Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ovi Maps was made with love

One of the projects of Nokia is the Ovi Maps. They have the standard 2D version and the newly released 3D version.

The three basic things I love about the Nokia Ovi Maps are:

  • It's functionality
  • Attention to detail
  • Beauty (more for the 3D maps)

As for functionality, off the bat, the 2D map site is extremely user friendly. The homepage shows you the major features of the site, mainly:

  • Adding a place to your favorites list
  • Sharing your experiences
  • Add a public place to Maps
  • Use your current location
  • Share places
  • Chang your perspective

I love the fact that within the first 5 minutes of browsing the site, you immediately get to maximize it's functions. Once you log in your Ovi Account, navigating this baby is as easy as pie. What's great is that all these functions are available with a right mouse click (shown on the left). You don't have to mess with complex pages just to share a  location via a tweet or facebook status. If your favorite place is not on the map, adding it is a breeze. And once you've added found favorite place, you can share your thoughts and experiences about the place, rate it upto five stars and even upload photos. Of course the standard "getting directions" function is available which gives you basic directions and distance to destination. If you need help, the search bar is there with it's suggestions.

What separates the Ovi Maps from the rest of the maps is attention to detail. This is a screen cap of my home city, Baguio.

What you see here are the names and general locations of our Barangays, the Philippine's equivalent of a district. No other map has this data. Not even our local paper maps. So this is a big help not only in navigation but the general education of the community. I also noticed that on the national highways of the Philippines the map indicates the towns that you pass by. Again, a detail overlooked by other maps.

And lastly beauty.  If you think the world in photos is awesome, Ovi Maps 3D takes you up another notch.
Give your imagination a boost by exploring Ovi Maps 3D. Currently with 20 major cities in full 3D and the rest of the world in partial 3D. You can pan, zoom, rotate and change the angle of viewing of your favorite land marks. It gives you an opportunity to experience the world right in the comforts of your home. And if you're planning a trip, looking at the intricately rendered maps will just build up your excitement for it.

The only cons I see for now are:
  • You would need a fairly powerful computer and a fast internet connection to efficiently use the maps
  • Some features are not yet available (add public place) to all areas
  • No search function for Ovi Maps 3D
Understandably, Nokia has to prioritize development in areas that have more end users.  Also 3D rendering is a programming nightmare so all we can do is wait for Nokia to catch up.  All though I must say that with the current features in place, I cannot wait to see what we could do with the maps once they are complete.

**The Nokia Ovi Maps has a lot more features that have not been discussed in this blog post.  I will try my best to blog about each feature in detail. For the mean time, I encourage you to sign up for an Ovi Account and try out the Ovi Maps 2D and Ovi Maps 3D yourself.