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Bing Maps now powered by Nokia for traffic and geocoding

Today Nokia has announced that their mapping data, specifically traffic info and geocoding ability (more on that in a bit) is powering Microsoft's Bing Mapping services. While this collaboration has been in the works since the Nokia-Microsoft partnership was announced, we're now seeing the results of it.

In short, if you launch your Bing Maps (either on the web or your Windows Phone) and enable Traffic, you'll notice two things right away:

  1. New color codes - green, yellow and red (maybe black?)
  2. More detail - Where once only major roads have it, now we're seeing our local streets with live traffic data

Nokia is now offering what was before only available in their Nokia Maps app to everyone who uses Bing. What's more, that info is available in 24 countries including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK and US.

Besides traffic, there's also geocoding which is something that's very important and here's why: geocoding algorithms take latitude and longitude information and connect them to a "readable address"--basically that whole ability to translate your GPS coordinates into a usable street number and name. Many apps use it, including what powers Foursquare or any app that sends your location e.g. WhatsApp. In theory now, it should be more accurate and help with directions too.

All in all this is great news for everyone on Windows Phone and anyone who uses Bing. We're looking forward to more of this Nokia-Microsoft partnership.

Read more at Nokia Conversations

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • nice!!
  • How long before a purchase, whole or substantial stake, OR new company is formed like the Barnes&Noble Nook deal?
  • Espectacular!!! GRAN TRABAJO!
  • Great!!!
  • this is nothing new , just a rebranding !
    1. ive had trafic sints MANGO.
    2. the Colour changed happened last winter.
    3. and ive been seeing trafic on side streats  from mango as well...
    whats new aside from NOKIA just slaping their name on BING maps?
  • Well it's Nokia that provides the maps to Bing Maps from their 8.1 billion euros buy from 2007, called Navteq that's world second largest mapping company.
    I guess at this point they had covered enough of countries and it wasn't just on beta stage anymore so they made it official. Nokia's other platforms have had these since 2008.
  • yeah and i notice they also added: geocoding witch is nice.
  • There are other countrys outside yours!! And they dont have the same complete information powered by Bing (and other thins too) than you have acess.
  • lmao . NO! canada is the only country!!!! lmao! obviously not!
    im just pointing out , its not a new service.. its a new support for diffrent countryes....
    the article passes it off as new feature,  does are 2 diffrent things. 
    and why do you guys feel so offended?    you guys make me laught
  • @ Se1fcr3ation Sorry you're wrong. First off, are you suggesting that Nokia is just lying and making up crap here? I mean really..."this is nothing new", c'mon Second, yes it is new. I use traffic nearly everyday as I'm in NYC-Metro and have to.  There was no orange color till recently and now my side streets have traffic data whereas they didn't a few days ago, so sorry but there is a big change it picks up accident info.
  • hmm .. no im not.
     ive had trafic on my streat ( side streat ) for EVER!
    . so maybe CANDA just had it before the rest of the world.
      I use it EVERY DAY to get home because the roads I take to get home are really random on trafic. ive even been comparing it  to google maps on my G-f's GS2.
    im not tryign to argue , im just tellling you what WE have had for a while.
    The Orange colour might be new , but  YOU dont even mention it in your article. so maybe edit that part.
  •  Se1fcr3ation, just go away're getting annoying. The world doesn't revolve around you nor your experience. Great, there's nothing new for you but for a lot of people in many countries, this is new. Next time just say: "I'm not noticing anything new on my end" and leave it at that instead of acting like you represent all of Canada, k? Because at least in Toronto, this is new and I'm betting it's the same for some other regions...
  • and that’s exactly what i said and you guys got all offended... for a lead editor... you sure get jumpy quickly. not to mention im entitle to my opinion so you know what to do next....  
  • You said it in an "assholish" way, not in a nice way. Also you respond like a child, or an uneducated troll. Either way, you're an annoyance to many. •sits back waiting for childish reply•
  • Se1fcr3ation is all over the forums.  He is anything but an asshole.  I'm thinking he was simply misunderstood this time.  The guy is overly helpful and the biggest WP fan on the planet.  I hope you guys haven't scared him off!
  • No one is offended, you're just claiming something that is false despite others suggesting otherwise. It's an open forum here: you say something factually wrong, someone will call you on it. It's that simple.
  • This is new to me im in Canada.... I also dont understand what the colors mean? Or stand for??
  • Do you even know how the "old" Bing maps traffic worked? It uses a AI program to take in account time of day, construction, accidents, etc. to anticipate traffic volume and traffic spill over onto the side streets. Do some research before firing off, you saw the AI predicting side street spill over this uses a different source for a larger and more accurate prediction.
  • "ClearFlow" its called.
  • Fantastiskt!
  • @Se1fcr3ation 
    Let me guess, american?
    And maybe i should explain it more easily, by relying on Nokia Bing can support much more countries with their services. 
  • Canada ,
    but the article says canada is also new support.. its not , ive had it for ever.
    I guess it just about the MORE SUPPORT thing,.. w/e ;)
  • Well its the same. Cause in the Netherlands neither of the above stuff was available. So stop acting like its something old.
  • it is old , your country is just behind. lol
    dont feel so offended, lol.
  • @Se1fcr3ation Once again, you're wrong. We had this tip last week (5/18)
    "bing maps is now showing traffic on major roads in Toronto, whereas previously it would only show traffic on highways. I haven't check for other cities"
    Another (5/18)
    "Not sure when it started, but the Bing Maps app is now showing traffic info on main roads as well as freeways."
    Another (5/18)
    "While driving to work I noticed they updated the maps. It now shows surface streets traffic. I haven't had a chance to go through anything else yet."
    So please, fact check before your post because you're losing credibility very fast.  I mean you look ridiculous saying "it's nothing new!".
  • Daniel. No point to argue with this guy. I'm in Toronto and side street traffic is definitely new.
  • not in montreal
  • Dear Troll, I live in Montreal too. The traffic coverage was most definitely expanded recently, and it is perfectly coherent with the news item that was just reported. I'll give you one example: up until now, I could never get traffic information for the Victoria bridge. Just a quick glance over the traffic map should be enough for you to see that the coverage was expanded. That is, if you used to look at it before. And please, there is absolutely no bragging right in telling the world that your city had traffic data before some other city. Antoine
  • Get 'em Daniel! Love that you guys will actually take a stand to people like se1fcr3ation.
  • never Knew people got SOOO offended over trafic functions.. rolf
    get a life , get a GF , get a hobby...
  • You are the one continuing to annoy people and troll yet you say to others "get a hobby"? You really aren't that smart.
  • You really don't belong here. you're presence is not welcomed or required.
  • I'm sure its all a misunderstanding but I can guarantee you that Bing Maps has never had traffic for non-major roads until today. You must have been using the major highways for your directions. It's been a HUGE disadvantge for Bing compared to Google Maps on Android and it's great that Bing maps can gain some ground here. 
  • I'm in Vancouver and I never noticed the new things before. It's definitely new
  • Is this for all windows phones or just Nokia?
  • We made it very clear in the article this is a BING thing for ALL Bing mapping services, no?
  • Cant see any of this on my Omnia 7 here in Sweden? :/
  • I noticed it yesterday in Germany. Bad for you :( i wish you luck the next time ;)
  • Hi nizzon,
    I quickly tested it in Stockholm, Malmö and Gotebörg and I get traffic info on the major roads... Do you live in other areas? Still not getting anything?
  • Well does anyone know if Nokia will offer Bing users 3D buildings? HTC location and Nokia maps on Nokia looks great.
  • Good start. But still no local scout in Sweden. Still no venues om the map. Nokia maps has more data than Bing maps still...
  • Im not sure that they have flipped the switch for Sweden yet. I cant even activate traffic on my Phone. :(
  • Maybe we'll finally get some turn by turn out of the built in Maps app?
  • Isn't there already turn by turn on Bing maps?
  • Sort of... Not voice turn-by-turn like Nokia Drive
  • Well, yes there's voice turn by turn, but no not like Nokia Drive. For the Maps app built-in you can get voice turn by turn, but you have to tap the screen whenever you want it. Otherwise you'll only hear a little beep confirming you've gone the correct way or a voice will say, "You've gone a different way. Tap anywhere to get new directions." It is intentionally hobbled as Bing for WM was way better than this a couple of years ago.
  • Great stuff! Let's bring Europe's POI's or Local Scout data from Nokia to bing maps too so we can finally enjoy Local Scout here in Belgium for example ^^
  • Finally Maps on Windows Phone is useful in Chile
  • Still waiting for Bing TRANSIT.
  • I don't see anything different. Then again, I'm color blind. Badumpbump! But seriously, I don't see anything different. SF Bay Area.
  • You probably wont notice, since as far as I know Bing works pretty well on USA, but sucks bad in the rest of the world.
  • In my area smaller roads have traffic now where they wouldn't have yesterday
  • Colors seem to be different: the yellow is more orangey unless im just going crazy
  • I didn't have the Show Traffic option enabled. I guess I never actually look at the map anyway. I just do the turn by turn and had always assumed it would route me around traffic with or without the Show Traffic option enabled. Does anyone know If that's true?
  • Am I being stupid how to I enable traffic?? I'm in UK :-/
  • You don't, its not available in the UK
  • Hi Dannay, traffic info is available in UK also on Bing Maps now. Just open Maps, then the contextual menu and you will see show/hide traffic.
  • Not on my Lumia 710 in the UK on VodaFone its not.
    Can you show us your UK phone with MAPS showing traffic please.
    Upload a video to YouTube?
  • The UK data, is only available if you set your region to USA.
    Stupid? Yes, totally :)
  • I like what Microsoft and Nokia are doing together
  • Excellent news. Nokia geographic services ate miles ahead of MS'. Well done lads!
  • That is awesome. Makes maps about 10x more useful for traffic.
  • I don't like when editor argue with people......because I know their just a button away from blocking anyone one that crosses them
  • I've only banned people who swear/verbally abuse other users or ignore warnings. Disagreeing with me won't get you banned, far from it. I love debate.
  • That's ok bro. Team Rubino has got your back. West coast chapter in Da house!
  • I think it's great Daniel defended this article against that guy, just like anyone else.
  • I don't think it's great.  Se1fcr3ation is a very helpful forum member that did not deserve the abuse he got here.  I don't think English is his first language and maybe he was misunderstood.  At the very least, knowing his past I don't think he meant any harm or disrespect at all.  I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt since he is so helpful and cool on the forums.
  • Very cool
  • I don't get there's streets in my area that have just as much traffic as the main roads yet they aren't green......
  • I was expecting to see fake cars moving on the Bing
  • Am im the UK and don't see the traffic option. Changing phone's search locale to US reveals the option and when enabled shows local traffic. Do we know how and when this will be pushed out to the "new" countries?
  • Sadly we don't get it yet :(
  • Go to Settings > region+language > Browser & search language and set it to English (United States). Now go back to maps, tap on the three dots and you should now see an option called show traffic. Works for me in Wiltshire - lots of green near me, lots of red in London :-) Why it doesn't work for English (United Kingdom) I do not know.
  • I've used Bing Maps for traffic quite a bit here in Philly but since it didn't really cover side streets, I depended on Traffic4All. Now I check and there seems to be more coverage and better color differentiation. I might be able to ditch T4A now.
  • This is awesome man I love what Microsoft and Nokia are doing regardless of opinion or experience man progress is progress no matter the extent.
  • Keep in mind se1fcr3ation is a mod. No need to curse at him.
  • Daniel said go away dude to him, that doesn't make him sound like a mod. And he is being a rather obnoxious troll.  I don't think he is a mod.
  • se1fcr3ation is a mod.  I was shocked that Rubino ripped into him like that.  I hope they can kiss and make up!
  • He's not a mod here.
  • Umm yes he is, are you that stupid that you can't goto the forums and check?
  • The last time I checked, here isn't the forum.
  • This is not the forum. Are you so stupid to defend a belligerent "mod" against an editor? Go to sleep little man.
  • I only have 3 icons on the main UI; directions, me, and search.  How do I get the 4th?  I assume that's the traffic one.  I'm in Canada (Toronto).  I've tried rebooting, etc, anything I can think of.  Do I just have to wait or is there some quicker way to get it to work?  LG Quantum 7.10.8107.79
  • No, the icon you're missing is Local Scout. You'll find a Show Traffic option in the little three dots menu once you have a directions route up. I hope I explained that good enough. I'd take a screen shot, but...
  • Thanks, you explained it perfectly.  I didn't have the traffic option in the menu either.  But I found out how to get Local Scout and the traffic options here.  I can't understand why they turned these off in the first place.  I would have been able to enjoy my phone even more had they not.

  • Very good news but Bing maps still does not have public transit direction included. Would REALLY LOVE that feature to be added. The Public Transit app used to work but not any more and it was always spot on. Anyone knows of a good public transit app for Vancouver BC for my awesome unlocked HTC Titan?
  • Have a look at the gMaps app... It has public transport info for me in Australia. It uses google maps and has way more info than Bing... i.e. Cycle paths, public transport, traffic etc. None of that is in Bing Maps for Aussies. Hopefully it's the same for Canada.
  • Can't wait for it to come out in Australia
  • Forgot Ukraine - traffic info there is also available.
  • Not enabled for Australia :(
  • He va ju roli't. Kanske e gå te å hitt na nu.
  • OK, I understand the other three colors, but what is the black supposed to be?  Standstill traffic?  Or road closure?  There are a few black lines on streets down in Pittsburgh when I checked it, but I'm about 45 minutes North of there, so I can't really check it compared to the map.  And that was at 9pm, so nothing should be at a standstill.  I don't really get traffic congestion near me (except for accidents), but when I do go down to Pittsburgh, it'd be nice to know. 
    That aside, I do like what Nokia and Microsoft are doing together.  I have my issues with the OS, but I'm so comfortable with it now, I'd hate to change.  Maybe Nokia will have some more pull to get changes made to the OS regarding complaints from their customers, and get changes made more rapidly. 
  • Awesome.  Man I love Nokia!