Making maps more personal: see how we're doing it at CES

Philip Barker
Kettering 52° 23' 55.752" N, -0° 43' 32.988" E

We've been showing off our innovations over at CES this week, with one of our latest demonstrations highlighting ways that we can improve location-based apps in the future.

That means mapping that's a whole lot smarter and more personalised towards your own tastes, mapping that's more flexible and capable of providing genuinely useful real-time updates.

As we recently pointed out, we take maps as being objective but in reality they're actually incredibly personal, which makes the homogenisation of maps all the more frustrating. Right now everyone sees the same map. Perhaps it’s a view from space, maybe with few POI here and there, and even live data like traffic information highlighting road construction and congestion. But at the end, when you open a map, it looks the same for everyone.


It's an issue we can solve though, and it can be as simple as providing information to show you what's coming up on your route to work. We have a digital representation of the real world and we can provide it to others to make the map personal. At our booth at CES, for instance, you can see that we’ve pulled all information about talks, keynotes and more, and put them on the map. It enables us to offer the tools to make maps more relevant to the people using them.

Smarter mapping is also better for our partners, which in turn results in an easier, faster and smoother experience for the end user. Hotel providers will be able to use HERE to interact with customers directly, for example, letting you book a room directly from your mapping app without having to leave the application.

For businesses, we can provide a new content platform. For a company like Skyscanner, we can show live hotel availability on the map. But because people are not only looking for hotels and they want to see what’s going on around them, content from another provider can be merged.


By combining different sets of contents we help you make smarter decisions, adding in details on public charging spots for electric vehicles, combining with live and real-time public transit information, adding more data to apps and combining it in new and interesting ways to make maps more personal and more powerful. It can be as simple or complex as it needs be for each particular use case.

Throw in real-time information on things like car sharing, and you can finally have a map that lets you know when and where there are cars available, along with all the details you need to collect the car and get to your destination, without having to rely on multiple apps.

The result will be a map that can help you to make the best choice, and it's no longer about simply taking the car because it's parked outside. Instead you'll be able to see which form of transport is actually the most suited to your journey - is it faster to drive or to take the train, will you be able to charge up along the way, is there anywhere to park if you do drive?

This is what we think the future of location based mobile apps will look like and if you want to experience how we’re building it, visit us at CES Central Plaza, Booth #CP-2.

Topics: Mobile apps, CES 2016, HERE at CES 2016, Latest news, Editor's picks