Nokia acquires MetaCarta, continues investment in geolocation services beyond Navteq

GigaOm's Om Malik has a post with Nokia's CEO on the future of the Mobile industry.

Nokia’s CEO on the Challenges & Promise of the New Mobile Industry

By Om Malik Apr. 8, 2010, 10:50am PDT 11 Comments


Nokia Chairman, CEO and President Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has the second-toughest job in the mobile industry — that of turning the decades-old, set-in-its-ways, $58-billion-a-year mobile handset maker into a services-driven, Internet-oriented monster that not only catches up to but surpasses new upstart rivals Apple and Google. The good news is that unlike Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein (who has the toughest mobile gig), he doesn’t have to worry about running out of money anytime soon.

Part of the interview is the hot top of location services.

Location Gives the Internet Relevance

One of the things that gets Kallasvuo excited is location — or more specifically, location-based services. “Location is not an app, instead it adds a whole new dimension (and value) to the Internet,” he said, explaining why his company has made huge investments in location, including its $8 billion purchase of mapping company Navteq. Nokia earlier this year released a new Ovi Maps application that allows it to compete in markets such as India, Brazil and Russia, places where Google and Apple haven’t made inroads just yet.

“Putting location elements into different type of services is a big opportunity which makes the Internet more exciting,” Kallasvuo said. (I’ve written about Nokia’s location-oriented strategy in the past.) Location, along with different types of sensors and augmented reality, will open the mobile world up to different possibilities, he said.

For 2 weeks thanks to a friend who works on geolocation solutions,  I've known Nokia was acquiring MetaCarta.

MetaCarta Inc. is the leading provider of geographic intelligence solutions. MetaCarta’s unique technology combines geographic search and geographic tagging capabilities so users can find content about a place by viewing results on a map. MetaCarta’s products make data and unstructured content "location-aware" and geographically relevant. These innovative solutions make it possible for customers to discover, visualize, and act on important location-based information and news.

And, yesterday the press release went out on MetaCarta's website. And Nokia's. So, now I can reference public sources on the acquisition.

Nokia acquires MetaCarta Inc.

Espoo, Finland – Nokia announced today that it has acquired MetaCarta Inc. MetaCarta, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a privately owned company which employs over 30 people and has expertise in geographic intelligence solutions. MetaCarta’s technology will be used in the area of local search in Location and other service.

Who is MetaCarta?  Here are what IT analysts say.

Dave Sonnen, Consultant, Spatial Information Management Research
Sue Feldman, Research Vice President, Content Technologies

Relevant Research


Whit Andrews, Vice President Research / Analyst
Jeff Vining, Vice President Research / Analyst
Allen Weiner, Managing VP

Relevant Research

Mike Boland, Senior Analyst

Relevant Research

Here are some of the companies who worked with MetaCarta and awards they have won.

  • Technology Partners: ArdentMC, Clickability, EMC/Documentum, Enterprise Search Solutions (ESS), ESRI, Google, Microsoft, MITRE, Northrop Grumman, OpenText, Raytheon, and SAIC
  • Awards: IndustryWeek Technologies of the Year, KMWorld 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management, and 2-time KMWorld Trend-Setting Products, Red Herring Top 100 Private Companies, Red Herring Top Innovator

If you believe the media, Nokia is irrelevant in the battle between Apple, Google, and RIM.

Apple's iPhone OS 4 may have more than 100 new features, but it established three big targets for Apple: Microsoft, Google and RIM. To some extent, it also showed that Apple considers Palm and Nokia to be irrelevant.

But, I would guess this view exists because media users are mostly iPhone users, then RIM and Android.  With Nokia almost no market share with the US media reporters.  Note: I have a Nokia E71 I can use when I want a high quality phone, and thanks to OVI Maps April 6 release I can get free OVI maps for the phone.

After listening to your overwhelmingly positive feedback and feeling your love for your favourite mobile phone, we have now created a custom version that works on Nokia E71 and Nokia E66.

However, because of technical constraints, it isn’t possible to offer premium content such as Michelin and Lonely Planet guides on these devices.

I wouldn't count out Nokia the way most media does.  Om Malik doesn't.

If there was one point Nokia’s big boss wanted to make before we ended our conversation, it was that the Nokia in 2010 is going to be a lot different from the Nokia of the past. The company has its work cut out for it. The good news, if you can call it that, is that its CEO knows what to do. Acceptance is the first step toward recovery. And for me that’s a good start. I look forward to falling in love with Nokia all over again.

It will be interesting to see Nokia's new phones in 2010.

I am sure we'll here about big data center plans from Nokia to support its growth in services.