Last Tuesday I started at HERE Technologies with the Professional Services group in the Americas. I’ve probably used HERE and their legacy companies data and services for most of my career so this is a really cool opportunity to work with a mobile data company.
I’m really excited about working with some of their latest data products including Premier 3D Cities (I can’t escape Digital Twins).
I still see projects now and them that are spatial. I think of the US Building Footprints project and how they had to give away the data and couldn’t monetize such a project. Bing Maps went through so many name changes that we can’t even recall them all. Heck Microsoft bought Nokia but only the phones. They didn’t buy HERE (Navteq) which could have been a great coup for them.
I have to admit, I’ve been a user of BBEdit since about 1994, but I’ve found myself using Visual Studio Code much more. If I search my blog posts over the years, there are posts littered with Visual Studio hate. But now I find VS Code to be my go to code editor and not only for programming but also editing GeoJSON files.
But this really has me thinking. Microsoft and Geo really has died. I’m not saying that SQL Server isn’t used for spatial queries. Or that occasionally I see Bing Maps used in apps. But really they have become such an also ran that I really couldn’t even recall the last time I used Bing Maps API, let along SQL Server (I actually do recall and it was SQL Azure back in 2016). For a company that really has reinvented itself, they have fumbled what little they had in spatial away.
While at Cityzenith, we dealt with CityNext, which had much sway in the Smart City space, but so like depth. I think it was just an excuse to get their name on Smart City conferences.
I have to tip my hat to Microsoft for many things, but in our space, they really have become at best a follower, at worst an also ran.
The latest version of Here Auto, launched at the Paris Auto Show, has very few rough edges. It’s designed to think ahead of you, learn your habits, work with other devices and present information and options in the least distracting way possible. That’s Nokia’s goal, anyway – to see if it succeeded, I took a tour around Paris in the company’s Range Rover demonstrator.
Self aware in car mapping. Sounds interesting but a demonstrator doesn’t mean care companies are going to jump on board. My 2014 Toyota 4Running has a completely out of date navigation system that I’m stuck with. Toyota seems to have signed deals with Yelp, Bing and Facebook to get POIs which I can’t decide is better or worse than just having a whole Nokia system. Apple and Google are getting car integration but they don’t seem to be doing any better than Nokia.
I suspect most of us will continue to use Google or Apple Maps in the car on our smartphone or tablets for naviagation. At least Siri talks through my bluetooth…