Bing Maps gets some style improvements, makes roads and landmarks stand out

The Bing team has unveiled some new styling and rendering enhancements that have been made to Bing Maps. These improvements include gradient land colors, localized landmark icons, and consolidated public transit icons.

The brightness of land colors will now adjust to your zoom level. Land will be a lighter color when zoomed out, and darker when you're zoomed in. The team says that this was done not only to improve the look of the maps, but also to increase contrast, making roads and other features are more visible. As part of making maps easier to understand, park trails and roads are now clearly differentiated from one another.

Alterations have been made to how icons are displayed. For instance, icons for landmarks like banks, drug stores, and more will be culturally accurate for their location, rather than using the same landmark for every location of the same type around the world. Additionally, public transit icons have been consolidated, removing any duplicate icons.

What do you think of the styling changes made to Bing Maps? Sound off below in the comments.

Source: Bing Maps Blog

  • Can't download the update.... Oh wait :P
    It does seem faster...
  • Where's birds eye view?
  • there is a little ocon in the upper right hand corner.
  • Apple maps > Bing maps
  • Nice Joke!
  • Bing maps < apple maps
  • You got to wait
  • Looks good
  • They need to replace here maps with Bing and keep the download option. But then they'll need a GPS app as well. Most users with Lumia phones never use bing maps. Here maps is missing too many poi.
  • Nah you can just use the Bing maps app if you have WP 8.1
  • I have 8.1 and it seems no different. With 8.0 you needed a shortcut app. With 8.1 you don't. Other than that there's no difference.
  • What do you mean ? It's called maps its right there on my Nokia phone
  • But it's not used for the GPS navigation, doesn't work offline and is confusing to some users.
  • Oh ok now I see your point and I agree with you that's why I here maps instead just for offline
  • Also they are two separate apps.
  • Hmm maybe it does use here data and work offline. I guess we could technically uninstall here maps and only use Bing.
  • except that Bing maps sucks completly outside of US, like all other Bing services. Here has WAAAY more POI here in Brazil, it's not as many as Google Maps, but it's totally useful, unlike (Bing) Maps.
  • Sorry to hear that. Bing seems to have more than here in USA. Too bad the nokia acquisition didn't include here... They need to be combined.
  • I agree, since cortana uses Bing Maps, it would be fantastic to have Here POIs and all, but I doubt that since Here has not been bought by Microsoft along with Nokia mobile division as far as I know.
  • Does Cortana not give a choice? Or is that only when you're ready to travel? Still on WP8.
  • you can choose the default navigation app, but Cortana uses Bing Maps info for places around you and geofencing. and favourites, which is troublesome for me, since I already had 20+ favourite places in Here maps, but I have to re-add one by one to Bing Maps favourites for her to use them in reminders and navigation...
    talk about fractured experience. for this and the steps backwards in Photos apps and Facebook integration in both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, I asume Microsoft has abandoned the hub-everything-in-one-place thing.
  • I agree with your imagine you have several hundred placemarks in Here Maps, and imagine the implications of that.  Moreover, if many of those places were added to Here by simply using 'add current location', then recreating them in another application is a very labour-intensive process. This is a shockingly large backward step, which I hope will be rectified.  Ironically, I also have these placemarks in Google Earth, which I can export to  One would imagine this would mitigate the problem (to some degree); but alas, does not even sync with the WP8.1 Bing Maps app!
  • I prefer Bing maps here in US. When I zoom in, it shows all the POIs on the map like Google Maps. HERE Maps has really bad implementation of POIs function. It doesn't show the names of the POIs on the map until you press on them. Another useful feature on Bing Maps is the arrow always showing the direction you're heading at. Bing Maps is faster to open than HERE maps. I didn't like WP8 Bing Maps but the Bing Maps in WP8.1 is much improved.
  • I agree. In Denmark, Europe it is the same.
    I only use Bing when Google is not available. Search results have a US-taste to them, promoting eg. English Wikipedia results and .com domains over the native ones.
    It is not useable.
  • Is Denmark big enough to even need a map?  :)
  • That is exactly the type of comment I like. :-)
  • Seriously, other than the climate, I'd proababy enjoy living in Denmark. Do the Danes hate us Americans too? They probably just tolerate us because they have no other choice and who could blame them? 
  • kurtd
    How drunk are we today? ;)
    Replace Here maps with Bing maps. Maybe Bing maps works great somewhere, like out in the province (US) But here in the civilized world Bing maps are totally and completely useless.
    Here maps and drive finds the spot everytime.
    But if MS makes it an option, ok.
    You use Bing and I use Here, but replacing Here with Bing? NO
  • I'm pretty sure Bing maps uses HERE maps data.
  • Apparently they don't share poi.
  • People use Bing maps?!
  • I exclusively use it!
  • Me too!
  • Me three!
  • I don't like the thick non-transparent lines they use to designate roads in satelite view.  You can't see actual lanes which makes it hard to determine routing in many situations.  In those circumstances I usually ned to hold my nose and use Google Maps.  
  • They can make all these enhancements all they want, but ill never be happy until Bing maps (or Nokia HERE maps) can display my correct address at home or at work. So far, only google and apple maps can accurately show my correct address. Everything on this platform is off by a few doors as far as street addresses are concerned. See my thread about the issue here:
  • I thought apple were using Bing for searches/maps etc?
  • Only for web search afaik
  • I haven't heard that, but if so, I find it strange that Apple maps and Bing maps gives me two entirely different street addresses for my "home" location.
  • GPS without corrections isn't that accurate. I believe iOS uses WiFi hotspot data to aid the GPS/cell location data
  • Apple makes use of data from Tom Tom...Bing uses Here data which is actually Navteq data...
  • Why not manually enter your address?
  • How? I wish I could!
  • ¿?¿?¿?When are they going to add Birds eye view?¿?¿?¿
  • They are waiting for birds to migrate this winter first.
  • That makes sense. Thanks
  • Here maps after the recent updates has become a headache. The voice assistance is very irritating. Here maps are not accurate, but because they offer offline maps we use it.
  • Bing lets you download maps too.
  • The bad thing (not to all) about here is that they don't show any POI on the map. Besides, they don't have any way to submit corrections too, just like bing maps.
  • Here Map creator:
  • I've complained to Nokia and MS several times about this. There should be a button for this right in the context menu. HERE Maps actually has a Feedback button, but it just asks you how likely you'd be to recommend the app. That button should be where you go to offer corrections.
  • Use the link provided above by Daniel Winn...thats where you make corrections...
  • Right. The point is that this functionality should be part of the app. At the very least, the app's Feedback button should take you to a mobile optimized version I that site. They'd get many, many more corrections and updates if people could instantly report from the app.
  • STILL no Whatsapp? What on Earth is Microsoft playing at? The 630 is being released in multiple regions right now, and the most popular messaging app is not available for it. They should have committed serious resources to getting this fixed before the weekend. Fools. I'm glad Microsoft bought out Nokia. I felt sorry for Nokia, watching their good name dragged through the mud by Microsoft's stupid approach to a highly complex and fast paced business. I would move to Android if it wasn't for my even greater disdain for Google.
  • Show us the places on Bing maps where Lumia 630 is being sold this weekend.
  • Well, it is selling in the Carphone Warehouse across the UK for £79.95 on pay as you go upgrade...(one of the biggest mobile phone retailers). The handset is getting a real positive buzz - and is definitely making some headway against the Moto E and G But you can bet that as soon as people find out Whatsapp is unavailable (and has been for a WEEK!), sales will tank. That'll be a big shame for the rest of us who are invested in the ecosystem. Frankly, all of this other news is superfluous. WPCentral should be berating Microsoft for not getting this issue resolved. Windows Phone support on Twitter just dismiss peoples questions - saying it's Whatsapp's issue!! No it isn't; it's WP's shitty notification system that is the issue. Joe Belfiore could have spoken out too --- he should have said on XX date, Whatsapp will return. But no, it's just quiet... Poor form - and a kick in the teeth for the platform.
  • Hey chill, dude. You're far off topic, and your comment does and will not help at all.
  • I am just amazed that WPCentral isn't speaking out about this --- and pressuing Microsoft etc for answers. Whatsapp being unavailable for a week already is going to completely undermine all of the positive buzz that came from the WP8.1 launch. As a person who has invested heavily in the platform - and got other people to switch - I am blown away by how ineptly this is being addressed.
  • He makes a bloody good point. Pressure works.
  • Get some life, can't you last without some phone app for a few weeks? You need help
  • I have Whatsapp on my 1020. I am writing from the perspective of being a WP advocate that can no longer recommend WP devices. I have now held off on recommending Windows Phone devices to two friends simply because of this Whatsapp issue (as far as I know, they have now gone for a Moto G and some oldish iPhone). It is the biggest messaging platform on the planet....yet has been off Windows Phone for a whole week. Worse though is that no-one seems to be bothering to tell us when such things are going to be fixed. It's the lack of timeline and communication that is really annoying. Microsoft have invested all that effort and money into Cortana (which is only available in the US anyway), yet have completely overlooked the impact of losing such a tier 1 app from the store. Belfiore needs to get a grip & get the app re-released.
  • Totally agree with you dude. Not having whatsapp is as crippling as sms or the actual phone not working out of the box. I couldn't believe it, I finally convinced the missus to get a WP to replace her ageing iPhone and guess the fuck what? No whatsapp. Full credit to her she's gonna stick it out until it comes back but her initial thoughts are POS. Its a bigger deal than people think and is seriously hurting the platform
  • I have the HTC 8X and don't notice anything different... Running 8.1, maybe it hasn't come to the 8X?
  • how to use bing maps can anyone tell me??? i'm using cortana (search button)..where is the option of bing maps
  • Just search your app list for maps.
  • both HERE Maps and Bing maps are the same for my country as if we are downloading the maps from the same source ( they have the same data, errors, incorrect roads etc). they can be used Offline as well, 
  • I rather use HERE. And if need be, Google Maps on the browser. Both are better options than Bing Maps in Europe.
  • I Love Google maps wish it was on Windows phone! Here for me in the USA gives me the longest route. Bing maps is okay but I like street view.
  • No official apps but there are Google map option. Look on the store.
  • I use both Bing, Here maps and Here Drive. Nice to see the Bing update. I have no use for whatsapp that I know of. I text people or FB msg them. I'm not sure that any of my friends are on whatsapp. I just got the Viper app, and looking forward to remote starting my car from the train, so that all the snow is melted by the time I arrive in the station. Also, looking forward to the Insteon app coming soon, and of course we all cant wait for WP8.1 Official release. Dont get me wrong I love the preview, but Official will be a great day! Microsoft, PLEASE BUY NETFLIX! (and then partner with Dish)  
  • Is there bing map in windows phone store, can anybody send me the link!!!
  • Seems still. Nothing improved for asian countries. Btw, last month i used here drive to find a shortcut route to home, and it led me to jungle (sort of). Really funny.
  • the one thing I'd like to see Satya address this year is the lameness of bing maps compared to google maps. It feels so far behind that one wonders if MSFT realizes you cannot be a mobile powerhouse without challenging google maps. In particular, all the cortana and other location services suck because the rely on bing maps.
  • Still no maps for Pakistan
  • I switched to Here Maps with WP8, but like the updated Bing Maps so much more, I've switched back.
  • The improvements sound great. Can't wait to try them out. The only question I have is, does it have turn-by-turn voice navigation?
  • It connects to whatever navigation app you have.
  • Bing maps on 8.1 is officially my fav maps app. Goodbye Here.
  • Last. What is behind all of these changes? It's due to the Nokia purchase?
  • Can I add/edit places/Road of Bing map like Google map?
  • Anyone know,how can I deactivate Nokia Maps and use Bing Maps instead in Lumia?
  • In WP8.0, you can download Bing Maps (third party) in the store to bring it back. With 8.1, it's integrated.
  • I don't know about other parts of the world but the map versions for Taiwan/China are missing so much stuff and are so inaccurate that they are basically useless. POIs, missing Metro lines, don't have Bus/Public transport like Google has. They also lack the level of interactivity GMaps offer (Like when you click on a bus stop and Google shows you all the buses etc.). They are a disgrace. I don't think some embellishment is going to fix that.
  • Spinzerall. This posting thread us not about WhatsApp its about Bing maps post about WhatsApp Ina wgatsapp thread please
  • Bing stopped working in general after 8.1 with me so I don't think I have that