Bing Maps Preview Arrives on Windows 8.1

A first step in introducing a new way to explore the world, the Bing Maps Preview app hits the Windows Store today. Built from the ground up for clarity, detail and scale, the app provides a seamless and dynamic way to experience mapping. To ensure we have the highest quality imagery possible, we’re showcasing a focused list of over 70 cities from around the world so you can get a glimpse of what’s to come. 

Bing Maps Preview

With the Bing Maps Preview you’re in charge.  You can swoop in, going from a Superman to Clark Kent-like view; from mountaintop to main-street, it is so vivid you feel like you’re there.  But this isn’t just about seeing the world, it’s about getting stuff done so we’ve enabled you to get answers and take action directly within the one app.

The Bing Maps Preview was built for Windows 8.1, so it works well on touch and desktop devices.  The app also takes advantage of smart Windows features including Snapview, Windows notification and live tile, so you have the right info to get more done in less time.

Let’s take a look:

Redefining Maps

We have assembled world builders from the video game industry, expert photogrammetrists, high definition aerial cameras and a massive data pipeline crunching petabytes of imagery to deliver a more natural way to experience our planet.  With advances in Windows, in computing hardware and our ability to capture, process and render imagery, our automated pipeline is capable of pushing pixels from a plane to the app in a matter of weeks and has already processed over 121 trillion pixels to date in order to build our 3D environment. 

 

 

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MtStHelens

 

Natural Navigation from Your Point of View

Touch it, tilt it, tap it or turn it to immerse yourself and experience maps in new ways.  Taking advantage of our advanced geometry engine, labels and markers dynamically adapt to your vantage point.  So as you traverse the landscape the map adapts to how your eye sees the three dimensional space.

The app also includes intuitive controls which allow you to rotate left-to-right and up-and-down.  Feeling a little lost in the 3D environment?  You can right the map to orient yourself north or return to a straight-down view by tapping the orientation and tilt controls on the left of the screen.

You can explore places of interest, landmarks and routes draped over the photorealistic cityscape.  When you click on an item, you will see a fly-out containing address details and the option to switch to Streetside viewing mode in selected areas.   We also include driving and transit routes that indicate critical waypoints including where you should transfer buses or trains. 

 

Streetside

Because we know that when you’re at street level it’s easy to lose perspective on where you are in the overall landscape, we’re introducing “bubble view.”   In this mode you see a bubble preview of the Streetside view while still maintaining a broad perspective and, what’s more, it’s dynamic so that as you rotate the map your view turns with you.

 

Valencia_Streetside_Crop

 

When you are in Streetside view you’ll also see arrows and labels identifying the street allowing you to seamlessly tour the city and can use the split-view map to move larger distances without losing your bearings.

 

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In-App Searching

Because the app is about doing as much as seeing, we put all the features you need at your fingertips.  The search box is always there when you need it. You can conduct a search for a restaurant or venue and get a route overlay to the destination with a simple click or just start typing.

 

Syracuse_Directions

 

Traffic Notification on Favorite Routes

Wish you had an automatic way to check the traffic status of your commute? Now you do.  With the Bing Maps Preview app you can save a favorite route and set up specified times of day when you want the app to check traffic for you.  Once set up, you can see real-time traffic notifications directly from the live tile on your Start screen or we’ll pop up a notification wherever you are in Windows.

 

TrafficAlert

 

Local Scout and Personal Picks

Our goal isn’t just to get you from point A to point B. With the app we’re creating a digital replica of the real world so you can discover new places and get things done. The preview app includes basic actions like make a call or book a table; actions that will get richer over time through integration with Satori, Bing’s huge index of entities.

Local Scout allows you to find nearby places to dine, shop, park and with “picks for you” even get personal recommendations when you’re signed in, based on what you’ve been searching for, what your Facebook friends enjoy and what’s popular in the area.

 

Harrisburg_Nearby

 

If you find something you’re interested in, you can give them a call with Skype with a simple click. Your call will conveniently open in Snapview, so you never have to leave the app. 

 

Seattle_Skype

 

In the case of restaurants, if you find one you like you can book a table through OpenTable.  Windows will automatically snap the app to the side so you can book without leaving the Maps Preview app.

 

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We’re excited to share this preview with you so head to the Windows Store and let us know what you think at @Bing.

- The Bing Maps Team