Microsoft showcases updates to Windows Maps

Jack Wilkinson

In a new blog post on the Windows Blog, Microsoft’s Partner Group Program Manager for Windows Maps team has outlined some of the updates that have come to both the Windows Maps app on Windows 10 devices, but also the system that underpins Windows Maps for developers across the large array of Windows 10 devices available.

Some of the key updates that are most noticeable include:

  • Ink on aerial mode – make any view of maps your own by adding rich annotations with Windows Ink. Planning an off-road hike, calculating the distance, and marking a mid-way spot for lunch becomes easier when you can personalize and write on your map, just like you would with a pen.
  • Create your own collections – from all the places you want to hit on a trip, to frequent places you go with your kids, to spelling out a proposal through a collection of coffee shops, creating and organizing collections can both help you stay organized and let you express yourself
  • Contribute to improve the map data – if you have a correction for a restaurant’s open hours or know a road is missing, you can tell us and help get things improved for yourself and the community
  • New capabilities for Developers, such as styling API that will allow developers to customize the look and feel of the map canvas on the fly.

One change in particular that caught the attention of Windows 10 Mobile fans, but also the greater Windows 10 userbase, is the changes that have been taking place around the underlying map data. As some may know, the map data is derived from Microsoft’s own Bing Maps, but also parts of HERE. As time has progressed, more of Bing Maps’ data has been used, particularly after HERE pulled support for Windows phones. Resulting from this, the road view on maps has been adjusted, allowing labels to either lie flat or stand up depending on what makes it most readable at the time.

Searches on maps now follow you across Windows 10 devices, be it phone, PC, Xbox, HoloLens or IoT, making it a seamless transition to find directions on your PC, but then swap to your phone when you’re about to set off. More importantly, as part of the Creators Update, the Maps app is available on Xbox One – now you can find your way around right from the comfort of your favourite gaming console.

If you’re needing to make multiple stops on a single trip – now you can. The Maps team added the ability to set multiple stops along your journey, so the directions continue, but ensure you reach each stop you need to get to along the way.

And there’s many, many more improvements that have come along. You can read the full details on the Windows Blog.