Bing Maps: Adding Apps, Dropping Beta!

Are we all back from the holidays yet?  For some on the maps team, the holiday’s biggest gift was getting to work on updating the Bing Maps experience based on what you told us you wanted to see.  Why are things in beta anyway?  It’s so we can try new experiences, hear what you like and don’t like and understand what is hard for you all to use and how we can make it easier.  Fast forward six weeks: we’re ready to take the wipe that beta clean off the map.  Get it?  Anyone?  Anyone?

So what does this sans-beta map experience mean for you?

  • We improved the speed and performance of Bing maps by focusing on the default page load time.  Notable performance gains were also made in the speed of routing driving directions
  • We updated the user interface to make features and map apps more discoverable and to make it easier to use the legend.
  • We’re taking streetside imagery international by adding Vancouver and Whistler to the database in honor of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Make sure you go and check it out!

We will also continue to add new applications on a fairly regular basis. Today we have released two new apps, the first lets you tweak the appearance of your map to create a customized version such as a special invitations or event announcement and the second app helps you find local events near you by overlaying activities on a map.

This latest update and new applications from Bing Maps is a great example of how useful maps can be, and we’re not just talking about getting from point “a” to point “b” anymore. As mapping technology and imagery develops beyond aerial and 3-D, to street level, user generated and real time, maps will serve many purposes beyond directions. Blaise Aguera y Arcas, a Microsoft Partner Architect responsible for Seadragon and co-creator of Photosynth talks more about the evolution of maps and how Bing Maps allows you to spatially engage in your surroundings.

To see these updates and experience Bing maps for yourself, enter the Bing Maps Challenge for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

Good luck and happy exploring!

Kristin Meldahl – Bing

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