DISCLAIMER: Here I need to say that I am a Nokia employee. I am a part of HERE team as well. Nevertheless, this post reflects my personal thoughts and opinions only, does not try to advertise or promote any products, neither it tries to represent company’s opinion. All trademarks used in this post are property of their respective owners.

Hi everybody. Again I am writing in English, and again with a similar purpose. And, as many of you might have thought, not with a purpose of advertising something (which I, frankly, do quite often in personal discussions), but rather to share my experience.

It is not the first time that I use HERE location suite. As owner of a few Nokia devices, I got to know about the suite at the time it wasn’t called anyhow, but was just a set of location apps: Nokia Maps, Nokia Transit, Nokia Drive etc. HERE suite, for the most part of it, is just the same, with only difference of looking much nicer, working much faster, being integrated into Windows Phone operating system and.. well, okay, the difference is quite large 🙂

Vienna: City

I should bite my tongue every time I start advertising something, maybe that would help 🙂 To the point. Some time ago I went to Vienna. Not that I don’t know German or English, not that I didn’t prepare to the journey – I did – but still, this was not my hometown, nor it was a city with couple of orthogonal streets where you can find your way just by looking around. “But still it is possible to find your way – there are maps, transport network schemes etc. etc.” – you might say. Yes, there are. But when we talk about convenience of using ones in the middle of the crowded street, we might end up with couple of descriptions like ‘unsafe’, ‘slow’, ‘complicated’, ‘lacking details’ and so on. I am sure, every traveler can add a couple of their own to the list.

The point is obvious: instead of messing up with paper, lets use maps in my phone. Great. So how was it with HERE? Let me show you the map, prepared before the journey.

Planning with HERE

Just in case you are wondering how long was the trip, It was around three days long. Therefore, there was an option either to ‘run run run!’ and get exhausted, but see everything, or ‘plan plan plan!’ and that’s what we’ve chose. Having picked only the POIs we wanted to visit and having them synced to my Lumia allowed to always see the list, and find the next point of the journey. And then the question was how to get there.

HERE Maps: Favorites & Public Transport

Normally I always try to walk as much as possible since I enjoy taking pictures to the left and to the right. Here, it was just not possible in that limited time we had. We’ve picked our ViennaCards which allowed to use city’s public transport network for next 72 hours and found that trams in Vienna are just beautiful. Therefore we mostly preferred to travel using those. Especially the old ones. But is there any help from HERE?

HERE Maps: Tram lines & Routing

Nice thing about HERE Maps is that you can plan routes using public transport being offline. Which is always the case while one’s in roaming. If you ask HERE Maps to show you public transport it will normally display you only major connections. I was surprised when I found out is that tram lines are available as well, you just won’t see them zoomed out, but routing will still consider using them.

Old Trams in Vienna

So, how did it go after all? Always knowing where you are, where you want to get, how exactly you can do that – that made possible for us to enjoy the “what”-part, i.e. city and its sights without thinking much of “how”-part, i.e. how to get and where you are and what is next. Not only that, but using HERE suite allowed us to get nice experience in travelling from one point of Vienna to another using these beautiful trams 🙂

New Trams in Vienna

In the end: why HERE? Why not Google or Apple? Apart from the obvious answer that developers should use their own product (see eating your own dog food), answer is simple: offline. It is just impossible to use internet via 3G in roaming which effectively means that Google and Apple maps weren’t useful to me anymore. With HERE, you can just download the whole country and everything, including getting directions just works out of box.

If you want to know more about HERE Location Suite check out official posts in Nokia Conversations blog: