Microsoft has introduced a number of improvements to Bing Maps, chief among which is making “venue maps” more obvious. Microsoft says there are roughly 900 venue/interior maps on Bing focused primarily on “malls, airports, casinos and shopping districts.” Google has a similar initiative but it’s focused on Google Maps for Android for the time being.
Below is a comparison of Bing’s Mall of America interior map and Google Map’s version of the same site (the Android version offers the interior the PC version does not):
Clearly the Bing experience above is more desirable. In New York, Bing Maps offers this kind of treatment in and around Times Square. Any area marked in purple contains an interior map or store identification.
This kind of presentation adds utility but also threatens clutter if overused. Another company called CityMaps is taking a similar approach to the above and illustrates the latter danger in my opinion.
Additional changes and improvements being rolled out on Bing Maps include the following:
- Identification of popular businesses and locations (for local discovery)
- Addition of semi-transparent 3D buildings (this is a feature that Google Maps has offered for some time)
- Faster zoom