There are more than two horses in the race to create an index of the physical world. There’s a third company that’s invested billions of dollars, employs thousands of mapmakers, and even drives around its own version of Google’s mythic “Street View” cars.

That company is Nokia, the still-giant but oft-maligned Finnish mobile phone maker, which acquired the geographic information systems company Navteq back in 2007 for $8 billion.

“We get over 12 billion probe data points per month coming into the organization,” Fox said from his office in Chicago. “We get probe data not only from commercial vehicles like FedEx and UPS trucks, but we also get it from consumers through navigation applications.”

Tags: maps, nokia