• April
    16

    Bing.com Gets More Personal

    At Build, we previewed Cortana powered by Bing which will ship with the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8.1. One of the things that makes Cortana so helpful is her ability to learn about your preferences and interests. As we talked about last week, it is the Bing platform that makes this possible, earned through years of machine learning and big data experience doing web search Starting today, we are unveiling a set of personalized cards on the Bing homepage that will help you keep track of things that matter to you. Set up your interests in Bing settings and you will start seeing personalized news, weather, flights, and stocks with more to come - all as part of the search experience. Let’s see how this works. Sign in to your Microsoft account and set-up your interests to let Bing know what it should track. Then, when it’s appropriate, Bing will let you know if for example your stock changes or flight is delayed. The best part? As long as you're signed in, Bing will remember your interests and notify you, as appropriate, across a range of Bing-powered Microsoft services, such as Cortana and the Bing Sports app, for example. You can learn more and... Read More At Build, we previewed Cortana powered by Bing which will ship with the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8.1. One of the things that makes Cortana so helpful is her ability to learn about your preferences and interests. As we talked about last week, it is the Bing platform that makes this possible, earned through years of machine learning and big data experience doing web search Starting today, we are unveiling a set of personalized cards on the Bing homepage that will help you keep track of things that matter to you. Set up your interests in Bing settings and you will start seeing personalized... Read More
  • April
    14

    Bing Spatial Data Services Meets 3D

    At //build 2014 there were many exciting announcements. It would have been easy to miss one of the implications of the moment of glory for Internet Explorer 11 during the keynote on day 1. The demo of the new FishGL website gave a hint about the enhanced support for WebGL in IE11 and, while I find fish quite yummy, I was more intrigued about what it means for mapping. After installing the Windows 8.1 Update, I quickly checked on Cesium, a free and open source map control that uses by default Bing Maps imagery and the Bing Maps geocoder. With this release of IE11 you can now take advantage of the latest and greatest in the Cesium control. In this quick tutorial we will visualize data stored in the Bing Spatial Data Services (SDS) through the Cesium map control in 3D… READ MORE At //build 2014 there were many exciting announcements. It would have been easy to miss one of the implications of the moment of glory for Internet Explorer 11 during the keynote on day 1. The demo of the new FishGL website gave a hint about the enhanced support for WebGL in IE11 and, while I find fish quite yummy, I was more intrigued about what it means for mapping. After installing the Windows 8.1 Update, I quickly checked on Cesium, a free and open source map control that uses by default Bing Maps imagery and the Bing Maps geocoder. With this release of IE11 you can now take advantage of the... Read More
  • April
    14

    Integrating Store Apps with Cortana in...

    Last week, we took the stage in San Francisco and proudly announced Cortana as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 update. You’ve likely already read about how Cortana will use the power of Bing to deliver personalized, natural experiences to users. What you may not have read is how Cortana empowers application developers to deliver robust, natural experiences of their own. Windows Phone 8.0, our previous release, brought with it the Voice Commands feature . Voice Commands on 8.0 enable an application developer to author simple phrases and lists of words that together allow a user to quickly navigate into a specific experience within an application; for example, “Hulu, show me my queue.” The biggest limitation of Voice Commands was that the full text of the commands themselves needed to be known ahead of time—this made them difficult to use for searching, social networking, or anything else with a large vocabulary. We knew our developers needed more and we wanted more ourselves—just check out the kinds of things that our team thought up when asked what they’d like to do: To make these kinds of interactions possible, we’ve introduced new... Read More Last week, we took the stage in San Francisco and proudly announced Cortana as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 update. You’ve likely already read about how Cortana will use the power of Bing to deliver personalized, natural experiences to users. What you may not have read is how Cortana empowers application developers to deliver robust, natural experiences of their own. Windows Phone 8.0, our previous release, brought with it the Voice Commands feature . Voice Commands on 8.0 enable an application developer to author simple phrases and lists of words that together allow a user to quickly... Read More
  • April
    10

    Where Does Your Time Go?

    Time is the one thing we all want more of, yet no one can create more of. It limits what we can accomplish all too often, and it forces us to work faster and smarter. There’s way too much of it when you’re trying to boil water, and not nearly enough when planning vacation. It’s safe to say that humans, generally speaking, can be obsessed with time. We pay attention to it. Numerous devices exist to help us track it, “manage” it and remind us of its passing. Time is elusive, but finite. It’s elastic, but unforgiving. It can be our friend, or our enemy. And one thing is for sure…we could all do better when it comes to managing it and investing it in places. There has been a trend for some time now, specific to managing time with email, to close your email down, and only reference it a couple times each day. Email is a time suck. Your inbox will rarely be empty, there will always be something unresponded to, and everything will always be an emergency (or so those sending emails often claim). And it makes some sense, too. If you want to get something done, you need to focus on it. often a straight run on one project of 45 minutes or so will... Read More Time is the one thing we all want more of, yet no one can create more of. It limits what we can accomplish all too often, and it forces us to work faster and smarter. There’s way too much of it when you’re trying to boil water, and not nearly enough when planning vacation. It’s safe to say that humans, generally speaking, can be obsessed with time. We pay attention to it. Numerous devices exist to help us track it, “manage” it and remind us of its passing. Time is elusive, but finite. It’s elastic, but unforgiving. It can be our friend, or our enemy. And one... Read More
  • April
    07

    Staying Fit with Bing Maps

    I just feel better when I have a certain level of fitness. So, I came up with the idea of the ‘Donkey Bike’. The idea was to create a virtual trip to visit my parents in Germany and track the progress with every rotation of my wheel and every stroke of the rower. I’d rather choose a scenic route than the direct one, so the first part of the journey is a 6,886 km ride from Redmond, WA to Nova Scotia, Canada. With 1,081 km down, a flat tire (yes, that can happen even in the basement), a few interesting scenes discovered on the imagery and a few pounds lighter than when I started the journey, I thought it’s time to share some details on the somewhat unusual ‘Donkey Bike’… READ MORE I just feel better when I have a certain level of fitness. So, I came up with the idea of the ‘Donkey Bike’. The idea was to create a virtual trip to visit my parents in Germany and track the progress with every rotation of my wheel and every stroke of the rower. I’d rather choose a scenic route than the direct one, so the first part of the journey is a 6,886 km ride from Redmond, WA to Nova Scotia, Canada. With 1,081 km down, a flat tire (yes, that can happen even in the basement), a few interesting scenes discovered on the imagery and a few pounds lighter than when I started... Read More
  • April
    04

    Image Overlays with Bing Maps (Native)

    A while back I wrote a blog posts called Image Overlays with Bing Maps (JavaScript). In this blog post we saw a couple of different ways to overlay an image on the map and bind it to a bounding box such that it stays correctly positioned when panned and scales as you zoom the map. In this blog post we are going to look at two different methods for doing this in the Native Bing Maps SDK for Window Store Apps. The first method will consist of creating a custom control that stretches and positions an image as the map is zoomed and panned. The second method will make use of the Custom Polygon control from a recent blog post . We will overlay the image on the custom polygon using an image brush… READ MORE A while back I wrote a blog posts called Image Overlays with Bing Maps (JavaScript). In this blog post we saw a couple of different ways to overlay an image on the map and bind it to a bounding box such that it stays correctly positioned when panned and scales as you zoom the map. In this blog post we are going to look at two different methods for doing this in the Native Bing Maps SDK for Window Store Apps. The first method will consist of creating a custom control that stretches and positions an image as the map is zoomed and panned. The second method will make use of the Custom Polygon control... Read More
  • April
    04

    Top College Basketball Fan Searches

    As we head into the college basketball championships this weekend, we thought it would be interesting to delve into the Bing search index to see if we could gather insights on the tournament. We took a sample of more than 350,000 queries related to the 2013-2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to see what you wanted to know. Here’s what we found: Which cities have the most basketball obsessed fans? The denizens of these towns checked the scores for their favorite team on average 3 times more often than the rest of the nation. Folks from Grand Rapids are particularly devoted. They searched for scores 17 times more often than the rest of the country. 1. Grand Rapids, MI 2. Cedar Rapids, IA 3. Raleigh, NC 4. Grand Junction, CO 5. W. Palm Beach, FL 6. Hartford, CT 7. Providence, RI 8. Lincoln, NE 9. Cleveland, OH 10. Washington, DC-MD What was the most searched team of the tournament? What was the second most searched team of the tournament? Who is the most searched team in the Final Four? Which games led you to check the scores most often on Bing? 1. Round 64: Duke 71 – Mercer 78 ... Read More As we head into the college basketball championships this weekend, we thought it would be interesting to delve into the Bing search index to see if we could gather insights on the tournament. We took a sample of more than 350,000 queries related to the 2013-2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to see what you wanted to know. Here’s what we found: Which cities have the most basketball obsessed fans? The denizens of these towns checked the scores for their favorite team on average 3 times more often than the rest of the nation. Folks from Grand Rapids are particularly devoted.... Read More
  • April
    03

    Geo-fencing with Bing Spatial Data Services...

    Triggering certain actions such as sending notifications or alerts when a device enters or leaves an area is often referred to as geo-fencing. The geo-fence, the boundary of the area of interest, can be dynamic like a radius around a school or around your own device, it can be pre-defined such as a neighborhood, city or county, or it can be an area defined and digitized for a specific purpose. In this post, we will walk through an end-to-end scenario that will look at the Bing SDS to store and query geo-fences, the tracked device, the Azure Mobile Services as the hub to process the tracked locations and send notifications as well as a Windows Store app to catch and display tile and toast notifications… READ MORE Triggering certain actions such as sending notifications or alerts when a device enters or leaves an area is often referred to as geo-fencing. The geo-fence, the boundary of the area of interest, can be dynamic like a radius around a school or around your own device, it can be pre-defined such as a neighborhood, city or county, or it can be an area defined and digitized for a specific purpose. In this post, we will walk through an end-to-end scenario that will look at the Bing SDS to store and query geo-fences, the tracked device, the Azure Mobile Services as the hub to process the tracked locations... Read More