Nokia is known for a lot of things hardware wise, but in recent years, their software capabilities have gone from strength to strength. With the acquisition of Navteq, in 2008, Nokia have been able to support and accelerate the development of the software and now 3 years later, they have brought the world a promising alternative to Google Earth!

Although this is still officially in the Beta stages, it works really well, is intuitive to use and has some nice animations.

I could make you sit here reading how everything works, but I thought I’d show you:

Note: there are a couple of places where it looks like the screen has gone blank and the panning “stutters”, but this is not the Ovi Maps 3D, it’s my graphics card playing up, so hopefully when you try your self it works a lot better!

To see it for your self, head over to:
(You will need to install the add-on/plugin for it to work)

Technical Info

Supported Browsers:

  • Mozilla Firefox 3.0+ (Mac and Windows)
  • Google Chrome 9.0+ (Mac and Windows)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0+ (Windows)
  • Safari 4.0+ (Mac)

How can I navigate around the world using my mouse?

  • Panning – Hold down the left mouse button and move around to pan the map
  • Tilt – Hold down the right mouse button and move up to increase the tilt level or move down to decrease it
  • Rotation – Hold down the right mouse button and move left or right to change the rotation of the map
  • Zoom – Double click with the left mouse button to zoom in, and with the right mouse button to zoom out. You can also use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out



Locations currently available in 3D:

  • San Francisco (+ Street Level view – real images)
  • New York
  • Miami, Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • Toronto
  • London (+ Street Level view – real images)
  • Helsinki (+ Street Level view – real images)
  • Stockholm
  • Oslo (+ Street Level view – real images)
  • Copenhagen (+ Street Level view – real images)
  • Milan
  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Prague
  • Vienna

3D Models info:

To make this possible Nokia has partnered with C3, the leading provider of 3D mapping solutions, offering photo-realistic models of the world.

C3 uses modern camera equipment to capture as many as one image per second of the same object from up to 100 different angles. The images are then used to automatically reproduce the shape of the objects with very high accuracy. After that, an image processing software automatically drapes each shape with the texture chosen from the pictures of each object. The same process is being applied for all objects – buildings, houses, trees, and hills – the result is a seamless canvas of 3D-data where the resolution (8 to 12 centimeters per pixel) and quality is consistent over the entire model. This is the secret to C3 maps’ realistic look compared to competitors’ hand-made and cartoonish appearance.