Yahoo Maps: Now with Street View-Like Images, Courtesy of Nokia

Nokia’s HERE Maps provide the data and functionality behind Yahoo Maps. Yesterday Nokia announced (thanks Max Minzer) a number of major UI improvements for HERE Maps.

Yahoo Maps

Many people love HERE maps but in my view HERE has lagged Google and, yes, Apple in important respects despite having a number of advanced features (e.g., offline maps in mobile).

A Nokia blog post describes many of the new UI changes.

The new map overall is more attractive, more functional and offers more features (e.g., 3D landmarks). However not until I played with Yahoo Maps did I discover (seemingly) new street-level imagery. This largely matches Google’s Street View photography.

Nokia street view

Nokia street view

I haven’t done any side-by-side or systematic comparisons with Google Maps and Street View to determine coverage and relative quality. Nonetheless it’s a significant new feature in Yahoo Maps. (Give me your impressions when you get a chance to take a look.)

Beyond this I’m wondering when Yahoo is going to break out a dedicated local app for mobile. The time is right and Yahoo could significant improve its mobile standing with a great looking, useful mobile app for local — even one that just focused on selected categories (e.g., entertainment, bars, restaurants).

Update: Max Minzer and I have been having a Google+ discussion and he says that the overall quality of the imagery from Nokia/HERE is very poor. I’ve noticed a few blurry shots. Compare, for example, the same location on Yahoo Maps vs. Google Maps (screenshots by Max Minzer).

It’s very strange that lower quality images would be published. I wonder if the equipment being used by Nokia (its former NAVTEQ division) is somehow inferior.

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