Bing Maps and Nokia have been developing their maptastic relationship since the partnership was announced last year. In February, the two companies collaborated to give Bing Maps a fabulous new aesthetic upgrade. Now, the pair have added a couple of new features to Bing Maps using Nokia’s backend services: traffic information and geocoding.
Foremost, Bing Maps is now offering information about traffic conditions for a total of 24 countries. The feature, which has been available in a limited number of areas around the world, is now expanded to locations around the planet. The full list of the countries now supported with Bing Maps traffic information: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The traffic conditions overlay presents real-time conditions of how congested (or not) roads are. The traffic is coded in four different colors – a gradient with red, the worst, meaning a road rage-inspiring amount of traffic to green, the best, meaning pleasantly light traffic – so as to easily determine whether or not you should consider a different route. In the U.S., users will also be able to see information about side streets.
Additionally, you may notice yellow hazard triangles on the maps; these signify events that may contribute to some heavy traffic, such as an accident or scheduled construction. By moving the mouse cursor over the triangle, you can see what type of problem is going on there. Click on the triangle and you’ll get a more detailed explanation of what’s happening at this spot.
Bing Maps also announced that it’s started using Nokia’s geocoding services so as to improve the directions that users search for. Given that this is Memorial Day weekend, this newly improved traffic information might have some incredible import for several travelers these next few days.