Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to get location favourites from Nokia Maps to Microsoft Maps

Guest author Massis Sirapian takes mapping fans of a geeky nature through the process of getting Nokia Maps favourites on a Symbian smartphone to Microsoft Maps on a desktop (Windows 8.1 or 10) - and thence to Windows 10 Mobile potentially, of course. Note that I haven't tried any of this, so I'll refer you to Massis on Twitter if you get stuck!!

Massis writes (and please bear in mind that his native language isn't English, so do get in touch with him if any steps aren't 100% clear!):
The process here is exporting Symbian/Nokia Maps Landmarks, not exactly HERE ones. I had exported my Nokia account landmarks before the Nokia account was retired.

This being said, here's what I do/did:

  1. On a Symbian device, LmManager has to be installed. 
  2. Launch it, then use options, misc, export. This will export all the landmarks into a .ldb file. With any file explorer, it can then be exported to a PC.

  3. .ldb is a XML file but yet not very legible or usable. I used gpsbabel to convert it
  4. I've found out that Microsoft Maps, on Windows 8.1 or 10, only understands decimal coordinates. That is to say N XX.XXXXX W YY.YYYYY .
    Geocachers are used to N XX° XX.XXX, E YY° YY.YYY, but MS are decimal only. So we need to convert the .ldb file. 
  5. gpsbabel is used on the command line, and the correct script is : 'gpsbabel -i lmx -f eposlm.ldb -o text,degformat=ddd -F outfile.txt' (eposlm.ldb is the file we saved on the symbian device and copied to the PC. We're saying its format is LMX ; for the output, we want decimal only and a text file. The export file is, in this example, outfile.txt.)
We now have a long list of landmarks, but written in very legible format. The outfile.txt file will contain a list of favourites, formated as follows:
Covent grill                          N51.51131 W0.12319 (30U 699619 5710611)
The Pembroke pub                N51.48903 W0.19150 (30U 694975 5707949)
and so on.

In Microsoft Maps (e.g. in Windows 10 Mobile), we just have to type "N51.51131 W0.12319" in the search field, and it will find it. Press it to add to favourites, as any spot on the map.


Of course, for addresses, it is easier to type the full address. But when you have some mushrooms spots, cottages in the middle of Finland, etc. in your landmarks, entered as coordinates or saved when on the spot, this allows you to migrate the exact coordinates from Nokia Maps to the new Microsoft Maps (which I believe will take over HERE on Windows 10 and its Mobile SKU).