Another big release for Bing Maps is here! This rapidly improving service now includes a handful of new features like walking directions, draggable routing flags, improved mini-maps, and more.
With Bing’s Walking Directions, you can now calculate the route and time it takes to walk between two points on a map. The directions automatically understand that you will avoid freeways and may take other streets not fit for cars. You can route walks up to 20 miles with this feature.
Draggable routing flags are a new option that let you add a location to your route. To do this, you drag a flag in the directions panel on the left and drop it onto your map. The route will then be recalculated based on your adjustment.
Mini-maps were already available in Bing Maps – they were the small street maps visible in the upper right-hand corner of the screen when Bing was in Streetside mode. Based on user feedback, these maps have now been expanded to cover the top half of the screen instead.
Also new is an updated look for the map applications gallery. Because of the growing number of map apps now available, the gallery has been segmented into sections like “Staff Picks” and “All Apps.” You can sort these apps by release date, title and publisher too.
Finally, local search has been improved with speedier performance, a redesigned UI and a new “nearby” sidebar that shows you nearby places to whatever local business you’re currently viewing. For example, if you’re reading about a local restaurant, the nearby sidebar will show you more local restaurant listings plus links to other businesses like bars, coffee shops, movies, etc. Perfect for planning an evening out!