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Microsoft Bing Maps Receives Cool New Update

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Microsoft-owned Bing Maps has received a new update that brings live traffic feed.

This latest update will utilize 35,000 cameras installed across eleven countries.

Microsoft Corporation launched Bing Maps four years ago and it is Google Maps’ first rival in the market. The Microsoft mapping service therefore has to offer more and better services than its Apple Maps and Google Maps rivals. Apparently it appears that Google holds a big customer base in terms of providing mapping solutions; however, the Redmond-based company has been sprucing up its Maps app by adding several features over the year 2015. For instance, last week, Microsoft included new features on the app that made commuting plans easier for people relying on public transport. In July, Bing Maps also redesigned its maps to be intuitive and more touch-friendly, closely resembling Google Maps via a preview phase.

35,000 live cameras across 11 countries

The addition of live camera feeds gives a clearer idea of the traffic flow. This feature, in addition to the congestion analytics that gives prediction of a route’s traffic will be based on real time and also historical data. The users will be able to view real-time traffic snapshots that are provided by over 35,000 cameras that are installed across 11 countries.

To utilize this service, users must have the Bings Maps application installed on their devices. At the top of the app, a tap on the Traffic button enables the user to study the traffic in the cities that are featured. Once turned on, the Traffic layer enables users to get live traffic updates by zooming in on specific roads. In order to compare traffic of the different areas included on the map, the user can pull up multiple camera feeds just from the same city to display them on a single screen. Better still, to get a clear and better view of the roads, the user has the option of switching the camera size to give him or her displays ranging from small to large.

The earlier editions of Bing Maps could extrapolate data that could give predictions on what might be expected along the traffic, but with the update of live camera feeds, the users can configure specific routes and go through the cameras that are along that route. Interestingly, the app also highlights businesses such as restaurants, hotels, gas stations as well as scenery sites, all along any route that one covers; a feature that Bing Maps apparently does better than Google Maps.

The user is also able to compare traffic routes. The user taps on ‘return to summary’ and then the ‘Recently viewed cameras’ will display to enable one study, compare and choose the desired route.

Four color-coded categories of traffic

The app has separated the levels of traffic into four-color coded groups. Red color indicates heavy traffic, orange color for moderate traffic, yellow color for light traffic and green color for no traffic. Having the right information from these traffic cameras enables the road users to plan better and quicker maneuvers. It saves time and prevents people from getting stuck in heavy traffic as they can be avoided when detected early enough by using alternative routes or means.

Despite the fact that traffic cameras are common nowadays, the idea of incorporating the live cameras into the mapping apps offers quick and precise assessment of traffic as compared to relying on algorithms or other data forms that are not always accurate.

Since Microsoft availed Windows 10, which incorporates updated and amazing features, the $433 billion Corporation has seen growth in its client base. These improvements on Bing Maps aim to catch up with Apple Maps and Google Maps and in one way or another, will boost its user stickiness.