Bing to Add Hyperlocal Blogs In Maps
by Matt McGee on Dec 10, 2009 in Industry
Love, love, love this: At the ILM ’09 conference Wednesday, Bing showed off some of its new local/maps toys, including something called Local Lens — a layer of hyperlocal blog content that can be displayed on Bing Maps.
The Bing Maps demo of this only covers 10 major cities right now, and since I’m not at the conference, I don’t know what they said about full U.S. coverage (or not). I also don’t know anything about what blogs are included, nor how to add your blog for inclusion. Hopefully all that will be known in time. For now, I do like what I see:
- Unique neighborhoods fade-in to view as your mouse moves across the map.
- Blog posts appear as markers on the map.
- Clicking a marker shows a teaser of the post(s).
- Clicking the teaser loads more of the blog content in the left column, next to the map. (This is the step I don’t like; clicking the teaser should lead straight to the actual blog post.)
- Clicking in the left column then takes you to the actual blog post.
There are also some cool and subtle design/display things I like, but they’re hard to explain. Overall, it’s a cool implementation, and when Local Lens moves from this beta version to the real Bing Maps, it’ll be the first time a major search engine highlights hyperlocal blog content. Well done, Bing.
How to Test Local Lens
Oh, you want to play with this yourself? Sure. Here are the instructions, courtesy of Lost Remote:
- Go to Bing Maps
- Click the “Try It Now” link under “Beta” on the left
- Click the arrow at the bottom of the left column to see the available apps
- On the next screen, choose “Local Lens”
Your turn: Try it out and share your comments below. I’ll see if I can get someone from Bing to have a look at your feedback, and maybe talk more in depth about Local Lens.