Tuesday, February 28, Microsoft and Nokia announced a new Unified Map Design, available on desktop and mobile versions of Bing and Nokia maps. The new design comes from close work between the Bing Maps, Nokia Maps and Windows Phone teams and aims “to provide a more intuitive and pleasing online mapping experience” using one set of design principles.
In addition to map design updates, Bing also added a significant amount of mapping coverage and data due to its partnership with Nokia and NavTeq. “Each map data refresh from NavTeq brings with it many improvements, and each one also attempts to include as many new roads/subdivisions/ changes/etc. as possible,” blogged Bing Maps team.
The design principles are composed of 3 key aspects:
Common color palette for road map style
Bing introduced an updated “color palette” that brings cleaner and consistent view of roads and landmarks resulting in a easier to interpret map. “For instance, the new road color is further clarified from rivers while not competing with traffic colors or overlaid information,” bing said.
Bing also improved various typography components to provide clarity on maps including “font updates, improved readability and contextual labeling.” “Type size hierarchy further delineates classes of labels. The user watches city names consistently grow and become more transparent through the zoom levels. Small type is demystified from its surroundings with a technique that reduces clutter instead of adding glows or ever-present strokes. The right use of typography helps our customers consume mapping details more quickly,” informs Bing.
Using Visual Hierarchy to create Focus and maintain context
Bing now presents different level of information to you when you zoom compared to when you pan out. Go in for detail, pull back for context. “We strive to keep the orientation and context of a user within the map surface persistent across various levels of zoom,” bing added.
Here is how the new Unified Bing map design looks on Windows Phone in Nokia Maps: