Bing Maps, formerly known as MSN Maps, is a Microsoft-owned site for online maps. It specializes in local information like traffic and weather, as well as driving directions. The site’s homepage has a lot of information about your home location under the Quick Links tab, links to other Microsoft sites and a Bing-powered web search bar. This page is designed to serve as a starting point for your web searches.
When you land on the homepage for Bing Maps, there are three main tabs to choose from: Type an Address, Paste an Address and Find a Place. The Find a Place feature works for local and international maps, and the Paste an Address tab is useful when you want to map a location you find on the web. Alternately, you can select Maps or Directions from the top navigation. With multiple ways to find a map, Bing Maps is a flexible service.
This online map site specializes in driving directions to and from known locations. When you search for a location, you are automatically redirected to the Maps tab on the site. To browse the map, you use the directional arrows around the edges. You can drag the map with your mouse pointer to pan around. While you can double click on a spot to zoom in, the map does not stay centered, so it can be difficult to keep track of your marker.
In the Find a Place tab, you can search for major points of interest by name. If the site doesn’t automatically recognize your search, you can choose your location from the list of search results it generates.
To get driving directions, you can either use the Directions tab and input your addresses or type in your destination address, map it and then click Directions to Here to input your starting address. For every map, the options Directions to Here and Directions from Here are available along the right. To start over, you click Get a New Map on the right side of the page. When you finish, you can email or print your map, and if you are signed in to your MSN account, you can save the map.
The upgraded version of Bing Maps includes several additional features, including a GPS Locator, live traffic updates, construction updates, custom routes, a search for area businesses, and the ability to save or upload your maps. However, Bing gives you the option to return to older versions of the map, if you prefer to use those.
The site shows road, satellite and street views. Although driving directions are not changeable, construction projects on your route are listed in the directions to alert you of potential delays or detours.
Bing has an FAQs page to help users get started and navigate the site’s features.
Bing Maps is a good choice for driving directions, and it can help you find addresses for common points of interest, even on international maps. It integrates useful construction information into driving directions, but there is no way to recalculate your directions to avoid the construction.