Bing Maps: A Glimpse At The Future?
Microsoft Bing Maps just did a graphical refresh.
  • More subdued palette. Purple highways, gray streets, off-white blocks. (Previously, it used: orange highways, white/yellow streets, gray blocks).
  • Much more dramatic text sizing. Arterial streets show up at double the font size, highways show up at triple the size.
  • Dynamic labels view. The street tiles are still sent to you as images -- but the place and street labels are rendered on your computer. If you drag the map, then you can watch the labels getting generated on-the-fly. Just like Streets & Trips does ... (Note: Only available in the Silverlight beta rich client. Click "Try it now" in left pane. You may need to install Silverlight first.)

Bing Maps started off with the same Mappoint rendering engine that Streets & Trips had. Over time, they made a bunch of graphical tweaks that have not made it into S&T: antialiased text, subtle use of shadow and glow, tweaked color palette. But until now, you could still easily see the Mappoint heritage.

With the most recent changes, Bing Maps now looks quite different from Streets & Trips. Compare the two attached images -- same area, same map data source (Bing Maps is about a year newer than S&T 2010). Streets & Trips looks ever more dated in comparison. Plus, Bing Maps has zoom-on-cursor-location (and it's also got zoom-into-area -- hold down Ctrl and draw a box).

In other words, Bing Maps is slowly adding features -- in both Javascript and in a rich client. Could this be the future of Streets & Trips, one day?
Attached Images
bing.jpg   s-t.jpg  
Marvin Hlavac
The 'rumor' that the upcoming Streets and Trips 2011 will release a bit later in the year than earlier versions did, does give us hope Microsoft needs the extra time to implement some more 'serious' changes to the product. We shell see. But I'm not so sure I like the current color scheme of the Bing road map. When I saw it, my first impression was: "Hmm, something is not right, the red color is missing here!".
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