Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Bing Maps a good start but a long distance away from Google Maps

While the new Bing Maps has gone live it still lags Google Maps and needs to do a lot before it catches up with the Google Maps.

Bing has the Streetside to compete with Google’s Streetview.  Street View has launched images in 28 countries of which the US has more than 80% coverage while Spain has close to 80% coverage.  While Google is working on increasing its depth using Street View Trike (deploying tricycles outfitted with its 360-degree Street View cameras) , which is gathering images to map areas not accessible by Street View cars, Streetside still needs to works towards increasing its coverage in the US let alone the rest of the world.
While Streetside has been launched it’s still not competitive to Google Maps.

Google Transit provides point-to-point directions using public transportation in more than 440 cities across the world. In collaboration with public transport agencies in these cities, Google has  added municipal transit systems into Google Maps.  Bing still needs to come up with something similar.

Google Navigation on the recently launched Android 2.0 smartphone (Motorola Droid) provides turn-by-turn driving directions along with many features like voice search, real time traffic data etc. While Microsoft has had a Windows Mobile for many years now, it’s only now that they have woken up to come up with a Bing for Windows Mobile application. Yet Microsoft just does not have enough users as of now to be able provide any useful realtime data.

To quickly catch up Bing can use the crowd sourcing approach as Google Map Maker where uncovered regions are updated by users.  The Map Maker by Google is working in 170+ countries.

Bing Maps in an effort to cover up for its inherent weaknesses is that its building a more open platform than Google, in which third-party developers can create their own apps to the map platform.

While the Bing Maps may keep Google on their toes, but it will be some distance away when it can really compete with Google.

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