Saturday, June 20, 2009

Big Changes Coming to Bing Maps

Looks like Microsoft's new search portal,, is going to get an upgrade to its mapping software that will help it go after Google maps. According to this patent application, Microsoft engineers are working on a routing program that will let a user specify which portions of the route are going to be traveled by foot, bicycle or public transportation. Depending on the mode of transport, the program will suggest routes that may not be passable by cars (i.e., bike paths and pedestrian walkways).

The patent application indicates that the route will be calculated in a way that takes the safety of the path into account based on the user's chosen mode of transport. Right now, Google maps will let you route by public transportation or by walking, but not by bicycle. There is also no way to split up a trip between two modes of transport. As a big fan of bicycling and public transportation, SWDELAW is looking forward to the update. An image from the patent is below.

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