Visually Rich Informative Weather Answers on Bing Maps

Two new interactive real-time experiences to check every day weather, as well as latest snow fall on favorite ski resort. Options to using US Census data with Bing Maps.

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Bing Maps just released two new experiences designed to help navigate every day weather, as well as check latest snow fall on ski resort.

Enhanced weather experience using visually rich forecast information help in planning days —for example when you search weather in the city, Bing will provide an animated real-time hourly forecasts, which can be viewed by using an interactive /slider.

For planning you day, just move the slider and background animation and forecast data update to match the time of day.

Also, based on the time, cityscapes for major cities across the world will appear in the background—"Eiffel Tower light up Paris at night" for example. And for rest of cities across the world, a colored gradient indicates weather conditions throughout the day.

Bing Maps shows interactive real-time weather with cityscapes in background
Bing Maps: Interactive real-time weather with cityscapes

Bing notes, that extreme weather conditions alerts will be available too. And, by typing questions in natural language, Bing will provide the weather information, such as, "how is the weather in Seattle?" followed by "how about tomorrow?" —Bing understand you're asking about tomorrow's weather information for Seattle. This means searching for the resort, going to the site, and clicking on several links.

To get information on ski resort in advance of a trip, Bing now provides latest snow conditions and forecasts for ski resorts in the United States.

Just search a ski resort, and Bing will show you informations on snow such as "surface condition, snow depth, past and predicted snow fall, weather forecast, links to live web cams (when available), and latest status of the lifts and trails in the ski resort," team said.

Bing Maps Ski Resort and Snow Report
Bing Maps Ski Resort and Snow Report

Many of the Bing Maps V8 interactive code samples uses data from a number of sources including 2010 US Census data from the US Census Bureau. And, to integrate this data easy with Bing Maps applications, a subset of the data was uploaded into Bing Spatial Data Services.

This data has been exposed through 4 different data sources, each containing a census data based on a different type of geographical region; states, counties, ZCTA5 (Zip code tabulation area), and the 111th Congressional districts.

Today, Bing Maps made these data sources publicly available in Bing Spatial Data Services, for developers to easily use them in application.

Documentation on these data sources can be found here.

To access additional US Census Data, you can either download existing geographic data sets from the US Census and upload them into Bing Spatial Data Service. Or, "upload ESRI Shapefiles and KML files into Bing Spatial Data Services to create a data source," explains Bing.

Alternatively, this data can be uploaded into a spatial database such as SQL Azure and then expose the data through a custom web service.

Here are some partner solutions to access this data:

  • Power BI along with mapping functionality available in Excel make it easy to visualize data on Bing Maps.
  • CensusViewer, online application built by Moonshadow Mobile gives access to 2010 and 2000 Census "Summary File 1" data from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as the selected American Community Survey (ACS) data and extensive data including registered voters and frequently updated commercial data sources.
  • EasyTerritory, a leading map-based solution for territory management and geospatial business intelligence for Dynamics CRM or SQL Server, allows users to geographically build and manage territories and get business-intel for leads, opportunities, contacts, accounts or any custom Dynamics CRM entity.
  • It can optionally be deployed without Dynamics CRM using only SQL Server 2008, 2012, 2014, or SQL Azure.
Using US Census data with Bing Maps

About The Author

Deepak Gupta is a IT & Web Consultant. He is the founder and CEO of diTii.com & DIT Technologies, where he's engaged in providing Technology Consultancy, Design and Development of Desktop, Web and Mobile applications using various tools and softwares. Sign-up for the Email for daily updates. Google+ Profile.