Nokia's maps business has been given the nod by chipset giant Qualcomm, which will use Nokia's Venue maps to improve its indoor location technology.
Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Atheros will use the map data from Nokia's Here brand in the indoor-positioning engine of its IZat platform, which features on a number of its chipsets and, according to Qualcomm, is installed on one billion devices.
IZat relies on mobile and wi-fi networks to maintain a device's location and will now be bolstered by Nokia's extensive indoor map content, which Microsoft also uses for its own Venue Maps in Bing.
Nokia has been building Venue maps with the help of 'Here mapmakers' who visit indoor venues, such as zoos and museums, and by collecting floor plans of buildings.
According to Cliff Fox, senior vice president of location content at Here, Nokia has covered 9,000 venues consisting of 50,000 buildings across 69 countries.
Coupling Nokia's indoor maps with IZat is intended to deliver more precise positioning — within 3m to 5m — and improve the accuracy of map data that app makers can use in their own apps.
Google also has an eye on new opportunities in indoor mapping, extending indoor maps previously only available on Android to Google Maps on the iPhone and iPad.
Google says that it has 10,000 floor plans for its Indoor Maps covering one billion square feet. iOS developers were recently invited to tap into its new collection for their own apps via an updated Google Maps SDK v.14 for iOS.