Been to the Bing Community Maps blog recently? If so you would have noticed that community evangelist, Chris Pendleton, has been quite busy lately, announcing a ton of new functionality available to users of Bing Maps – if you don’t use Bin g you need to give it a test drive sometime as the sheer volume, quality, and scale of imagery available to users of the service is almost breath taking!
Most recently, Bing added support for OpenStreetMap (OSM), enabling users to view their map using the OSM data as a base – very nice! Additionally, the apps keep coming, case in point, the recently announced taxi rate calculator (handy), as well as many others – see the Maps Gallery of apps via Bing maps . Something you’ll notice when using Bing is the amazing speed and clarity that you get when you pan, zoom, and navigate about. This is thanks to some very cool rendering that the service has just recently added – you need to experience this to really appreciate it! According to Pendleton in his blog about the “sexy” new map rendering unctionality… “the Silverlight experience has a combination of both raster tiles AND vector graphics rendered in the browser at run time”
Finally, as if that isn’t enough, just today Bing announced the addition of yet another map service in the Gallery – Seattle Issues. Using the service, Seattle residents and visitors learn about current civic issues in the city such as potholes, water main breaks, traffic signal problems, graffiti, and other issues that affect how people in Seattle experience the city. I have to wonder what this would be like with the addition of some real-time, live, mobile crowd sourcing of citizen updates, perhaps via the integration of an app like CitySourced where residents can quickly and easily report incidents like graffiti, road kill, pot holes, etc… indeed a great idea and its cool to see local government reaching out to the public via yet another forum.