Nokia's Navteq acquires Trapster

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
14 Dec 2010

Nokia's Navteq mapping unit has made its second acquisition in a month, this time buying Trapster, which uses crowd sourcing techniques to traffic applications. Last month, it bought 3D road mapping firm PixelActive, as Nokia looks to keep a step ahead of rivals like Google Maps.

Mapping/location is a rare market where Nokia has scarcely put a foot wrong, apart, perhaps, from paying such a huge sum ($8.1 billion) for Navteq n the first place. It outmaneuvered Google with an uncharacteristically bold web move, making Nokia Maps, which runs on Navteq's technology, free. And it has continued to enhance the application considerably since.

Trapster is reported to have been pursued by four other suitors too, so presumably got a good price, although a spokesperson for Navteq toldReuters the deal was small, even by the company's standards.

Trapster allows users to submit information about speed traps and cameras, plus road hazards, when they drive past them, which then alerts other Trapster customers in the area. Trapster calls it “a hi-tech version of flashing your headlights to alert drivers of potential road hazards.”

Its application currently runs on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Palm devices. But it can now be expected to be tied into Nokia Maps exclusively, harnessing the trend for user-generated data in web services.

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