Microsoft has announced today that Bing Maps is now available in South Korea with more detailed data, including road, hybrid aerial, and high contrast imagery.The company says that making all these improvements possible took more than 18 months, not only because of the amount of content that’s now available to users, but also due to the local legislation that includes some restriction for the use of map data.
“We’ve implemented all of our map styles across Bing Maps to represent this rich, beautiful new data including road, hybrid aerial and high contrast. You’ll find these maps on both Bing Maps (.com), the Bing Maps app for Windows and the Bing Maps Preview (3D) app for Windows,” Chris Pendleton, principal program manager lead, Bing Maps, has said in a statement today.
“Over the last 18 months, we’ve slowly been deploying multiple facets of our Korean maps experience, but now I’m proud (and so excited!!!) to finally announce that our Korean map services integration into Bing Maps is complete.”
At this point, basically all options that are available in the rest of the world on Bing Maps are now offered to users in South Korea as well, with Microsoft planning to do the same thing in other countries too.
“And, we’ve integrated a full stack of services for our users, including address geocoding (both new and old address formats), business search, as well as directions and traffic. Notice the high level of detail within the maps. You can see just about every amenity within Korea including building footprints, landmarks on the map and even soccer fields!” Pendleton adds.
Microsoft worked together with SK Planet to collect South Korean maps for the online service, and the company now guarantees that it has “the best quality map data available.”
Of course, one of the purposes of this new pack of improvements for Bing Maps is to help Microsoft compete against its long-term rival Google, which is already providing coverage for this particular country in Google Maps.
Bing Maps and Google Maps are pretty much competing for the same market, but the latter is clearly offering better coverage of specific locations, with Google investing a fortune not only for satellite imagery, for also to cover more locations with its Street View service.
At this point, Microsoft is only offering street-level imagery in the United States, but the company obviously intends to bring the service in some other countries in the coming months. Google, on the other hand, is covering most of Europe and is constantly adding new locations.