Microsoft has updated its Bing Maps site with a new Bing AJAX map control.
The software giant announced version seven of the control today, which is less than 1/3 the size of the previous 6.3 control. The significant size reduction will improve load times and performance. Microsoft says that the latest version also renders multiple points on a map up to three times faster than before. This improvement is particularly useful for third party developers who integrate Bing Maps as they can now deliver more information to users.
Besides the updated AJAX control Microsoft has also optimised Bing Maps for the mobile web. Version seven includes support for HTML5 and touch controls. This update is the first of many planned updates for a full HTML5 Bing experience across search and maps.
Microsoft has also introduced the “Bird’s eye” view to the AJAX control. Previously, the “BIrd’s eye” view was only available to those with Silverlight installed. Bird’s eye shows users a 45-degree perspective of Maps which is viewable from four compass directions. The maps include panning and zooming and 3D-like terrain.
Bing maps has also been slightly re-styled. Microsoft has introduced a new map sly for “road” and “hybrid” views. “So there you are –V7 is fast, is great for mobile web and introduces new and differentiated ways for you to connect with your customers,” said Floyd Mendoza, Bing Maps product manager.