Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Bing Maps Preview app with over 70 3D cities

Back in June, Microsoft announced at the BUILD conference that it would launch a new version of Bing Maps with 3D support. Today, the company launched a preview version of that 3D map feature via a new app for Windows 8.1.

The Bing Maps Preview app is now available for download on the Windows Store as a Windows 8.1 exclusive. The app renders over 70 cities around the world in photo realistic 3D but don't expect to see huge cities like NYC or London in 3D in this preview app. Microsoft has concentrated on making these maps in smaller cities like Greenville, South Carolina. A full list of all the 3D rendered locations can be found on Microsoft's site. Some parts of the cities can also be seen from the ground in what Microsoft calls its Streetside viewing mode; it's their version of Google Maps' Street View.

The Bing Maps Preview also can overlay information about landmarks and places of interest on top of the 3D maps. In a post on the Next at Microsoft blog, it talks about how Microsoft's Geospatial Content and Publishing team in Boulder, Colorado came up with the 3D maps:

As you can imagine, the team doesn’t use your typical off-the-shelf point-and-shoot for these efforts. Instead, they use Microsoft’s own UltraCam Osprey to capture aerial photographs, and UltraCam Mobile for street side imagery – two world-class sensors developed and built in Graz, Austria. The latest models of UltraCam cameras create 54-megapixel images using a specially modified lens that simultaneously takes pictures straight down, as well as to the left, right, forward and backward. For every geographic point, roughly 40 overlapping pictures have been taken – a bit like an enormous PhotoSynth.

The images are then corrected back in Boulder so that the pictures look good from a top-down perspective without any visible distortion. So far, the team has created a whopping 121 trillion pixels worth of data for the Bing Maps Preview app.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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I click on any cities and it ask for permission then it says there is no app which handles "bingmaps3d". Now what?

nyolc8 said,
I click on any cities and it ask for permission then it says there is no app which handles "bingmaps3d". Now what?

Did you download the Bing Maps Preview App on the Store, keep in mind this isn't for Windows Phone either.

Well I didn't found any bing maps preview... only the stock bing maps (US store)
edit: maybe it still knows that I'm not in the US ;D

I clicked the find app in store thing, which opened the app store and found the app; quite nice and easy actually.

Disclaimer: I'm in Australia with Australian regional settings.

Pinch to zoom on the Surface 2 not overly smooth, looks nice though. Google maps still has more up to date aerials for my area, and Bing Maps still way behind on street views. That's annoying, but no biggie I guess. Hope they sync favorite pins to the phone asap, that is way overdue.

Edited by jimmyfal, Dec 5 2013, 7:50pm :

Jefferson City, MO? Thank you, Microsoft, for selecting the crappiest, most depressing city in the entire state to showcase in 3D. I'm also surprised that Austin, TX isn't part of the list rather than Longview.

Skwerl said,
Jefferson City, MO? Thank you, Microsoft, for selecting the crappiest, most depressing city in the entire state to showcase in 3D. I'm also surprised that Austin, TX isn't part of the list rather than Longview.

Does look amazing, though. I'm amazed that it's not just the important buildings, but all the trees and all the houses. Probably picked Jeff City because it's the capital, and much smaller than KCMO and St Louis.

Microsoft may get some interesting comments. The picture for "Southampton, Great Britain" shows Portsmouth, two cities that really know how to get on well!

iantrem said,
Microsoft may get some interesting comments. The picture for "Southampton, Great Britain" shows Portsmouth, two cities that really know how to get on well!

I noticed that as well, the city that the link goes to is Portsmouth so the picture is correct but the text isn't.

I guess I can't try it out, when I click the store link it doesn't show up and just takes me to the stores homepage.

George P said,
I guess I can't try it out, when I click the store link it doesn't show up and just takes me to the stores homepage.

Try to change your region to US, it should work.

Fritzly said,

Try to change your region to US, it should work.

I'll probably have to do that but then the store won't let me buy stuff unless I set it to my correct region. My EU credit card doesn't show up/register as a payment option.

George P said,

I'll probably have to do that but then the store won't let me buy stuff unless I set it to my correct region. My EU credit card doesn't show up/register as a payment option.


People have said that temporarily changing it to US, works. You would need to change it back to your region after installing the app.