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Microsoft and Nokia ‘unify' mobile mapping

Companies modestly say the results are 'beautiful'
Wed Feb 29 2012, 11:17

MOBILE SOFTWARE ALSO-RAN Microsoft continues to cuddle up to Nokia with the companies announcing that they have unified their mobile mapping offerings.

This means that the Redmond company is combining its Bing Maps with those of its Windows Phone counterparts over in Finland to deliver a "unified map style based on one set of design principles". The combined offering is touted as being an improvement in terms of contrast and usability. The goal is apparently to "ultimately create a more beautiful and functional map".

The Bing team reports that it has updated the mapping colour palette to create a cleaner and consistent view of roads and landmarks to produce maps that are easier to interpret. For instance, the new road colour is further clarified from rivers while not competing with traffic colours or overlaid information.

The designers have also tried to improve various typography components including font updates, improved readability and contextual labeling. Various type sizes have also been deployed to different classes of labels, so for example city names consistently grow and become more transparent through zoom levels.

As of today this new, more beautiful map design is available on desktop and mobile versions of Bing and Nokia maps.

In addition to the map design updates, Microsoft reported that it is adding mapping coverage and data due to its partnership with Nokia and NavTeq. Apparently if you live in Egypt, Israel, Malta, the Philippines, Uruguay or Venezuela you'll really notice these improvements. µ


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