Earlier in July, Microsoft launched a preview of its revamped Bing Maps on the web with many new feature and improvements. That includes new ways to search on those maps, and Microsoft has offered some more details on those specific improvements.
Here's the breakdown of the new and improved search functions in Bing Maps Preview
- Single search-box everywhere: The previous version of Bing Maps supported two search boxes (for typing in what you wanted to search for, and where you wanted to search for it) in a number of markets, and this is the top voted issue on Bing Listens. Bing Maps Preview will have a single search box in all supported markets!
- Search quality: Search consistency has improved with Bing Maps Preview, the Windows 10 Maps app and bing.com all using the same search engine. The relevance of search results has also increased, and richer information is provided to Bing Maps for businesses, places and attractions.
- Auto-suggest: Multiple improvements include using auto-suggest to select waypoints for directions; displaying icons for suggestions to better identify what they are, and including category searches in the list of suggestions (for example, if you type in "Italian", one of the suggestions includes "Italian cuisine").
- Additional search results: When you search in Bing Maps Preview, you'll see up to 20 matching results shown on a card. When there are additional search results, we show them as smaller points on the map along side the larger points associated with the results card, and clicking or tapping on them will display additional details about them. We'll be extending support for showing these smaller points to additional markets in the near future, so more Bing Maps users can benefit from them.
- Search in directions waypoints: While auto-suggest can be used to find waypoints in directions, you can also just type something into a waypoint and search will be used to find a matching location.
- Directions and traffic search: It's now easier than ever to obtain directions by typing into the search box, just like on bing.com. For example: "directions from Seattle to Portland". In Bing Maps Preview, you can even specify the mode of transport by adding it to the end: "directions from Seattle to Portland by transit". If you want to see what traffic is like, you can just type in "traffic in Portland" to enable traffic mode on the map.
- Searching along the route: It's now possible to search for things of interest close to a route, for example, restaurants and gas stations, making planning a trip much easier.
- Searching across bing.com and Bing Maps: When you search for a place on bing.com and navigate to Bing Maps Preview, the same place will show up in both locations, which wasn't always the case with the previous version of Bing Maps.
Bing Maps Preview is now available in the in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa, with more locations to be added soon. The Along the Route feature is currently just for US users.