Bing Maps continues its journey of constant self improvement today with the release of the latest version preview for Windows 8.1. As this is a preview of the next big release, you can expect to see a ton of new features coming to Bing Maps in the future.
First and foremost, Bing says that it’s working with multiple parties, including the video game industry, to better improve its bird’s eye imagery. This will allow Bing to shorten the time it takes from collecting imagery taken by airplanes to converting said imagery into 3D environments for you to explore.
To better take advantage of Bing Maps’ 3D vantage points, you can now change your viewing perspective. For example, here’s what Mt. St. Helens looks like in 3D when viewed from the side. You can now see just how high the mountain is compared to the surrounding area.
Streetside view has also received a healthy update with a new feature that Bing calls “bubble view.” When you’re looking at bird’s eye imagery in Bing Maps, you can now click on a street to see a small preview of that street’s Streetside view in a bubble. When you click on said bubble, you’ll be taken directly to the Streetside imagery.
With this being Bing Maps, you can expect to see Bing search show up on the side. This allows you to search for restaurants, venues and other locations while receiving a route overlay to your desired destination.
Speaking of traveling, you can save routes in Bing Maps. Upon being saved, Bing Maps will notify you in Windows 8 if there’s an expected travel delay on that route and let you know how long the travel time will be.
Bing Maps is also integrating with Local Scout, Satori, Skype and Open Table to provide you with an easy way to call and book restaurant reservations, call hotels and more without ever leaving the app.
If you want to see more of what the new Bing Maps has to offer, check out Microsoft’s video tour:
To check out the new Bing Maps preview for Windows 8.1, you can just simply download it from the Windows Store.
[Image: Bing Blog]