Bing Maps Makes It Easier To See Map Features & Distinguish Park Trails From Streets

bing-airport-maps-featured Last Friday, Bing Maps announced new stylistic updates, designed to make its maps easier to read. Among the new style features, Bing has added more color gradient, adjusting the brightness of a land area depending on the zoom level. From the announcement: The land color will now be lighter when zoomed out and get darker when zoomed in at higher levels of detail. Not only do these updates improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the maps, but they also help increase the contrast, making streets and other features more visible. Bing Maps Color Gradient for Land Areas - Before and After: [...]


Bing Adds Directions Driving Directly In Search Results

bing-airport-maps-featured Bing announced they now offer driving directions in the form of a quick answer directly in the Bing search results. For example, last week, I drove from New York to Toronto and I wanted to tell how long the drive was. So all you need to do is search for [nyc to toronto] and Bing will tell you it is about 7 hours and 31 mins and 491 miles. Clicking on the map will take you to Bing's turn-by-turn driving directions, and it also works when you try it from your Windows Phone, iPhone and/or Android devices. Here is a picture: Of course, Google has offered a similar experience for a whi [...]


Microsoft’s $15 Million Check-in: Will Redmond Buy Foursquare?

microsoft-foursquare-featured Microsoft has invested $15 million in Foursquare and said it will license the former's location data according to news released yesterday. Foursquare aspires to be "the location layer for the internet." With real-time feedback about local data accuracy, based on user movements and check-ins, Foursquare is becoming a stronger and stronger source of local information. However I wouldn't necessarily agree with the notion that Foursquare's data are the most accurate in the market. Google and Yelp may still have better data -- although I suspect Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley would dispute that. [...]


Microsoft Photosynth Creator Agüera y Arcas Joining Google

Blaise Agüera y Arcas Last night, the NY Times reported that the man primarily responsible for Microsoft's Photosyth product, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, is joining Google. Agüera y Arcas is not simply an engineer or technician, he offers a rare combination of technical expertise, design and product vision. Agüera y Arcas joined Microsoft when his 2003 startup, Seadragon, was acquired by Microsoft Research in 2006. The next year, that technology launched as Photosynth, one of the most innovative software tools or products Microsoft had then produced to date. Unfortunately, the Photosynth never caught on among [...]


Following Android Refresh, Bing Intros New iPad Experience

bing-ipad-featured Last week, Bing refreshed its Android app. Today, Bing announced an upgrade of its app for the iPad. The primary driver of the redesign was iOS 7 and the aesthetics of the new Bing app are intended to match the new Apple OS. One of the most promoted new features, as on the Android app, is the ability to save the Bing daily image as homescreen or lockscreen wallpaper on the device. (This was apparently an often-requested feature.) In addition bookmarks can be saved/synced via Skydrive so that they can be accessed on other devices. The new app also permits sharing of search results via Fac [...]


Bing Brings Enhanced Mapping To Windows 8.1

Bing Maps Preview Yesterday Microsoft announced "Bing Maps Preview" for Windows 8.1 (including tablets). The new mapping app offers a range of enhanced features and capabilities. It seeks to bring highly realistic, 3-D imagery together with a more intuitive UI. Google Earth and what used to be called Microsoft Virtual Earth have always been a bit slow and clunky as daily mapping and local search tools. Now with Bing Maps Preview Microsoft is trying to merge the daily, mundane world of local search with the more imaginative and leisure uses of 3D mapping (virtual sightseeing, travel planning). Microsoft sa [...]


Bing Integrates TripAdvisor Tools, Content Into Search Results

bing-tripadvisor-featured Travel site TripAdvisor made two Microsoft-related announcements today. The company announced a Windows 8.1 app. But more significantly TripAdvisor and Bing are now presenting TripAdvisor content and travel search capabilities within Bing search results pages. Bing will now display TripAdvisor reviews and photos as well as TripAdvisor's hotel price comparison tool in SERPs. TripAdvisor's full content library including restaurants, hotels and attractions will reportedly be available to Bing. TripAdvisor said this on its blog about the Bing integration: In the U.S., we are partnering with [...]


Bing Ads Express Available To Agencies, Resellers

bing-ads-new-240px As of this week, agencies and resellers can begin offering access to the Bing Ads Express beta to their clients. Launched in early October, Bing Ads Express is an automated platform for small businesses to have a basic presence on Bing Ads. Ads are tied to Bing Places for Business listings, and companies without websites can opt to link the ad to their Facebook page. Agencies and resellers will be able to manage client listings in Bing Places and on the Yahoo Bing Network in bulk with a spreadsheet that can then be uploaded to a Bing Ads Express account. The platform will automatically cla [...]


The Curious Case Of Bing Search Results In Google Search Results

google-bing-featured Over the weekend, Bill Hartzer noticed that some Google searches returned Bing search results. As of last night, Google search results are once again Bing-free. What happened? Taking a closer look, the Bing search results weren't www.bing.com/search URLs, which are correctly blocked by Bing's robots.txt file. They were coming from www.bing.com/entities/search. This pattern is not blocked, which is how the related URLs ended up indexed by Google. As for why those URLs are no longer indexed? Google may have noticed and pulled them. But what are these /entities URLs? They seem to be a hybri [...]


Bing Places Expands To Canada, UK

bing-2013-logo-featured Bing Places is finally available beyond U.S. borders. The company announced today that local businesses in Canada and the United Kingdom -- and search marketing agencies that work with local businesses there -- can use Bing Places to add and manage local business listings for inclusion in Bing's search results. Before today, Bing Places was only available inside the U.S. When adding a new business listing via BingPlaces.com, the form now supports the additional countries, as you can see here: A Microsoft account is required to add or edit listings in Bing Places. It supports bulk [...]


Bing Brings Faster Search Results, Infinite Image Scrolling, Snapshot & More To Windows Phone 8

bing-mobile-featured Bing announced a number of new upgrades today for the Windows Phone 8, including search feature design updates, infinite scrolling for images and videos, ten new "Instant Answers" topics, and a new mobile version of Bing's "Snapshot" feature that offers at-a-glance information. With the new updates, tapping the Search feature on a Windows Phone 8 now will display only three result categories: Web, Images and Videos. Microsoft said the Local, Media and Shopping categories have been removed because, "...many people just don't use them." The intention is to reduce confusion by streamlining vie [...]


Bing Maps Adds New Bird’s Eye Imagery, Venue Maps & A Report A Problem Feature

bing-maps Bing Maps announced a number of new additions today, including a more expansive collection of Bird's Eye Imagery locations, new Venue Maps and a Report a Problem feature. According to Bing, the search engine has published 1,452,948 sq km of Bird's Eye images from around the world with the largest collection posted today, offering users the chance to explore locations from Rome to Toledo, Ohio:    Bing Maps also boasts more than 4,700 Venue Maps in over 59 countries, allowing users detailed views of specific points of interest, like amusement parks, zoos, and sports arenas. On [...]


Bing Relaunches Places For Business

bing-places Bing announced they have relaunched the Bing Business Portal under a new name, "Bing Places For Business." The change doesn't currently do much with your listings, outside of move the location of where you manage your business Bing Maps listing to bing.com/places. It also removes some features that were available in Bing Business Portal including: Ability to creating deals Features to add coupons Print QR codes Create your own mobile sites Ability to create and print collateral Bing did say that this is the first step in their "effort to provide you with all the tools you need [...]


14 Ways Facebook Homes In On Local Search

With the announcement of Facebook Home, Facebook has pushed the accelerator on its local mobile strategy, which was already in high gear, thanks to Facebook Local Search and its big brother, Facebook Graph Search. By the end of 2013, I expect the social media giant to further strengthen its hold as the #2 local search app; so, it might behoove local marketers to get a handle on exactly how their businesses are showing up in Facebook these days. There are numerous ways that local business data makes it into Facebook, including: "Link" buttons on local business sites "Share on Facebook" [...]


Bing Maps Adds Variety Of Hi-Res Image Improvements

bing logo Bing Maps has announced a series of updates to its high-resolution imagery, including expanded coverage, better mapping of ocean floors, cloud filtering and more. The prime features that Bing is touting involve what it calls "top of the world" imagery -- those hi-res, top-down images. Improvements there include: Cloud cover filtering: Bing processes its base satellite imagery and reduces cloud cover in areas where views are often blocked by persistent cloud cover. Bing's example photos of Oahu show how that works: Another improvement involves the addition of ocean topography from [...]


The Mysterious Relationship Between Bing Business Portal And Nokia Prime Place

Blue Pin People have strongly criticized Google for confusing local marketers by having two places to update and enhance local business information (Google Places, Google+ Local Pages). But there's also something confusing about what Microsoft appears to be doing in local listings management. The company appeared to be trying to establish the Bing Business Portal as the definitive place to claim, correct or enhance local business information on Bing. But Microsoft's relationship with Nokia has complicated things. Nokia has a comparable local listings on-boarding mechanism called "Nokia Prim [...]


Trying To Get There From Here: Nokia And Mapquest Launch New Maps Products

Nokia here Globally there are arguably four main digital mapping competitors: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. Google is the clear leader. However Nokia is making a renewed bid to challenge Google's mapping supremacy with a rebranded platform "Here," new APIs, a Google Street View-like offering, augmented reality and new apps for third party smartphone operating systems. Apple is busy trying to fix its recently launched maps and seems to be making some progress. Bing, after aggressively investing in maps for several years, now seems to be outsourcing key parts of its mapping infrastructure to Nokia [...]


Everybody With A Maps App Is Piling On Apple

apple-maps-square It's a marketing tactic that's about as old as time itself: When a competitor stumbles, you turn it into opportunity for self-promotion. That's certainly been the case since the Apple Maps app stumbled out of the gate a week ago on iOS 6. Bing is the latest competitor to call for attention. The company published a new blog post today touting its Bing App for iOS -- not because it has any new features, but because "you may be holding a brand new smartphone and wondering which apps have the essential search and mapping functionality you need." Bing wants everyone to know that its existi [...]


iPhone 5 Won’t Change Mobile Search, But Can Nokia?

With the launch of the iPhone 5, perhaps the most eagerly awaited electronics launch ever, speculation has been rampant on the impact it'll have on the mobile phone market, on Apple's future as an innovator post-Steve Jobs, and on the coolness of the next gadget to get dropped into your pocket. But from a mobile search perspective, iPhone 5 is pretty much more of the same. A more effective version of Siri will be standard in the new phone's iOS 6 - but that was a game changer from the iPhone 4s. iPhone 5 has certainly caused a sales storm, pushing more smartphones into more pockets. B [...]


Confirmed: Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Tablets To Use Bing As Default Search Engine

bing logo Ubergizmo is reporting that Bing (not Google) will be the default search engine for the Amazon browser on the new Kindle tablets.  (We were able to confirm this with Microsoft directly earlier this evening.) The original Kindle Fire used Google. Amazon is likely to sell several million of these new devices given their aggressive pricing (partly subsidized by ads). If so, that could provide a boost to Bing, especially in a mobile/quasi-mobile context. There are several alternative browsers currently available for Kindle Fire/HD including Opera, Maxthon and Dolphin. I would anticipate tha [...]


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