Nokia Buys Geographic Search Technology Company MetaCarta

Nokia this morning announced that it has acquired MetaCarta, a privately-owned geographic intelligence company, for an undisclosed sum. Nokia says it will use MetaCarta’s technology in the area of local search and other services.

MetaCarta was founded in 2001, is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and employs over 30 people.

MetaCarta’s solutions enable companies to bridge the gap between content and maps. Its products fall into four major categories: the MetaCarta Platform, Geographic Data Modules, GeoWeb Applications, and Hosted Content Collections.

To see an example of what MetaCarta’s technology is capable of, see NewsMap, a hosted map mashup / extension that enables Web publishers to dynamically display maps that show the places mentioned in their news articles. Or check out its GeoSearch News service, which aggregates news from thousands of sources and displays a map of the locations mentioned in stories.

MetaCarta also has a partnership with Microsoft in place to provide its Geographic Search and Referencing Platform to deliver map-based local news within the Microsoft Vine service.

For Nokia, this is the second small acquisition in two weeks – it recently picked up mobile Web browser company Novarra. Its purchase of MetaCarta is another testament to the Finnish mobile giant’s focus on location and navigation-based services for its wide range of handsets that find their way into the hands of customers all over the globe.