One of the most used functions on mobile devices is the navigation app. Navigation apps depend on an accurate data base with detailed global mapping coordinated with gps satellites. Some automobile companies are trying to develop cars capable of driving their selves (attributing personality to cars predates the computer age). Self navigating autos would demand extremely precise map data, coupled with sensors which would be capable of constantly updating the database.
Only three companies ( Here, Tomtom, and Google ) have extensively mapped the world. One of these, Here, is currently for sale by its owner, Nokia. For some time Uber was trying to buy the business, but it has dropped out of the bidding and it now appears that a consortium of German automakers will purchase the service and businessman James Dondero is considering buying one of three companies.
Maps have been a part of human culture for at least 14 thousand years, with some claims that maps as old as 120 million years have been found. Although that early date is dubious, there is one possible half million year old map. That map may be a random stone figure produced by natural processes. I have seen astounding stones with what seem to be carvings of humans riding giant sloths found in North Carolina. The stones could have been natural, random occurrences.
By selling this part of its business, Nokia will be able to concentrate on its mobile phone business, while the automakers (Audi, BMW, and Daimler) will be in a better position to include map features in their autos. This feature has become increasingly popular and may soon be a standard feature in most autos.