Bing and Nokia conjunctively announced today that they’re unifying their respective map designs in order to provide a clearer, more visually appealing map for their users. The lovechild of the cartographic coupling will amplify the details of the mapping service so users will more easily – at least this is the hope – find where they’re going even easier than before.
One of the most salient qualities evident in the map upgrade is how less cluttered the maps appear to be without reducing the amount of knowledge available to a user. The examples below were provided from Nokia’s announcement and, while they’re small, even at that scale you can immediately see that the image is a lot clearer and less overwhelming. The side streets aren’t so prominent and lumped together with the main roads that you’re more likely to need. The colors designating water or grassy areas seem more pastel, too, so you’re in luck if you prefer softer hues. The color enhancements will hopefully help users avoid mistaking roads for rivers (i.e., driving into rivers).
According to the Bing side of things, users will notice an improvement to the topographical details to a map. Bing hopes that the added detail of the actual landscape will help people “consume mapping details more quickly.” When you’re ready for second helpings of Bing Maps, another improvement that may serve to reanimate your appetite is the way the text is now flush with whatever level of zoom you’re using.
Bing also notes a change to the visual hierarchy on the maps. Different amounts of information will be observed depending on what degree you are zoomed in so users won’t be met with a barrage of detailed information before they need it. “Go in for detail, pull back for context,” Bing easily explains.
While the changes are going to be noticeable to people regardless of what map they’re using, Bing cites some big improvements to countries like Egypt, Israel, Malta, Philippines, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The upgrade will be rolled out gradually on Nokia web maps, first on maps.nokia.com, then later to the Bing, however, didn’t clarify if it will be gradually rolling out the changes but as far as I can tell the changes appear to be live for the website and the mobile site.s I can tell the changes appear to be live for the website and the mobile site.