• April
    23

    Visualize Large Complex Data with Local...

    Tile Layers are a creative way to visualize large complex data. By visualizing data as an image the map control only needs to reposition a set of images rather than every single data point of the data. This greatly improves performance and often reduces the amount of data the user will have to download. Tile layers generally consist of a large number of images that have a specific naming convention and are hosted online. Every once and a while I get requests from people who want to be able to host the tile layers locally. Creating a local tile layer is not an easy task. In this blog post instead of going through the 900+ lines of code required to create a local tile layer I will describe the process required to create one and how to make use of the library I created in the code samples… READ MORE Tile Layers are a creative way to visualize large complex data. By visualizing data as an image the map control only needs to reposition a set of images rather than every single data point of the data. This greatly improves performance and often reduces the amount of data the user will have to download. Tile layers generally consist of a large number of images that have a specific naming convention and are hosted online. Every once and a while I get requests from people who want to be able to host the tile layers locally. Creating a local tile layer is not an easy task. In this blog post instead... Read More
  • April
    22

    Bing in the Classroom Now Available to...

    Today, we're proud to unveil the next phase of the Bing in the Classroom program, including broad availability of our ad-free, safer, more private search to all eligible K-12 public and private schools in the US. Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing.com searches done through the school’s network, making Bing the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom. As of today, any qualified school district or private school can go to bing.com/classroom and register for the completely free service, which is already being used by over 4.5 million students , including those in the five largest districts in the US. That means no waitlist, no installation or new settings, just one online form and all Bing.com searches on a school network can be ad-free within a few days of registration.* Along with broad availability, this next phase of Bing in the Classroom includes several updates. First, you may have noticed we have a new name: we've retired the Bing for Schools moniker in favor of one that aligns with other... Read More Today, we're proud to unveil the next phase of the Bing in the Classroom program, including broad availability of our ad-free, safer, more private search to all eligible K-12 public and private schools in the US. Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing.com searches done through the school’s network, making Bing the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom. As of today, any qualified school district or private school... Read More
  • April
    22

    Search and Earn Airline Miles and Gas with...

    Just in time for the spring travel season, Bing Rewards has added two new offers for members to help keep their expenses down. Now members can search and earn airline miles with popular airlines as well as hotels, and they can also earn free gas at major stations with FuelCircle. Bing Rewards was designed to help you discover ways Bing can help you do the things that are most important to you. You can earn credits by searching the web every day with Bing and then redeem them for popular rewards, which now include these great new offers. In addition, you can receive gift cards from top brands or donate your credits to a local school or charity of your choice. All you have to do is stay signed-in and keep searching with Bing. Starting this week, members can now use their Bing Rewards credits towards points or miles for popular airline and hotel loyalty programs , including American Airlines AAdvantage®, IHG® Rewards Club, US Airways® Dividend Miles® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club*. We’ve also just given members the option of redeeming their Bing Rewards credits for FuelCircle Points ** With FuelCircle, members can earn free gas at their choice of ExxonMobil... Read More Just in time for the spring travel season, Bing Rewards has added two new offers for members to help keep their expenses down. Now members can search and earn airline miles with popular airlines as well as hotels, and they can also earn free gas at major stations with FuelCircle. Bing Rewards was designed to help you discover ways Bing can help you do the things that are most important to you. You can earn credits by searching the web every day with Bing and then redeem them for popular rewards, which now include these great new offers. In addition, you can receive gift cards from top brands... Read More
  • April
    21

    Assessing Image Quality

    A few months ago we provided a behind the scenes look into how Bing is improving image search quality. In this post we wanted to explore some additional techniques we are employing to deliver high quality image results. My colleague Eason Wang will give you a closer look at how we are incorporating aesthetics to deliver more beautiful image results in Bing. - Dr. Jan Pedersen, Chief Scientist, Bing and Information Platform R&D As you can see below, two images about the same topic can be very different. A picture I took of my cat and one taken by a professional, have subtle yet important differences. If someone is simply searching for images of cats, the quality of the images we showcase make a big difference in whether a search session is successful. In this post we will explore the characteristics and techniques we employ to ensure that we are doing all we can to surface high quality images without compromising the relevance and context of your searches. Example of high quality image: Example of amateur image: Understanding Image Quality Image understanding is how we describe the overall approach that Bing employs to understand images. Below, we outline... Read More A few months ago we provided a behind the scenes look into how Bing is improving image search quality. In this post we wanted to explore some additional techniques we are employing to deliver high quality image results. My colleague Eason Wang will give you a closer look at how we are incorporating aesthetics to deliver more beautiful image results in Bing. - Dr. Jan Pedersen, Chief Scientist, Bing and Information Platform R&D As you can see below, two images about the same topic can be very different. A picture I took of my cat and one taken by a professional, have subtle yet important... Read More
  • April
    21

    Predictions with Bing

    As Yogi Berra once said, “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” One of the most interesting aspects of search engines is their ability to process trillions of signals to reflect what is happening in the real world. For instance, during the presidential elections, Bing experiences a surge of positive and negative queries about the presidential candidates from different parts of the U.S. Taking this model even further, teams within Bing have been experimenting with useful ways that we can harness the power of Bing to model outcomes of events. This could be anything from an election or sporting event to whether an actor will win the People’s Choice Award. Today we are bringing these insights directly to our search results pages. Based on a variety of different signals including search queries and social input from Facebook and Twitter, we are unveiling an experiment we’ve built to give you our prediction of the outcome of a given event. For example, our first iteration, live on Bing.com today, attempts to predict which contestants are most likely to be eliminated or move on to the next round of voting shows like The Voice , American... Read More As Yogi Berra once said, “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” One of the most interesting aspects of search engines is their ability to process trillions of signals to reflect what is happening in the real world. For instance, during the presidential elections, Bing experiences a surge of positive and negative queries about the presidential candidates from different parts of the U.S. Taking this model even further, teams within Bing have been experimenting with useful ways that we can harness the power of Bing to model outcomes of events. This could... Read More
  • April
    17

    What if…(The More Things Change, the More...

    As you ease into your ergo chair, or settle in astride your giant yoga ball behind your computer, you face another day. Another day of gathering data, auditing web pages, digging into keyword reports, meetings with engineering, design, marketing and others. Today will most likely resemble yesterday for the most part. Maybe some tedium, maybe some excitement, and if you’re really, really lucky, maybe a fire drill, too. Big, sweeping, dramatic changes generally don’t ripple through the world of search marketing too much these days. Yes, algos get updated, and with those updates some sites see dramatic shifts in ranking, but if you look across the entire internet, the effects are on a low percentage of sites and pages. Algo changes do happen and will continue to happen. For as far back as most SEOs can remember, this has been the case. But wholesale changes, overnight, that affect everyone? Those are rarer beasts. What if… So what if a big change happens today? Are you ready? Are you sharp and steady on your Bosu ball , or would a big shift knock you flat on your back? What if links no longer mattered? In this scenario, it would make sense to continue... Read More As you ease into your ergo chair, or settle in astride your giant yoga ball behind your computer, you face another day. Another day of gathering data, auditing web pages, digging into keyword reports, meetings with engineering, design, marketing and others. Today will most likely resemble yesterday for the most part. Maybe some tedium, maybe some excitement, and if you’re really, really lucky, maybe a fire drill, too. Big, sweeping, dramatic changes generally don’t ripple through the world of search marketing too much these days. Yes, algos get updated, and with those updates some... Read More
  • April
    17

    Bing Supports Vets with General Assembly's...

    General Assembly , a global educational group that provides best-of-class practical education in business, technology and design, is empowering the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. This week, General Assembly is unveiling the “ Opportunity Fund ” - a scholarship and support program that is being piloted in New York City to serve underrepresented students entering the technology industry. Bing is proud to be a founding member of the program and is underwriting 8 scholarships for military veterans. Why are we taking part? When you consider the unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is 36 percent higher than that of civilians, there is a visible lack of veterans in the technology industry, and startups and technology companies report they have a hard time filling open positions, it’s clear there is a great opportunity for veterans looking for their next career. However, transitioning into a technical field like software engineering can be daunting, so that’s where Microsoft and Bing can help by providing scholarships for 8 veterans to participate in the Opportunity Fund. Additionally, Hirepurpose, an organization that connects veterans with... Read More General Assembly , a global educational group that provides best-of-class practical education in business, technology and design, is empowering the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. This week, General Assembly is unveiling the “ Opportunity Fund ” - a scholarship and support program that is being piloted in New York City to serve underrepresented students entering the technology industry. Bing is proud to be a founding member of the program and is underwriting 8 scholarships for military veterans. Why are we taking part? When you consider the unemployment rate for... Read More
  • 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 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 set your interests here on... 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 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... Read More