Microsoft's Bing Maps still has gaps in Bird's Eye photos

2013 has just started, but people are already planning their vacations to various locations. Two of the most popular tourist cities in the US are Los Angeles and Las Vegas. However, if vacationiers are using Microsoft's Bing Maps, they may find that their photo information is still incomplete.

We were checking out Bing Maps in downtown LA and saw the massive LA Live complex next to the LA Convention Center and Staples Center. It includes a large 52 story hotel and the big Nokia Theater venue. If you view LA Live in Bing Maps's Aerial Mode it looks like this

However, if you switch over to the Bird's Eye view, which is supposed to offer a better angle to view the area, you can see that LA Live is still in the early stages of construction. The Nokia Theater was completed in 2008 and the 54 story hotel was finished in early 2010.

To be fair, if you move the viewpoint on the map in Bird's Eye view, you get a picture of LA Live in a more advanced level of construction but still well behind its current status several years later.

It's the same situation when we checked out the Las Vegas Strip. The CityCenter complex, completed in late 2009, was in full view in Bing Maps' Aerial View:

However, that's not the case if you switch over to Bird's Eye view. CityCenter is still a big dirt space on the strip:

It's important to point out that Windows 8 and Windows RT owners who use the included Map app see the old Bird's Eye photos of both locations, rather than the updated photos that Microsoft has for the Aerial View. We also checked with Google Maps and Apple's iOS Maps and both services had LA Live and CityCenter fully in place in their photo maps.

We have contacted Microsoft to find out if they plan to update the Bing Maps photos for these major landmarks in LA and Las Vegas in both the desktop Bird's Eye view as well as inside the Maps app in Windows 8.

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12 Comments

Google may be correct for the location you checked but it's certainly not correct in all locations. Just take a look at the new park and Musem Tower in downtown Dallas and you will see all kinds of holes in Google Maps (and Bing as well).

This is just the usual "try to find something wrong to create the news" bit. Apple had big headlines over their maps because it was completely broken - they didn't have landmarks such as the Statue Of Liberty, a landmark that predated satellite imagery. But not update an image for a few years, and that is big news. Looking at my house on Google, a car that I sold back in 2010 can be seen sitting in the driveway. The location of my car is not as important as a the Nokia Theater, etc. but the data is correct in most instances and just a bit out of date.

I would rather have a 4 year old image that is missing some data, than an image that is missing 125 year old data.

The Museum Tower in Dallas is not completed yet...the buildings we mentioned have been finished for at least three years and some have been done longer than than

Yup, the CrossIron Mills mall near Calgary, AB Canada is not on Bing maps, yet they have the map of the interior.

Guess this is what happens when you partner with third parties for data.

This is an issue why?..... things get built all the time, you can't have MS have a mapping company go fly over and map them every time something changes.... birds eye isn't from a sat, it's usually a plane flying over taking pictures at a specific angle... takes a lot longer then a sat in space that can be queued to do it... this takes someone physically flying a mapping plane over the area...

maps are never accurate, things change to fast, all you can get is close enough

Having "gaps" (data a couple of years old) in birds eye is hardly an issue considering how much they cover... I'm not sure the competition even do birds eye. I'd much rather they cover twice as much and have it a little out of date.

Also google's and apple's offerings aren't the same as birds eye.

My Google street view images are 5 years old now but I understand it takes a long time to refresh all of that sort of thing.

I`m actually surprised at how old aerial photos are.
I remember when I first got a cellphone that had Google Maps and GPS, at work trying it out, I run a small metal boat and push bundles of logs around, and it sshowed my position, and although I didn`t expect it to be live, I did however notice something that something showing on the map at that time, had actually been gone for over 5 years already, 5 to 7 years I think it was.
You`d think stuff would be updated more often really.

Thats just like Google Maps, the photos for streetview in my town were taken in July 2009, however we have recently got new aerial photos taken in July 2012.

Considering how much of the world is mapped like this, from multiple angles, updating the photos every couple of years on a service that is provided for free is more than acceptable.

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