Today, Nokia announced a new version of Ovi Maps with free navigation and location sharing:
” The new Ovi Maps will also support location-aware social networking, such as buddy finder apps and Facebook. It will provide driving and walking directions in 74 countries with support for 46 different languages. It can provide real-time traffic information in 10 countries, and provides maps for 180 total countries around the globe. Nokia claims that its hybrid vector graphics technology provides a ten-fold data and cost savings when compared to Google Maps, making it better for both consumers and network operators. It can work when no network connection is present, as it will always pre-load maps in the background. The new version of the application will work with 10 models immediately (N97 Mini, 5800 XpressMusic, 5800 Navigation, E52, E55, E72, 5230, 6710 Navigator, 6730 Classic and X6). Nokia will make the new Ovi Maps available to most of its GPS-equipped phones by March of this year.”
Updates for Ovi Maps for the N97 will come on January 28, 2010, and hopefully for other devices shortly thereafter.