq, a mapping company, became one of the best mapping companies in the world, with Navteq maps used by almost every consumer of geospatial data imaginable – from Bing maps to Yandex maps, from Garmin navigators to Lexus, BMW and other major companies in the automotive industry.
In 2007 Nokia bought Navteq http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB119124082754144774 , which became its department.
By 2009, Navteq, before it became Nokia, had started working on 3D maps. CyberHULL joined the effort in 2011. The web-site http://maps.nokia.com (nowhttp://here.com) at that moment had the most advanced, the only among key players, and the only with sufficiently large dataset 3D maps of the most important world cities, such as Chicago, Sydney, New York, San Francisco, London.. The first batch of 3D data was purchased from a third-party supplier, C3 (later bought by Apple and became the foundation for Apple Maps).
Soon after the first attempt proved to be successful, and coinciding with rebranding of Navteq as Nokia, in 2009 a major effort started, with the goal to bring to the market the most advanced customer mapping product possible. This major effort heralded the switch from the old flat “dumb” maps to 3D, user-location-aware, augmented reality, always-online mapping platform, available across different hardware and software platforms and being updated in real time using both proprietary infrastructure in the field, acquired third-party data and data streams from the end-user devices.
There are three main uses for the platform:
- 3D maps;
- Augmented reality.
We have participated in three projects so far:
- Processing data from multiple external and internal vendors and suppliers, creating a series of pipelines, using distributed and cluster computing and big data solutions. The resulted dataset delivered to AKAMAI locations in the formats most convenient for the end users and seamlessly updated in real time. The data is mostly related to 3D models and linked to them points of interest, and is used by the 3D maps and AR software and devices.
- LiDAR alignment software. When bringing together LiDAR data in different formats from as several different suppliers, it needs to be aligned together to match seamlessly, with the task becoming increasingly more complex due to the intra-drive drift introduced because of the positioning systems’ imperfections. The resulting LiDAR data is used for automatic generation of 3D models, both for visual representation of the world and for augmented reality projects.
- Highly Automated Driving. By 2020 BMW and Continental, the supplier of car electronics, control and navigational hardware and software, are going to create cars with built-in high degree of self-control capabilities. http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140114-909555.html . Such cars would be a part of a larger infrastructure, which would use HERE as geographic and road network data supplier. There are already many thousands conventional BMWs on the roads in Europe which are equipped with cameras and datalinks. These vehicles capture and upload information about road networks, such as signs, speed limits, lane markings, current traffic situation and other relevant data. Nokia receives this information in real time and merges it with pre-existing data to update the knowledge about roads to the most current. This most up-to-date information about roads is fed back to the vehicles to help them automatically identify the correct position and speed they should choose for the roads they are currently on, allowing them to assume partial control over the car and/or bring the driver’s attention to important aspects of the surroundings and current situation while on the road.