If you’re a Bing Maps user, you might notice some changes to the service’s aesthetic as well as some updated transit information. At first, I have to imagine that these design changes are to further distinguish Bing Maps from Google Maps, which the last redesign they announced did pretty noticeably but those changes were purely to the maps themselves. Changing the way information is overlaid on the maps takes Bing Maps another step out from Google’s shadow and with Facebook using Bing Maps primarily these days, it’s probably a good chance for Bing to start making people take notice.
Immediately, when you search for a place on Bing Maps you’ll notice that the pushpins look a little different. No longer do they look like bulging word bubbles tethered to the map but rather simple spheres hovering above the location. Bing Maps provided the before-and-after comparison below, with the older version on the left and the updated version on the right.
Down to the details, the search results are now designated with a blue pushpin, whereas user-generated and saved content, such as bookmarks in your “My places” tab, will appear as orange pushpins. The new colors for the pushpins stand out a little better on the maps but the new design also has the effect of increasing the contrast of the pushpins with the numbers inside the pushpins. If you’re signed into your account, your bookmarked locations from “My places” will be intermingled with your search results when you click on that tab in the left column.
Another major difference you’ll notice is how you see names and pertaining information of a location when you click on a pushpin. When you click on a pushpin to see the information, the pushpin itself diminished so you can see more of what’s underneath it while a black box opens up to show you the name and other info related to that pin.
The black info box is a change from Bing Maps previous design, which was a white box with a smaller blue box laid within it that contained more information. The new layout has used space a little more conservatively while also making the information stand out and easier to read.
(Additionally, that new font used in the update is sharp.)
If you switch from map to satellite view, the color scheme of the information box will invert the colors so that the information remains easy to read.
As if that wasn’t enough of an update, Bing Maps also included some subtle changes to how directions appear when you’re traveling via public transit. Namely, they’ve added colors to the routes you’ll be using so that they reflect the colors of the actual signage of the station or line you need. As you’ll see in the example below, it’s a little clearer that a traveler going from East Williamsburg in New York City should take the L line (aka, 14th Street – Canarsie Local) because, well, the actual logo associated with the L line shows up in the map.
Well, world, go out there and find something and have all the trouble in the world getting lost with these new updates at your disposal.