Russia's largest search engine has announced it has purchased map licenses from NAVTEQ, the Nokia maps subsidiary. The digital maps will be used to develop a detailed world map for the Yandex.Maps service, which currently shows a more "artistic" than realistic cartography of international locations (a current map of Helsinki is shown below). NAVTEQ's service includes highly detailed maps of Europe, North America, Australia and developed countries in Asia, and show intercity motorways, urban traffic networks, streets and buildings. Yandex says it will gradually add new content both to its desktop version and to its mobile application that supports all major platforms.
Yandex previously purchased map content from NAVTEQ for its map of Turkey, which features integration of location search and other Yandex services. The test run apparently went well enough with users for Yandex to consider moving completely over to the NAVTEQ service.
To enhance and continually update the map of Russia, Yandex acquired map provider GIS Technologies in July 2010 and began making city maps for numerous locations across the country. Currently, Yandex offers maps for 270 cities in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Yandex map of Moscow:
Current Yandex map of Helsinki (no higher detail when zoomed in):
Standard NAVTEQ map of Helsinki: