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Maps Blog

November
10

Bing Maps Gets An Overhaul…And, Some New Features

If you visited Bing Maps today you may have noticed a new look and feel. Well, that’s because it has a new look and feel. Specifically, the navigation bar is now black to match the Bing color set. Well, that’s the obvious change; however, I’ll go ahead and provide you with a list of new features you may not notice right off the bat.

  • Bing Maps Draggable RoutesDraggable Routes – Yes! This is a great (and much requested) feature added to Bing Maps allowing you to generate a route, then in the case that you need to change the route, you can simply grab any part of it and drag it to where you want the route to actually go. To use draggable routes, click the directions link in the welcome pane or the car icon near the bottom of the welcome pane. Enter a start and end, generate a route, then grab anywhere on the route to move the route line. The route will regenerate for you.
  • Zoom Bar – No longer just a zoom in and zoom out button, the zoom bar allows you to jump to specific zoom levels within predefined settings.
  • Command Parsing – Want driving directions?  Enter “Bellevue, WA to Space Needle” in the Bing Maps search box.  Want traffic info?  Enter “Seattle Traffic” in the Bing Maps search box.
  • Embed a Map – You can now take a map view right from Bing Maps and embed it into your site. To do this, you’ll want to click the Share button once your map is where you want it to be. You can copy the embed code from there; or, you can click the Customize View link which will take you to the embeddable map customizer (EMC). The EMC allows you to set a map to the map height and width (small, medium, large or custom); the map type (static or draggable); the map styles (road, aerial, aerial w/ labels); and, add links to Bing Maps for Viewing a Larger Map or Getting Directions. Once you’ve set everything the way you want it, click Generate Code and boom! there’s your code. You copy it, then paste it into your web page and you’ll have the map you wanted.

 

  • Dynamic Compute – We’ve moved the processing power closer to the user.  Using Microsoft’s ECN, we now have Bing Maps running in data centers in 7 locations around the world. This means wherever you are around the world, you will access Bing Maps from the closest geographic node to where you are physically located. 
  • New Navigation – We also added a subset of features to a button bar along the bottom of the welcome pane. Each button loads features on Bing Maps. Welcome loads the welcome pane; the car loads the route planner; the star loads My Places, formerly called Collections; the envelop loads the ability to share the map with someone via email, copying a URI or embedding the map into a web page (more on that below); the printer icon is for printing; and, stoplight will load a traffic overlay with flow and incident information. 
  • World Wrap - no longer will your Bing Maps experience stop at the international date line. Keep going around, and around, and around...
  • Diet Bing Maps - The default Bing Maps home page dropped from 678kb to 484kb. It zips through the pipes much faster now.

 

 

Bing Maps New Navigation

 

Some nice improvements to the already feature-packed consumer site. What could possibly be next? 

CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton

Comments

  • "What could possibly be next? "

    Silverlight???

  • Sorry Chris not happy with the updates.  I chose bing because it was one of the easiest. I was happy with the printing of the maps before the updates.  Still having a problem.  Not able to print my maps.  Trying to follow directions but having no luck.  

  • Draggable routes are cool.

    I didn't realize it, but it looks like this is also a new feature of MapPoint 2010!

    Click on the route and drag to some location, it adds a stop.

    I tried to do it in MapPoint 2004 and MapPoint 2009 but I can't get it to work. You would have to somewhat manually add the stop. Not onerous, but it's a couple more steps.

    Eric

    http://www.MapForums.com

  • Chris, are the draggable routes enabled in the AJAX or Silverlight controls for developers or just on the Bing maps consumer website?

  • Now OFFICIALLY the best maps interface on the internet. When you roll out Silverlight it's just going to blow the competition out of the water.

  • But stil india version of bing maps shows older version.! When you gonna update indian version as wel..

  • Chris-with the printing of the maps why can't I just map what I have and just print them.  What is this web page they are talking about?  The maps I created I just saved in my account and all I needed to do was print them when ever I needed them.

  • Directions now also support Business searches like "Hotels in New York". So, now you can enter business directly into the directions input boxes.

    Also, Now in the main search box we can do "Seattle to portland" directly.

  • Will the "get directions pane" be moveable again. I do not like that it is now either opened or closed, it used to be draggable to almost any length.

  • well well well, that's great mates, we are here to support Bing, i know Bing still needs massive improvement,

    Bing Team there is a looooooooooooooooooooooong way here, I'm with you.

    Thanks

  • @wild typhoon:  It's a tough situation.  Stats shows that very very few people utilized the "draggable to any length" feature, which is why it was cut in favor of something simpler.  Obviously that won't please everyone (you obviously liked the old design), but we strive for the highest use-case scenario.

    I wrote that "draggable to any length" feature too, so it was a little sad to see it yanked out :-(  But I'm okay with the new design too, because truth be told, I didn't utilize the draggability much at all!

  • @wild typhoon:  It's a tough situation.  Stats shows that very very few people utilized the "draggable to any length" feature, which is why it was cut in favor of something simpler.  Obviously that won't please everyone (you obviously liked the old design), but we strive for the highest use-case scenario.

    I wrote that "draggable to any length" feature too, so it was a little sad to see it yanked out :-(  But I'm okay with the new design too, because truth be told, I didn't utilize the draggability much at all!

  • The problem is when you right click the map, the red dot is offset from the actual location of the click which is very annoying.

    The search feature is terrible as well, it never successfully recognize any non-us address for me... Maybe I should use other versions but I think it's very annoying that the experience is incomplete.

  • @Andrew,

    Just the consumer site.

    CP

  • erm, is this another US-only set of features?

    just tried using bingmaps.com.au and the route doesnt even follow the road nevermind being able to drag the route!