Will the New Bing Maps Apps Help Stir-Up Some Competition?
Going head-to-head with Google Maps and Mapquest is tough, but Microsoft has made strides recently with Bing Maps by delivering a new API and some interesting Silverlight 4 features that stir up the wow factor. The Bing Maps API has led to the development of some interesting, and even useful, applications that are available directly on the Bing Maps website.
The latest application rolled out is the winner of the “King of Bing Maps” Competition - a Taxi Fare Calculator. This app enables users to pick a metropolitan region and type in two addresses. The app then calculates the shortest fare and gives and an estimated price based on the pick-up charge, the by-the-mile fee and the time fee. Additional examples of applications available include a Random Location Generator, a GeoSalesTax viewer, and a World of Football app that shows scores and crowd shots from stadiums around the globe.
Beyond the apps, the integration of Silverlight 4 also provides a host of right click navigation options like “directions to/from”, “zoom to neighborhood” and “zoom to Streetside”. It also delivers a unique 3-D perspective in its Streetside imagery, delivering an immersive ground-level view of the area.
Silverlight4 definitely delivers new potential for mapping and the API opens up many potential uses of the technology for rich web applications.