Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

How do you use Ovi Maps? Tell Nokia and Win a great Nokia GPS phone!

March 22, 2010 1 comment

Not sure exactly what the prize is, it seems to be the N97 mini given that’s what’s in the video (and it is a great Nokia GPS phone!) though it could be something else.

Anyway, if you fancy winning yourself a free GPS enabled phone all you have to do is share how you use Ovi Maps. Either:

  • Record a video (YouTube it/QIK it etc)
  • Take Pictures
  • Or write a blog post

More details over at


Via zomgitscj, it seems prizes include:

  • Nokia N97 mini (Winner announced 6th April)
  • Nokia X6 (Winner announced 13th April)
  • Nokia E72 (Winner announced 20h April)

What’s your Ovi Maps Story?

Categories: Nokia, Nseries, Video Tags: , , ,

‘Secret’ Nokia Event: Something BIG is brewing in London – Good Things? The Nokia Signpost?

October 8, 2009 9 comments

On Monday I got an email from WOMWorld inviting me to a “top secret” event happening in London and it’s supposedly taking place around 22nd/23rd October.


"Something's Cooking In Downtown London" This link was in the email

[link – wordpress in chrome sucks]

I wanted to wait until I knew more about what was happening, but even after the phone call from WOMWorld’s Katie this afternoon – WOM kept the lid shut on what exactly is happening.

My initial speculation was something N900 related, like the onedotzero event in London. It’s not that.

My next speculation is that it had something to do with the N97 Mini which is being launched on the 23rd of October.

However, it might not even be about a device but about a service.

According to the first email, there’ll be an “exclusive behind the scenes at what Nokia is up to” in addition to  spending time at the event. Something interesting is that “everything is under the radar” and that they want to help me get to the “good things“.

Good Things


As you may be aware, “Good Things” is Nokia’s new feature in Ovi Maps whereby you can share landmarks/destinations, e.g. that really good mexican restaurant you went to, or a brilliant local gift shop. Nokia even wants you to put up sightings of famous people on there. You’ll can also see what other people have shared. (I don’t know if I like the name “good things”)

Check it out:

“Good things” I a bit like saving favourite places in Ovi Maps. Only, your favourite places can be shared with people around the globe. I used to have a lot of destinations saved from previous Nseries (until I transfered to the N97 and lost it from a hard reset 😦 , )

  • new destinations like my friends’ new addresses (I’m hopeless with remembering directions) or a particularly nice area (like with a statue or some interesting architecture)
  • restaurants/cafe’s
  • speciality shops I encountered on a random stroll
  • Some Uni buildings that I never even knew existed but had to get to
  • Hospitals
  • Take aways
  • Train Stations that were new to me
  • Parking locations
  • etc

Finding somewhere good to go in Ovi Maps is easy if you’ve got an intended destination. With “Good things” you can check out other people’s recommendations on where to go, places you may not have gone to even if you did a category search, e.g. pub (I wish Ovi Maps could match google maps’ search. I often “search” for a location in google maps then navigate with Ovi Maps).

I don’t think you can use “Good Things” from Ovi Maps 3.0 on the phone, but on the web version of Ovi Maps, you:
  1. Sign in
  2. Right click on the map to add your “good thing”
  3. Add the name, category, possibly confirm the address of the place
  4. the location is processed (it told me, 24 hours – that’s much too slow) and available for everyone else to view.


  • Would be nice to be able to add photos (especially since Nokia Maps “satellite” view is pants. Though – didn’t Nokia launch a satellite to space to sort this out today :D)
  • Mentioned by Kensai, “timed” good things – brilliant for checking out what’s happening right here, right now. You can see where an event is happening, and if an event is happening for a period of time, the good thing will stay there for the duration of that event.
  • Maybe like beta labs “life casting” have a filter to view some sort of “visual mapped twitter” to see where people are with what they’re doing.

Anyway, back to figuring out the event…

The Nokia Sign Posts

Before logging in to your Ovi Account in Ovi Maps, you’ll notice this on the side (it disappears after logging in):


What are these big signs? Are they some augmented reality sign that appears above your destination? No not in this case,

What’s the story behind “the world’s biggest signpost”?

During the campaign, we’ll be erecting giant cranes for you to glorify your Good Things to the world.

You can follow the story and find out more on our giant signpost feeds and blog:

GIANT CRANES?!?! HAHA! Imagine seeing a giant crane with a sign post over your favourite pub?! AWESOMENESS!

Anyway, following the links leads you to this page. Some event happening on the 23rd October (ignore the Cardiff thing, that’s my location – though the dot is wrong).

  • Note also the Nokia N97 Mini which comes with Walk Navigation and City Explorer. I think this is what I’m going to.
  • The behind the scenes thing is there and links to the same page the email did.

signIs this the secret event? Hehe, I like that it’s so secret, it has its own full page spread on the Nokia site. (could have been a recent page, although the world’s biggest signpost thing has been there at least since 30th September)

Back to the first picture

“It’s going to be big, bright, it’s going to move, you can control it with your mobile/computer, there’s a great spot for lunch under it, you can use it to find other great spots for lunch”

= the big tall crane with the sign post over a location where there’ll be lunch. The “good things” service can be used to find other great spots for lunch, and you can control it with your phone and pc (I’m guessing we’re not going to be controlling the actual crane itself with the phone – though that would be cool!)

If this is the secret event, I’m guessing the uncovering was an intentional part of the campaign?

Maybe this isn’t the secret…

Freeware: Dad’s Cab – Taxi Meter for your freeloading kids/friends/spouse! For the Nokia N97, 5800, Samsung i8910, Sony Ericsson Satio.

September 11, 2009 4 comments


Are your kids treating you like a taxi service? Maybe it’s your girlfriend/wife or your mates who are using you as their own personal chauffeur?

Using this free application from the Ovi Store, Dad’s Cab, you can now start “charging” those free loaders for some well earned fares as you drive your kids to school or pick your other half up from a night out with the girls. It’s more parent to child oriented but it’s fun for all I guess.

Download it Free from the Ovi Store



Dads Cab uses your GPS to calculate distance and thus the fare

  • When you click “New Journey”, you have the usual start rate of £2.20 (that’s around in Cardiff anyway – it doesn’t seem to have other currencies at the moment)


  • Using GPS on your phone, it adds accordingly to the fare (it actually stopped at £7.20 for approx 3 miles which is actually a fair ride. You’ll see why there’s 20p extra)


  • The fare also goes up by 20p about a minute at a time.


  • When you’re done, press Stop. Dad’s Cab will then give pop up suggestions for slapping on some extra charges. As well as what you can see in the screenshot below, the list also includes “back seat driving”, “Are we there yet” charge, “cleaning” surgarge, “groans at my jokes” toll, “mocking my music” toll  and “texting friends” fee, each with their individual prices that gets added on to the meter.


  • These charges mount up with each journey until your “customer” has paid you.


  • What are these payments? If you’re a scrooge, you can actually charge money. But here it’s your  typical “things that embarras your child or your child hates to do” activities. With each selection, the payment owed is reduced to the minimum of zero. By clicking “Payment Options” you can see these activities below, as well as “Tell me about your day”, “Clean your room”, “Bring me breakfast in bed”, “Let me watch my show on tv” and “no more socks for christmass”


  • Quitting the application has a little advert suggesting that you should try your one week free trial of Ovi Maps Navigation

Download it Free from the Ovi Store

I’ll update this tonight with the video portion.

How to: Ultimate calibration method for your Nokia N97’s compass (side issue with N97 not getting GPS fix at all)

July 22, 2009 14 comments

One of Mark Guim’s readers, RobertH, may have found the best solution for calibrating the Nokia N97.

We’ve previously seen the Symbian World guys’ “wrist twist”, allowing compass calibration within 3 seconds.

Later, Mark found a more subtle calibration method – but that required turning auto rotate off, which I was not prepared to be doing each time or to give up on auto rotate.

Now, RobertH has probably given us the best method I’ve tried so far.

Once Ovi maps has loaded:

  1. Turn on keylock (switch)
  2. flick your wrist, turning the phone over and back (I’ve found a minimum of 7 times for more or less 100% success rate – I’ve gotten calibration from 3 turns but not always.)


  • It’s really fast – keylock+7 flicks takes about 4 seconds.
  • you don’t look like you’re angry with your phone (Symbian-World method) or some compulsive baton twirler (Nokia method)
  • it’s the most reliable method, going green for calibration almost every attempt, increasing in reliability of calibration as you increase the number of times to turn the phone over and back.

The brilliance of this method is that turning on keylock lets Ovi Maps focus the accelerometer on getting the compass calibrated instead of auto rotating the display. Just as long as you turn keylock off and move the N97 about, be it shaking or just turning, you’ll get a fast compass calibration. You don’t need to have GPS fix for it to work, but the red point must be at the centre of the map. The slightest nudge away from the centre and the compass won’t work. You can easily centre the map by:

  1. scrolling away until your red dot disappears and another reappears in the top right hand corner.
  2. Pressing on the new red dot centres your position.

via thenokiablog

Now this would be all fine and good for sat-nav experience on the N97 and Ovi Maps but that’s if I could get a GPS fix. This brings me onto my side issue:

GPS Broken – No GPS fix on Nokia N97

I cannot get a GPS fix at all from the N97 I’m using. For several days now, I haven’t been able to get a fix. Ovi Maps’ last position is a random street a mile away and Google Maps is stuck at a base station.

It has possibly been like this ever since the 3.01 Ovi Maps update. However, I only noticed lack of GPS properly on Monday as on previous occasions, I didn’t bother waiting longer than 1 minute and just turned off maps, dismissing the lack of GPS fix to being in a car.

I didn’t think too much about it, as from past experiences, I knew being in enclosed areas such as being indoors or in a car/train/bus would make the N97 take a tad longer than it usually does when in open spaces (usually between 5-10 seconds).

Until then, it’s never taken the N97 more than 2 minutes when in a vehicle (and that’s speeding along the motor way at 70mph or inside a train or even inside buildings), and no more than 30 seconds when in an open space. I tried leaving the N97 for an hour outside (clear and sunny so not being affected by clouds) but it did not get GPS fix at all.

When checking satellite status it either shows:

  1. No satellite connection
  2. gives me an error that “GPS works poorly when indoors or in enclosed areas”
  3. Signal strength bars – one to four connections but rapidly disconnects reverting to the error message.

I’ve tried (and failed) positioning method and combinations of:

  • Assisted GPS
  • Integrated GPS
  • Network Based

Not yet tried an external bluetooth to see if it’s a problem with using GPS data and not the integrated GPS, but even so, having to use an external bluetooth receiver is NOT AN OPTION.

I’m not in some GPS blackspot or underground :p other GPS integrated devices work fine.

I reckon it’s a N97 hardware fault. The Voice Dialling is also broken so maybe the trial handset I’m using is a rare exception? Having said that, there are a few entries on google from N97 users who also aren’t getting decent GPS locks or at all.

There’s a possibility that a hard reset may fix it – I will try that before I send this N97 back.

If you do experience similar GPS problems and hard reset doesn’t fix it, I suggest trying to get a replacement from your retailer or bringing in to a Nokia Care Point.