Microsoft Introduces Bing Maps Beta

Bing Maps Beta

Microsoft continues to beef up the features of its fast-rising search engine with the launch of Bing Maps Beta, which contains tweaks that raise the bar high against its main competitor Google Maps.

For instance, the Bing’s Streetside application may appear similar to Google’s Street View feature, but the former can take users on a virtual walkthrough any city street with a 360-degree panorama, displaying the surrounding buildings and landmarks.  Also, Bing’s Streetside has a special "light speed" feature that blurs the passing scenery and even zooms in and out on certain spots.  This application can even lay out street directions and street names at a much eye-level perspective, ideal for those who have difficulty navigating on maps with bird’s-eye-view layout.

Bing Maps Beta relies on Microsoft’s Photosynth technology, which integrates millions of photos into 3D montage as if users are actually walking into the location while navigating online.  Meanwhile, its Enhanced Bird’s Eye feature automatically adjusts whether viewing an urban landscape or rural setting.

Another new feature is the Applications Gallery, a catalogue that streamlines user searches and bookmarks favorite applications.  User can look through different applications or local content associated with cities, such as map-based news articles.  Different content layers can also be utilized on Bing Maps all at once.  Users can search for tweets, local blogs, business listings and Photosynth.

Expect more updates coming from Bing Maps, as well as Google Maps if they want to keep up with the competition.

Image source:  Bing Maps

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