Mapping services find themselves today's hot commodity

Two major global information system (GIS) and satellite imagery acquisitions were announced on Wednesday, illustrating the continuing desirability of such services to both hardware and software manufacturers.

First, Nokia's acquisition of Navteq for a reported $8.1 billion dollars is nearing completion. The Finnish mobile phone company already uses Navteq as its mapping supplier, and considering Nokia's expectations of GPS phone ubiquity, the purchase was unanimously welcomed by Navteq shareholders.

Second, Microsoft purchased British mapping company Multimap for an undisclosed sum. The Redmond software giant has plans to incorporate Multimap's street-level coverage, travel direction and data into its existing Windows Live search and Virtual Earth services.

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