Going into (a LOT of) detail on changes to Bing Maps

We told you this week about a new look for Bing Maps, which at first glance gave the maps a cleaner look, removed the white “glow” from around place names, added a “Dynamic” map type, and well, apparently a lot more.  Justin O’Beirne, on his blog 41Latitude, has posted a series of pretty exhaustive comparisons of the new Bing Maps to Google Maps and the old Bing Maps. 

3326.bingmapswhiteglow_thumb_477ed7b5 Bing

He comes to some conclusions:

As you can see from my examples, this was not some incremental improvement that Microsoft gave to Bing Maps—no, this was a vast overhaul. In truth, it seems as though Microsoft has left nothing unchanged in the “new” Bing Maps. And yet even though the “new” maps are unusually light on detail (especially in how few cities they seem to show), they’re now among the most aesthetically pleasing maps on the web.

On an unrelated note, I find the similarities between Windows Phone 7’s UI and the “new” Bing Maps to be quite curious: both use Segoe fonts, both are unflinchingly minimalistic, and both are dramatic breaks from their predecessors. Maybe this really is a new direction for Microsoft.

We won’t even try here to do justice to Justin’s analysis, complete with a/b animated comparisons and covering everything from font changes (from Arial to Segoe), to Highway shield symbols:

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to a level by level critique of what’s on each Bing Maps zoom level, with what Justin sees could be some improvements to Bing’s new approach.

He’s finished four Bing Maps related blog posts so far:

Bing Maps’s Redesign- The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Improving Bing’s “New” Maps — Part 1

Improving Bing’s “New” Maps — Part 2

Other (Minor) Things I’ve Noticed about the Bing Maps Redesign

with a promised Part 3 still to come.  We have to commend Justin for all the effort he’s put into these posts, great job, and hope the Bing Maps team is paying attention!

(via @BingMapsDev – John O’Brien)