Bing vs Google turn-by-turn navigation [From the Forums]

A superb thread has been created over at our forums by Tiny, where he goes into detail about his 32 hour drive across the U.S. As you can see in the map above, the blue line is Google and the red representing Bing. While both services providing the same directions, Bing took two diversions, thus making him choose Google with more trust for the first part of the journey.

At the start Bing calculated a route via Utah, which seems longer than the more direct route of Google. Turns out, even though the number of miles with Google was a smaller amount, the time saved (if any) was minimal due to sped restrictions and construction delays.

Bing didn't stop there with calculated issue prevention. Iowa, instead of Missouri, was chosen by Bing approximately half-way through the journey while Google remained on track with the direct approach. Although a warning was present that some roads may be closed, no alternative route was provided by Google. Following Bing would prove to be less trouble and more smooth.

For the rest of the journey and some final thoughts, head on past the break. 

"For the last portion of my journey, I solely relied on Bing Turn by Turn, actually allowing it to spit out directions to me. It worked well, but is fundamentally neutered (and probably will be until Nokia's map service is integrated). For those not aware, what I am referring to is having to tap on the screen to advance the directions. While it isn't hard to do, it is annoying after it tells me (with a chime) that I've correctly followed a direction, that I must then tap the screen to receive instruction on what next to do. This tap is nice when on a several mile long portion to hear how much closer I am to my next turn, but very problematic when there are a few turns back to back. I actually missed a turn in the last few miles of my journey, because I couldn't get it to give me directions fast enough. So I look forward to this being addressed sooner rather than later.Another gripe is that the compass isn't being used. The maps correctly orientate when you are driving, by using the GPS to track your general direction, but if you are stopped, it has no idea what direction you are facing. Our phones have a compass, why can't Bing maps access it?And my final complaint is one that I have found through being new to an area. Now, the area where I live is full of newer developments (like 5 years old), but nearby locations like Wal-Mart are not showing on Bing maps, but are showing on Google maps. This is frustrating when you're new to a town, and want to find the nearest locations. I hope this is something that will improve rapidly, as that breaks a lot of the awesome experiences possible with Bing Scout, and other services."

Do you use Bing and Google simultaneously for comparison? What do you make of this small test?

Head on over to our forums to join in the discussion (opens in new tab).

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I know for a fact that the road Google is using to cross from Nebraska into Iowa is underwater due to the Missouri River flooding. Looks like Bing knows that too.
  • Go Bing!! Hope we get turn-by-turn directions in Switzerland though. Apart from that, I don't know if this has already been noticed but I've just noticed on my phone that, even though I'm in Switzerland, I can get directions in the NoDo build by setting my browser and search language to: English (United States). All I have to do is to check that the name of the city is in English if it's different than in the original language, apart from that, all I have to do is enter the normal adress.
  • Im on Germany. How can i switch my browser and search language, wthout changing the language globaly on the phone? Can you please give me some hint, where i can do this?
  • ahhhh have found it in global language settings. there i can do a sperate switch for only searching and the browser.but, i have found out. if i switch to Deutsch(Deutschland), i can also get turn by turn instructions. only as a text and not via voice, but i get them.
  • bing has lots to improve in europe. I hope nokia can help us out.We can't even appreciate all the great features like the "local" tabs. Whats even worse is, that we can't search for stores or restaurants in the map application. Typing in mcdonalds in zürich? sorry. nothing found. Thats rather annoying :(Btw, es hooi us de schwiiz ;)
  • What is the logic behind having to tap the screen to get turn by burn directions?
  • version, license restriction from NAVTEQ that Bing gets it's nav data from. Presumably when they bring in OVI (Nokia) integration for navigation, this will obviously go away. The question now is when.
  • Nokia maps will ship on Nokia WP devices from the start but they wont be integrated with the OS till 2012.
  • As mentioned in the thread, and I think this is critical to the test, my HTC Arrive could not duplicate the supposed differences between the Bing and Google routes. They were the exact same routes in other words. What results did others get using Bing from eastern Idaho to Raleigh, NC?
  • This has actually surprised me on a few occasions lately. I was going to a pre-wedding dinner and loaded up Maps on my HTC Arrive to get me there. The route took a back road that goes the same way, but is slower than the Freeway. Curious but oblivious to the reason it my have chose that route I hopped on the FW. Not A mile later I realized why it had me going the other route. Slow as heck traffic coming down the mountain on a Sunday afternoon. AhHa! Bing had it right all along and knew that the FW would be a slow traffic nightmare. Luckily I was able to get off at the next exit and take the back road that it recommended the rest of the way with ease.
  • I've always found Bing Maps to be better for routing. While I like that Google Maps on the PC gives me several options, it often prefers back-roads for short-distance travel (30 miles or less); while Bing Maps seems to prefer more expressways and Interstates, which is what I also prefer.The only thing I don't like is that I can't pick up a route segment on Windows Phone and re-route it, as you can do in Bing and Google Maps on the PC. I don't believe Google Maps on Android allows that (hint, hint, Windows Phone Team).
  • Whaaat? You have to click every time you want your next instruction? That's lameee!Google > Bing. Bing doesn't even know road names when it comes to the part of Spain my family lives in.
  • Bing is in Europe nearly useless. No local scout, bad maps and so on. If MS would enter Europe with WP7 they have still alot of homework to do. I like Mango, but maps and local search is soo important for a smartphone - and in this way Android is much better. Even if I like my WP7 interface...
  • In the US (at least St. Louis, MO and Knoxville, TN where I've used it often), my experience is that Bing almost always has superior routing and far more up-to-date and accurate data, while Google is better at interpreting search queries.