Microsoft Releases Bing Maps Styling Improvements To Enhance Aesthetics And Usability

Microsoft today announced several rendering and styling improvements to Bing Maps to enhance aesthetics and usability.

Gradient Land Color

Bing Maps 1

We introduced a new gradient coloring for land areas that adjusts the brightness to your zoom level. The land color will now be lighter when zoomed out and get darker when zoomed in at higher levels of detail. Not only do these updates improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the maps, but they also help increase the contrast, making streets and other features more visible.

Localized Landmark Icons

bing maps 2

We also added new, culturally-accurate symbols for landmarks. Instead of using the same icons for landmarks like banks or pharmacies globally, we introduced new symbols that are relevant no matter where you are.

Transit Icon Consolidation

bing maps 3

Additionally, we removed some instances where public transit icons were duplicated on the map in the United States.

Park Trails and Pathways

New styling helps clearly differentiate park trails and pathways from roads.


Source: Bing

  • Willem Evenhuis

    I am more accustomed to the bottom rather than the top icon for the railways.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    Also a pitty the naming of wilderniss areas disappear. I understand the cleaning up argument, but in my expierence with digital maps the labeling of wilderniss and park areas strenghtens the search expierience. Now it will be much harder to search the maps because areas become blended. Perhaps nice for esthetics, but the practical uses also have to be adressed.

    • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

      Exactly, sometimes I look for streets in my village and it can’t find them, I thought that that was only because I live in the rural Netherlands, yesterday I had the same problem in the Hague, sometimes you’ll have to zoom in 5 or even 10 times to find a street-name, and then you can’t can’t use the search option, Microsoft needs to add more names, not less, being ”cleaning” and ”less cluttered” is not an improvement, it’s saying that looking simplistic is somehow better than actually being more functional. (>_<) I love Windows and Windows Phone, but often the over-simplified G.U.I. and how Microsoft has made it is so user-unfriendly.