Microsoft Updates Bing Maps, Brings Destinations Information and Travel Planning Options
Microsoft recently announced that it has redesigned and brought a huge update to Bing Maps, adding a lot of new features. This big update brings several interface improvements, as well as some useful, new additions to Microsoft’s mapping service.
Check out the complete list of all new features and improvements added in this big update:
- Destination cards – The Bing Maps Preview sorts your search results into ‘cards’ that are displayed on the left side of the screen. You can have multiple cards on the screen at once, and each card provides relevant information about given destination, like hours of operation, or where are the similar businesses nearby.
- New layout with Aerial and Road views – You can choose between various view modes, like Aerial or Bird’s Eye for satellite maps, or Road for road maps, you can also choose Streetside view to take a walk through the streets of some of the world’s bigger cities. Besides that, you can also ‘add to route,’ ‘save route as favorite,’ and other.
- Predictive routing and enhanced directions – With predictive routing in Bing Maps Preview, you have better chances to avoid traffic jam. By entering date and time of your travel, this feature will predict the traffic conditions, and estimated drive time, so you can plan your trip more precisely.
- Discover places with Along the Route feature – Along the Route will show you hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other public places that are located near your destination. So if you need a break, or you have to refill your gas reservoir, you’ll know where to go.
- Improved Streetside view for better experience – Streetside view now offers the new split screen layout that gives you street view of your destination along with the map shown directly below it. You can also easily explore the area with your mouse with a 360-degree tour.
- Save your destinations in My Places – Based on users’ requests, Microsoft created a way to easily access your most-visited and favorite destination. You can save your favorite location in My Places, so you can easily access it later. Your favorite places will sync with Cortana, for even faster access.
- Share your travel plans with other users – You’ll be able to easily share your travel plans with your friends or colleagues. They’ll receive an email with results cards, which they can see on their desktop or from a portable device.
The updates are now live in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa, and you can try the improved version of Bing Maps here.
This is really a huge update, but Microsoft recently made several ‘behind the scene’ updates that are not visible to regular users, like selling the part of Bing service to a mobile taxi service, Uber. As Microsoft said, the reason for that is because the company doesn’t want to collect mapping data on their own, but is going to rely on data collected from third-party services, like Uber.
This update shows that Microsoft is trying hard to deliver as quality mapping and navigation service as possible. But the competition is really tough, as Bing has to ‘fight’ with services like Google Maps, Nokia’s HERE Maps and also Apple Maps. We’ll see if this update, or some future updates are going to attract more users to use Bing Maps while planning a trip or checking the nearby places.
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