As an experiment, I've spent the last few days living full-time with a phone running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform instead of my trusty iPhone 4. There's a lot to like about Windows Phone, but one of my favorite parts is the mapping application -- especially given the well-publicized troubles with Apple Maps.
The raw data for that app is provided by Nokia, which has long provided mapping services for its own phones. Now it's extending that service to other smartphone users with its Nokia Here application -- including a version of iOS.
Nokia collects data for these services with a fleet of specially equipped cars. The cars are loaded with sensors that collect data about the road, like its curvature and slope, and a set of cameras that captures information about buildings. Nokia has about 45 of these cars on the road today, and expects to have more than 200 next year. Watch here as IDG News reporter Martyn Williams takes a ride in one.