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Bing, Nokia, Windows Phone debut unified map style

updated 01:00 am EST, Wed February 29, 2012

New color palette separates map from overlays

Designers with Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have coordinated with the Windows Phone team to bring a unified look to maps across both services, now available on the desktop and mobile version of Bing and Nokia maps. The goal was to update the color palette to better distinguish roads from rivers while keeping overlaid information, such as traffic, distinct. The redesign extends to collaboration across services on fonts, labelling and readability.

Ultimately, according to a blog post from the Bing team, the companies are aiming for improved readability through consistency of color and style, making the maps as clean and easy to interpret as possible. Under the new system, the size of the type can further act to distinguish classes of labels. At each level of zoom, the maps now present only an appropriate level of information rather than trying to overload or overlay too much information, leading the user to zoom in or out as needed for the right level of information.

The two services are also collaborating on mapping coverage, hopefully resulting in more updated results that reflect road changes, new routes and construction, along with bigger-picture areas such as improvements to mapping in countries such as Israel, Egypt, Malta, the Phillipines, Uruguay and Venezuela among others. The companies will be leveraging partnerships with NavTeq to help keep maps up-to-date.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Surely they've never seen the Safari logo before.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: copycat

    It's a compass. You have seen a compass before, right? In fact, of all the icons, a compass actually makes a lot of sense for Maps. Not so much for a web browser.

    But I'm sure that's what they were thinking. "Hey, we want to set up a mapping site. What icon should we use?" "Gee, that's tough. I'm thinking a folded map. Maybe a picture of an atlas? No, I got it! We should use the icon Google uses for Chrome! A browser icon makes the most sense! No, that's too obvious, let's use a weird orb-like icon like firefox's! Much clearer. Oh, wait, duh. Let's just steal Apple's browser icon. Who else should we take it from! Brilliant!"

    And we know that a compass was never used as an icon or graphic for any web site, application, or other use before Apple made safari.

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