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.