US: Bing Maps improved its cartographic aesthetics, according to Chris Pendleton, Bing Maps Technical Evangelist for Microsoft Corporation. In his blog, he stated, “The new map type is cool as a cucumber. It is like chewing a whole pack of Orbit mint gum while getting your entire body exfoliated with cucumber scrub in an ice chamber. Feels good, doesn’t it? We certainly hope you enjoy it.”
The new map type has two experiences that differ between the AJAX version of Bing Maps and the Silverlight experience. The AJAX maps are rendered completely as a new set of map tiles and displayed through the AJAX interface.
The Silverlight experience has a combination of both raster tiles AND vector graphics rendered in the browser at run time. However, there is a beta option to try the new base map with neighbourhoods hovering over them as text, which we call dynamic labels. The dynamically labelled neighbourhoods are clickable and zoom users down to the respective region making it easier to further explore an area or neighbourhood of a city. Bing is just peeling away at the onion one data layer at a time. And, users will see these maps start to spread across Bing such as our Local Search.
The new map includes:
– Cool colours visually recede allowing warmer overlays to come forward – An elegant backdrop for information delivery and helps content ‘pop’ on the map.
– Road colour provides greatest differentiation scientifically from red, yellow, green traffic overlays.
– De-saturation on zoom allows more continuous transition to photographic material (Aerial, Birdseye, Streetside) and allows user to focus on street level detail better.
– Designed to work in black and white and to be differentiated by those with the most common forms of colour blindness.
– Crisp/easy to read font, larger font corresponds to larger roads.
– Lower cognitive load – Less data / clearer details.
– Improved international coverage: Data updates deliver improved road and street detail across Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, Oceania and Asia.