Bing Team Talks About Their Vision For The Future Of Mapping

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Bing New Logo

The Bing Team wrote a nice blog post titled “Entities, Apps, and Maps.”  In the last paragraph the team talks about what they see in the future of Bing Maps:

Moving into the future, entity knowledge will greatly enhance our mapping experiences. While our Bing Maps Preview app already takes advantage of Satori to deliver smart features like Local Scout, we have a vision for maps where everything is annotated with useful information: what buildings are called, what stores are in them, how to get in touch with those stores and when they are open. Much of this exists today in our current experiences, but further integrating entity knowledge into maps will transform digital maps from the visual representation they are today to a deep model of what the world is like.

Another element of how maps and entities will converge is putting map-construction technology in the hands of our users. The newly released Photosynth technology maps entities in a different, breathtaking way, and does just that, letting everyone in the world capture everything in the world in glorious 3D.

Moving forward, you will see us mapping more of everything – both the web and the real world. It is as much about understanding the context of a searcher’s query as giving you a better map. When we understand the real world, we understand what you’re asking – and that is where search magic happens.

You may recall the Bing team first publically talked about Satori in March of 2013.

The underlying technology for Snapshot is designed to develop deep understanding of the world around us not only as a collection of entities (people, places and things) but also the relationships between those entities. Inside the Bing engineering team, we call this technology Satori, which means “understanding” in Japanese. Satori currently contains over 22 billion entities and their attributes and is growing every day.

When the Nokia deal closes, Microsoft will get access to a ton of data from HERE Maps.  Microsoft was unable to actually acquire the maps division of Nokia and it is in fact one of the main factors in what took the deal so long to close.  Satori will be able to take advantage of that data and we should see an improvement in Bing Maps.

A little off topic here, but the Bing team is one of the divisions that remains quite independent at Microsoft.  It’s currently headed by Qu Li who reports directly to Ballmer (fun trivia fact: Ballmer gave Mr. Li special permission to wear jeans whenever he wants)  As Myerson forces some Sinofsky’s lieutenants out of the Windows division some of them have chosen to go over to Bing including Harris & Dworkin.  It will be interesting what to see what the Bing management structure looks like a year from now.  By all accounts Li is a very demanding person to work for, but really has to be when he is tasked with competing with Google.  Analysts who believe Microsoft is even considering selling Bing are way off base.

It’s been amazing to see the evolution of Bing over the last 7 years and to see how it has become integrated into Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, etc. I remember using it in beta form when it was branded Windows Live Search.  I first became aware of Satya “Nutella” Nadella when he took over Windows Live Search and re-branded it to Live search.  Where Bing really needs to improve is internationally.  While Bing is great in the US I don’t know of a single person who uses it as their default search engine outside of here.

Read the full post over at the Bing Blog

Are you using Bing outside of the US? Let us know in the comments below…

About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

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  • GG002

    Come on Bing team, take full advantage of Photosynth!
    Back when I was on good terms with Google, I used to be a hardcore panorama uploader to services that were linked to Google Maps/Earth. Those panoramas were on average viewed a 100x more than what I put on Photosynth! I love Photosynth, but I wish more people would reach my works.

    • Nham Thien Duong

      The more people know about it, the more will use it, tell all your friends about Bing Maps and your panorama’s, I can’t even find mine, Microsoft should increase accesibility.

  • Stuart

    That last sentence is key, Microsoft absolutely needs to pull its finger out and focus on bringing up the level of its services outside the USA. Its getting its butt kicked in the USA, yet all their resources go towards improving things there, how about boosting the efforts in the regions where Microsoft is getting better market penetration. Not only Bing, but Xbox as well.

  • Adas

    Count me in, for using Bing outside US as default. Mainly it does it’s job pretty well and there are few times when I try the same search on google , but these results is not impressively better, so I use google even less over time. And I know few guys who does the same thing

  • sadiq

    Its useless atleast in India that I can gurantee (they are improving like snail).Honestly if I am bity hurry I use google otherwise bing and usually don’t get relevant details : then use google and take the relevant link and search within bing with whole link.I am doing this for atleast what I can do improve bing.But they are not listening to outside US where their market is shrinking

    • Nham Thien Duong

      That is the sad reality of non-American Bing.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    Local (Non-U.S.) Bing is horrible, and it’s just dripping with bad quality if I use /?cc=nl, but if I put /?cc=us it certainly beats Google, American Bing is actually a really really good search engine, I have no idea why the other Bings exist, Microsoft should really upgrade them to their American Bing’s quality.

    The map above shows that Microsoft is finally interested in mapping the entire globe, if Bing Maps is given the chance it could easily beat Google Maps, and Microsoft has access to way more satellites, what I hope is that they could use Bing’s Smart Search functionality in Bing Maps and put Wikipedia quotes in famous landmarks.

    Bing is such an awesome search engine with way more features than Google, but only American and Chinese Bings are good, Dutch Bing only had good Shopping, but Microsoft dropped that :-(

  • tom

    I use bing as default on my surface, and Lumia!! Love it! I’m in Australia