Tuesday, July 12, 2011

News: Bing releases new user interface for Bing Maps

Bing has been striving over the past few months to make it available to everyone. The most apparent changes made to our task and navigation controls are based on your feedback. Bing has made it easier to find the most common actions to complete your task at hand.
For reference, here’s the previous design (pay particular attention to the top and bottom of the page):

Bing has comprised text labels for most of the buttons and it has focused on making the controls accessible while still allowing the map to be the focus of the page. Now, these improvements are introduced to Bing’s international sites with appropriate market-specific functionality.

For example, Bing Maps users in the UK will still have access to the London Street Map and Ordnance Survey styles, along with our standard Road map, via the vector style drop-down. Moreover, the public transport overlay, showing tube, DLR and tram networks are also readily available from the navigation bar when the map is centred over the greater London area.

Bing has received feedback that the users love the unique Bird’s eye 45-degree perspective, viewable from all four compass directions, as well as our high resolution Aerial imagery. As a result, Bing has improved access to these imagery types by making them directly accessible from the top of the navigation bar. Besides, switching between various road and imagery styles is easier with a single click. You can get an option to view either of the imagery styles with or without labels depending on your preference.

TIP: Automatically center the map on your current location
This is one of the most useful tips that if you’ve a browser that supports W3C Geolocation API, you’ll find a new button (called locate me) available to the left of the breadcrumb that, when clicked, will center the map on your current location as reported by your browser. Even more, you can receive the highest accuracy results comprising a pin and approximate radius when using a computer with Wi-Fi enabled.

If you wish to turn OFF the pin, you can by clicking button again. (Note: all browsers will prompt you to share your location after you click the locate me button; if you choose not to allow access, Bing Maps will be unable to center the map on your location.)
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