Microsoft launches redesigned map search with apps

Dec 02, 2009 By JESSICA MINTZ , AP Technology Writer
Bing logo

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is releasing an updated version of its mapping service with street-level views and new "apps" that tack on tweets, traffic and other location-specific data.

The new version of Bing Maps, released Wednesday in a "beta" test mode, offers slicker technology so users can zoom in more smoothly from the high-up graphical map to the close-up views showing actual streets from a pedestrian or driver's .

With this version of Bing Maps, Microsoft matches Inc. in sending cars with cameras down streets to capture images of every block. Microsoft is offering that in 56 U.S. cities for now, while Google has hit all 50 states and expanded the feature overseas.

Microsoft also used lasers to scan the buildings and constructed a three-dimensional map of those cities.

That makes it possible to add on collections of images built with Microsoft's Photosynth tool, which stitches and layers together multiple photos of the same location to build a .

For the user, that means not only being able to stand in front of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, but also being able to "walk" inside to see photos of the art tourists have uploaded.

Clicking a small button at the bottom of the screen pulls up a library of Map apps. Each of the 15 or so apps currently available overlays some type of data on top of the map. One scatters pinpoints for local shops, restaurants and other businesses; another gives a view of recent Twitter messages. There's another that calls up images of roadside sculptures created by an outside site, VirtualGlobeTrotting.com.

said eventually more apps from outside developers will be available.

Bing Maps uses Silverlight, Microsoft's answer to Adobe Inc.'s Flash, so a small plug-in available for most Mac and PC browsers is required.

On the Net: http://www.bing.com/maps/explore

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft swaps pictures for text in some searches

Sep 14, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is testing a way to display some search results as galleries of moveable images instead of text links, part of its ongoing attempt to differentiate its Bing search engine from Google.

Microsoft redesigns MSN, adds Twitter, Facebook

Nov 04, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is giving its MSN Web portal a long-overdue makeover and says it hopes the new site will funnel more people to Bing, the software maker's search engine.

Microsoft adds selected 'tweets' to Bing

Jul 02, 2009

Microsoft is integrating messages from prominent users of Twitter, the hot micro-blogging service, into the results generated by its new Internet search engine Bing.

Recommended for you

European Central Bank hit by data theft

22 minutes ago

(AP)—The European Central Bank said Thursday that email addresses and other contact information have been stolen from a database that serves its public website, though it stressed that no internal systems or market-sensitive ...

Twitter admits to diversity problem in workforce

2 hours ago

(AP)—Twitter acknowledged Wednesday that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'

14 hours ago

(AP)—Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims.

Six charged in global e-ticket hacking scheme

15 hours ago

Criminal charges were filed Wednesday against six people in what authorities said was a global cyber-crime ring that created fraudulent e-tickets for major concerts and sporting events.

User comments : 0