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.
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.
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.