Bing Maps Beta, No More

We’re ripping the Beta tag off the Bing Maps Silverlight site and going full board with continuing innovation on Bing. Removing the beta tag has so many implications as a Microsoft asset in terms of what you can expect moving forward…reliability, supportability, and continued innovation and investment to name a few. The removal of the beta tag was done in parallel with a couple of new features and Bing Maps Application Gallery mash-ins.

First off, if you go to the Bing Maps AJAX site and have Silverlight installed chances are you will be redirected to the Bing Maps Silverlight site (note this change only affects users in the US). We’re rolling this out with a small percentage of users increasing up to 100% of all users in a few weeks. If you don’t have Silverlight installed you can hit the AJAX site and will be prompted to install Silverlight (which you can opt out of, but WHY would you??). Well, to make the AJAX site a bit smoother we’ve introduced some new transitions in the tile loading process for panning and zooming. So you can have your Silverlight and AJAX too. If you don’t want to stay on the Silverlight site, you can opt out and return to the AJAX site (aka Bing Maps Classic) via the link on the Silverlight site.

Also, two new applications have been added to the Bing Maps Application Gallery (Silverlight only) each of which I’ve written specific blogs on to explain each of the applications in detail:

These apps are only the beginning. You see it coming? A massive wave is upon you. Get ready.

Oh, and you can now access my blog from Bing Maps. Hey, that’s a big deal to me! :)

CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton

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20 comments
  1. Kareena

    Nice *****

  2. Chris Pendleton

    @bbzippo – Got it. Well, the basic functionality of adding places to a route is there – just enter something in the search box, then click the pin that lands on the map and select "add to directions." You can also do this from any of "your places." The restriction at this point (and this is what I believe you're saying) is that there's no way to pull that into the middle of the route – only the end. So, you can keep adding endpoints to the route, just not midpoints. This is certainly on the roadmap, so stay tuned. In the meantime, yes, just use that dragging feature. :)

    CP

  3. bbzippo

    Chris, thanks for your detailed reply, I'm looking forward to the improvements.

    Re Driving Directions. What I meant was, there is no way (other than typing the location) to specify start and end points. I expected the same UI as in "Add a Place to My Places" (dragging the flag onto the map) to work in Directions.

    And the ability to alter the plotted route by dragging points is awesome!

  4. Anonymous

    Thank you for good information

  5. Chris Pendleton

    @bbzippo –

    Removing the right-click menu with the Drive to/from options is a huge step back in usability. [CP] This is a limitation of SL 3. We took advantage of the incredible platform in exchange for some sacrifices to be added in a future release.

    I'm also missing the My Places editor with the drawing and measuring tools. [CP] These will be added in a future release.

    The Add a Place function in the new My Places list is extremely unintuitive. [CP] Agreed. This will get better too.

    In Driving Directions – no ability to drag the flag on the map to specify location. [CP] Not true. You can absolutely grab the flag or any part of the route to alter the route.

    CP

  6. Chris Pendleton

    @badaspsvt – Since it's a text box, you can still paste addresses. Try putting the cursor in the box and hitting CTRL + V.

    @mceaton – Good suggestion that's under consideration.

    @brian_sims – You can still use the 3D models and collections in the AJAX site.

    @nutterguy – SL 4 is backwards compatible to SL 3, so it should be a problem. The times I've seen this issues typically an old install is stuck in the registry. Try uninstalling all versions of SL and going to Bing Maps. You can upgrade to SL 4 after you're ensured it works.

    @lev – You'll want to open "My Places" and add a pin to the map this way. The right click feature isn't supported in SL 3.

    CP

  7. Lev

    how to select a place on map?

    there is no right click menu in silverlight.

  8. nutterguy

    Ah yes I have silverlight 4 installed. Is that the problem then? Surely not… Seemed to work fine with the Beta. How can I fix this?

    Also I would like some reassurance that true 3D maps are not going anywhere, as these 3D cities are currently the showpiece of Bing maps that make everyone I show them to go "Wow!"

  9. Brian Sims

    The disappearance of 3D in the Silverlight version is disappointing.  We just got models added to the AJAX 3D site and now it is very difficult to get people to those models.  I happen to find the controls in the AJAX 3D site to be excellent and far better than Google Earth.  Enhanced Bird Eye is nice but not an immersive environment like the AJAX 3D environment.

  10. mceaton

    Any chance those new AJAX tile transitions will make it into the AJAX SDK?

  11. badaspsvt

    Okay the number one thing I use Bing Maps for is pasting the address of a house for sale in the search box – and now I can no longer do this. I get a "Silverlight" message and no paste option. This is a major step back for me. Any suggestions? I am using Safari.

  12. thljcl

    Bing Map may be out of beta. I certainly hope Bing Map can offer the same level of quality for the places other than United States. The streetside sure works well and I like it. But it doesn't work for many countries.

  13. Chris Pendleton

    @NutterGuy – I've seen this before and closing the browser usually helps. Also, ensure you Silverlight version is set to Silverlight 3 in the browser add-ons menu.

    @gig2000gia – This is something we're looking at. Stay tuned.

    bbzippo – Agreed. Problem is Silverlight 3 doesn't support right click.

    CP

  14. bbzippo

    The Silverlight maps are great, however I'm missing some features and have some usability concerns.

    Removing the right-click menu with the Drive to/from options is a huge step back in usability. I'm also missing the My Places editor with the drawing and measuring tools. The Add a Place function in the new My Places list is extremely unintuitive. In Driving Directions – no ability to drag the flag on the map to specify location.

  15. gjg2000gia

    I'd like to see it a bit friendlier for long distance travelers.  How about a way to break up a multi-day/long distance trip into manageable driving units?  Perhaps you could offer options to break a trip into X sections, X miles/day, X hours of driving/day, with max/min for each of them.

  16. crpru

    A pain that it needs silverlight as i think that their are enough plugins required for the web already… but very impressive tech none the less.

  17. nutterguy

    Also the new destination maps are really nice! Hope they will be coming to the rest of the world soon. :-)

  18. nutterguy

    Every time I try to go to the new bing maps (with my region set to US) on one of my computers a box pops up saying I have the latest version of silverlight installed with a start button, I click this it refreshes the page and then does the same thing again. Rinse repeat…

    I have tried clearing my cache and it is working fine on other computers and browsers that are not IE8.

    Any ideas, cos I am stumped?

  19. Quality Directory

    This is a giant step forward. I've been waiting for months for this to happen.

  20. dilbert1

    nice! good to see you guys finally giving google a run for their money!

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