Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bing maps updates with Twitter feed

Microsoft updates Bing Maps with Streetside eye-level views and a Twitter feed.

Microsoft on Dec. 2 released new features for Bing, its search engine, set to roll out over the next few days. Prominent among these new features is the beta version of the updated Bing Maps, featuring Streetside and Photosynth imagery. Although Streetside works very similarly to Google's Street View, in that it offers an eye-level perspective on local terrain, Microsoft took pains on the official Bing Blog to imply differences between the two applications.

Many of the adjustments to Bing Maps seem to echo a Microsoft mission to pair traditional online cartography with real-time information from the Web. Particularly in that spirit is Twitter Maps, which displays Tweets originating from particular geographic locations; for example, typing in "New York" will display the most recent Tweets originating from Bryant Park, a Madison Avenue bar and other locations, marked by a Twitter-branded pin on the Bing Map.

Other "Map Apps" include current traffic, live traffic video feeds from across the United States, local attractions and businesses, a hotel finder, Photosynth, and Signs & Billboards. A feature called Local Lens indexes local blogs from around the country, showing events happening within particular communities.

There is also a new Bing for Windows Mobile application with "improved auto-locate and voice search". The application allows users to speak a search query into their phones and provides streamlined access to maps and driving directions, quick bookmarking of local businesses and locations for later reference, and saved favorites and recent searches.


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