James Senior, a Microsoft UK blogger, has put up on his blog about an impending change to Live Maps in the UK. Don’t worry, we’re not going to see the farce that happened last time! The changes that will be coming are as follows:
- If you visit the URL http://maps.live.com you will get to Live Maps UK.
- If you go to maps via http://www.live.com then you will get to Multimap.
- If you go to maps via http://www.msn.co.uk then you will get to Multimap.
So at least now if you go to maps.live.com you’ll actually be going to the site you wanted to go to in the first place. James also posts the official statement for this move:
We recently announced the integration of Multimap into Live Search in the UK and will start to route users directly to the Multimap service from MSN UK and Live.com from 9th May.
This release is part of our longer term consumer strategy to have one mapping and local search site in the UK, integrating the best of both Multimap and Virtual Earth (Live Search Maps) technologies. The management and development teams of Microsoft and Multimap are working collaboratively, with a common vision bringing localised products to market faster. Given that Multimap resonates successfully with UK consumers serving over 45% of the UK mapping audience, building on this brand is the right strategic direction.
We recognise, however, that we must continue to offer users a choice of services while we complete the integration of all Virtual Earth features into the Multimap site. We are therefore maintaining the Live Search Maps UK site and users can still access this at http://maps.live.com to use favourite features such as Windows Live Collections and 3D maps. Powerful VE Aerial and Bird’s Eye imagery has been integrated into the Multimap site to give consumers the broadest array of map styles on the market today.
Additionally, we are going to provide prominent signposting to Live Search Maps UK from the Multimap site for those who are redirected there. All Live Search and MSN UK mapping traffic through ‘Maps’ links will be redirected to www.multimap.com but any shared Collections links will not.
Developers and businesses that have invested in the Virtual Earth technology are unaffected by the redirection of our Live Search Maps and MSN mapping traffic to Multimap. We will continue to support both technology platforms and expect to offer an expanded set of opportunities and features over time.
We thank our users for the feedback and passion they have shared so far as we continue to evolve our local and mapping sites in the UK. We encourage you to try out these sites for yourselves.
So when is this all taking place? James states that this will be switching over on 9th May.