Microsoft has released Bing Maps Preview for Windows 8.1 with over 70 high-res 3D cities – including Canberra –, Skype and OpenTable integration, street-level photography, and Live Tile support.
The new app introduces a new 3D graphics engine that delivers more realistic visuals across a wide range of angles. Microsoft has also added in a few new navigation tools, intended to make orienting yourself in a 3D world more straightforward.
The ‘bubble view’ in Streetside – Microsoft’s version of Google Street View – puts a tiny street-level thumbnail in the 3D city, which rotates around as you navigate through the scene. The app also features the usual search functionality, traffic info and other features.
According to TechCrunch, who announced the news last week, “Microsoft says to create these 3D imagery, it processed over 121 trillion pixels to date to build this 3D environment. And it shows. The imagery is extremely clear and detailed, and after a first look, it feels like it easily rivals and often bests Google’s efforts, especially when it comes to trees and smaller objects like cars and kiosks.”