Nokia buys geosearch firm MetaCarta

The Finland-based handset manufacturer will add new geographical search and tagging functionality to its growing list of location-based services

Nokia has bought the geographic search and tagging company MetaCarta, the Finland-based handset manufacturer announced on Friday.

According to Nokia, MetaCarta's technology will be used for local search functionality in the smartphone maker's location-based services. MetaCarta, a privately-held company, employs over 30 people and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nokia has not disclosed how much it paid for the firm.

As part of its push into the services market, Nokia has been steadily building up its position as a mapping provider. In January, the company responded to Google's announcement of free turn-by-turn satellite navigation in some versions of Google Maps for Android by freeing up the same functionality for most users of Ovi Maps.

Nokia bought the social travel firm Dopplr in September 2009. A month earlier, the manufacturer announced its first laptop, the Booklet 3G, which has the unusual feature of embedded GPS. Thus far, however, Nokia's biggest investment in location-based services remains its $8.1bn (£4bn at the time) purchase of Navteq in 2007.

Also on Friday, the company announced the completion of its acquisition of Novarra. The company's mobile browser and services technologies will be used in Nokia's mid-range Series 40 handsets.

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