MOSCOW, Nov. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yandex's mapping service Yandex.Maps has seen a major revamp. Russia's most popular mapping service now runs on a unified platform, which allows the company to support and update unlimited amounts of data without relying on external sources. In addition, Yandex.Maps now features detailed maps supporting the route planning feature for the majority of large cities in the world. The new Yandex.Maps is available both on desktop and mobile. "This update is the result of eighteen months of work. We realised a long time ago that depending on external date providers wasn't a good idea and that we needed maps of our own. Moscow was the first city to be mapped by our mapmakers in 2011. Today, we are offering our own detailed maps of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, seamlessly joined with the detailed maps of other countries, provided by our partner, so that the Yandex.Maps users can easily 'travel across borders'. What we needed to do wasn't just unify all maps, but also set up storage capacities and design a procedure for quick processing of all data for the world map, so we completely rewrote the service's core. In addition, we've built our own software to quickly edit our maps. Digital maps require fast and regular updating and the currently available commercial products couldn't handle our loads," says Maria Orlova, head of GIS data at Yandex. "Now, Yandex is a mapping company of a different scale." The updated Yandex.Maps covers the majority of countries in the world. The maps of the European and North American countries have the highest level of detail down to the major streets and buildings and the detailed intercity road network. Yandex.Maps also offers route planning, both in the cities and between them. Our users can now easily plot driving directions from Saint Petersburg to Kotka in Finland, or from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to the Spanish coast.