Microsoft hints at the future of Bing Maps

Earlier this month, Microsoft released a Bing Maps preview edition for Windows 8.1 users, adding in features such as full 3D photographic maps for 70 cities around the world and more. Now a recent post hints at even more changes in the works for future Bing Maps updates.

The blog buries the information near the end of the post, which is mostly a flashback to all of the changes and additions that Microsoft has made to Bing in the past 12 months. That included adding more information about people, places and things that can be accessed from the Snapshot database. Microsoft says that kind of access could be visible inside its maps at some point:

Moving into the future, entity knowledge will greatly enhance our mapping experiences. While our Bing Maps Preview app already takes advantage of Satori to deliver smart features like Local Scout, we have a vision for maps where everything is annotated with useful information: what buildings are called, what stores are in them, how to get in touch with those stores and when they are open. Much of this exists today in our current experiences, but further integrating entity knowledge into maps will transform digital maps from the visual representation they are today to a deep model of what the world is like.

That kind of plan is highly ambitious and it doesn't sound like it's going to be added to the service in the near future. However, it's clear that we will see a merger of more search features inside Bing Maps in the coming months and years. Indeed, the end of the blog post has Microsoft stating, "Moving forward, you will see us mapping more of everything – both the web and the real world."

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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17 Comments

They need to give users to tools to add and change the maps, at least some 3d model creation. I'd personally go out and 3d model everything in my city and surrounding areas. I'm sure there are a lot of users who'd do the same. Google has the edge on this, and I've been editing our local area for about a year now.

sagum said,
They need to give users to tools to add and change the maps, at least some 3d model creation. I'd personally go out and 3d model everything in my city and surrounding areas. I'm sure there are a lot of users who'd do the same. Google has the edge on this, and I've been editing our local area for about a year now.

agreed. crowdsourcing is the way to go.

sagum said,
They need to give users to tools to add and change the maps, at least some 3d model creation. I'd personally go out and 3d model everything in my city and surrounding areas. I'm sure there are a lot of users who'd do the same. Google has the edge on this, and I've been editing our local area for about a year now.

Before Google, Microsoft had 3D maps with user editable content. At that time, the items users added was horrible.

totally agree. I prefer google's 3d approach, the wire framed 3d models, way superior to bing's heavily textured 3d models, in term of data usage/speed and cleanness, at least currently.

the big news is that finally they care. I guess the new management realized google map's advantage is artificial and a result of simply caring to gather more data, nothing MSFT can't do...if they cared. seems they finally do.

neonspark said,
the big news is that finally they care. I guess the new management realized google map's advantage is artificial and a result of simply caring to gather more data, nothing MSFT can't do...if they cared. seems they finally do.

They have cared, but it is the top down 'caring' that has been missing.

This is Microsoft 3rd iteration of visual mapping the earth set of technologies.

The project prior to Bing was dismissed to add in Nokia mapping technologies in their upcoming partnership back in 2009/2010. Instead of phasing in the merging technologies, Virtual Earth and other projects were completely pulled offline, and now as the projects are merging, stuff Microsoft was doing 10 years ago is coming back online. (There are other projects in the same state of limbo that have valid commercial viability, for example the Microsoft World Wide Telescope and being able to view images of the universe and walk around other planets.)

Microsoft had the first image mapping of the globe, the first 3D mapping of the globe, the first 3D building mapping, the first inside building mapping, the first street view mapping, the first fly over high quality imagery, and the first high resolution non-satellite coordinated for weather and seasons to give uniform images.

Even with all the work they did, it hit too early, so when people think maps, or virtual maps, they think Google.

It is this type of stuff that was before its time. Ballmer and pet his managers killed the projects, with almost a short repetition of the past. This is an example of Ballmer's short term profit over long term investment mindset screwed Microsoft.

Mobius Enigma said,

The truth.

A very good summary. This is the point where they must deliver what they have across the board.

Sounds like integration with more publicly available oData sources.
The city where I work just exposed all their public data using an oData API.
I'd love to see that intelligently laid out on Bing Maps.

Wow this is cool! I wonder how this works competing against HERE? Unless they aren't competing since the map credit is Microsoft and Nokia.

They should get in with Amazon on the delivery drones to take video. It isn't like anyone needed any of that privacy. We aren't using all of it, anyway.

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