Bing UK is no longer in beta, it just shed its beta tag. So now when you search for football you won’t get NFL schedules but Football results (Americans call what we call football soccer), providing you do use the UK Bing page of course.
Some of the great features for Bing users in the UK are:
- The daily Bing Homepage image and hotspots are something that now will be localized in the UK, with unique imagery and hotspots.
- Visual Search using visual images and metadata to make search more visual and more compelling.
- More Instant Answers. Get quick response answers and results to searches, such as how is Liverpool doing in the Premiership or which tourist attraction should I take my in-laws to at the weekend?
- See who or what is being chatted about real-time with a global live Twitter feed with Bing Twitter search.
- Looking for the best deals? – There is now an integrated shopping experience with Ciao UK. With Bing you can search the Internet to find the best prices, reviews and local availability.
- With insights from our Multimap users, Bing Maps now offers new map styles, imagery and transit integration as well as draggable routes.
- Bing has been built for the UK to help consumers get to key local sites and services in fewer links by including popular links, search boxes and suggestions within best match.
Not only did Bing shed its beta tag in the UK, Bing Maps UK was also released. You may have already noticed this when we notified you about a new Bing Maps Interface. This means that if you are in the UK and go to Bing Maps via Bing.com/maps you will get the new Bing Maps Experience, not what you were used to from Multimap.com. However, if you want to, you can still access that via Multimap.com. Afraid you’ll miss out if you use that one? Don’t be! In the next few weeks you will be asked if you’d like to try the new Bing maps experience.
Here are the features of Bing Maps UK (some shared with US market):
- Redesigned Navigation – An updated navigation bar that matches up with that of Bing Maps US
- Default Search: Location – Default search queries are set to location instead of business
- Collins Bartholomew Maps – The popular and well-known A-to-Z style maps
- Ordnance Survey Maps – Maps for the outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman)!
- Public Transportation Station Symbology – Symbols representing the different types of public transit are now clearly marked on the map.
- Tube Maps – Clicking on one of the stations brings up the Tube Maps for the respective station and the stations it connects to; however, you can turn on all Tube Maps by clicking the respective link in the Welcome Panel.
- Nearby Stations – Certain location query types, such as “EC4a 2dy” will result in a pin on the map, as well as a popup providing the closest stations to the respective location and how far away they are. Also including in the results are links to Directions, Saving the pushpin to My Places and Emailing a link to a friend.
- What’s Nearby – Also in location results, the Welcome Panel will pop out and provide you with a list of business types that are around the respective area. These will be business categories that reside within the area. Also, notice the link to Explore Wikipedia information right inside of Bing Maps.
- Explore User Contributions – If you want to see what other people have contributed (not only to Wikipedia that is now being pulled into Bing Maps), you can explore Collection Items with Photos, 3D Models, MapCruncher Layers and Photosynths (contributed via Photosynth.com). These are available via the Explore option in the Welcome menu.
- Walking Directions
- London Congestion Charge Warnings – London has a system using cameras to charge you for passing through a sort of toll area. These areas will now be identified within your route instructions on Bing Maps. Don’t want to pay the charge? Use the draggable maps option to drag a route around the area.
- Draggable Routes – If you need to change your route you can either enter an additional location in the Route Planner or just grab the route with your mouse cursor and drag it to where you want to go. This will regenerate the route for you.
- New Popup Behaviors – Popups are now activated via mouse-click, rather than mouse hover. They also remain raised if you move the mouse away. Close them via the close symbol, clicking on another pushpin, or clicking on the base map.
- Embeddable Maps – You can now take a map view right from Bing Maps and embed it into your site. To do this, you’ll want to click the Share button once your map is where you want it to be. You can copy the embed code from there; or, you can click the Customize View link which will take you to the embeddable map customizer (EMC).
- Function Buttons
That’s quite a list! For a more detailed explanation and images check out Chris Pendleton’s post at the Search Blog.