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Bing Maps Adds Distance Calculator, Gas Price Finder & More

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Microsoft is adding a slew of new features to its Bing Maps. There’s a distance calculator that tells you the distance between any two points on the map, a gas price finder, and a parking finder to locate nearby parking spaces. All of these features have been available on most competing solutions for a while. But, Bing Maps has never been the most advanced navigation app, so it isn’t surprising.

Bing Maps adds a distance calculator and more new features

Starting with the distance calculator, this feature does the job pretty efficiently. You enter your origin and destination locations and Bing Maps will tell you the distance between the two points for one or more routes if available. It will find the best route for driving, transit, or walking along with the estimated time. You can add points of interest (PoI) along the way to see the distance and time update in real-time.

If you take a different road on your way, whether for unmentioned PoIs or some other reason, Bing Maps will re-calculate everything to ensure you have navigation instructions handy. Albeit pretty late to the scene, this is a welcome addition to Microsoft’s navigation app.

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Finding nearby gas stations is one of the most used features of navigation apps, particularly when you’re driving in an unfamiliar place. Thankfully, Bing Maps can now not only locate gas stations but also tell you prices. If available, it will provide you with the phone number for each station so you can call and confirm the prices. This allows you to make an informed choice regarding where you want to refill your tank. You may be able to save some money on fuel without wandering away from your route.

Bing Maps will also now let you find parking spaces in your vicinity. You will get information such as the address, phone number, payment methods, and the type of parking, such as outdoor and self-parking. The maps will show you directions to the location.

Bing Maps distance calculator

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Bing Maps uses Isochrone API for finding relevant results

None of the features that Bing Maps is gaining with the latest update are new to the navigation space. But Microsoft’s Isochrone API intelligently finds relevant results when searching for nearby PoIs, such as hotels, gas stations, etc. Instead of showing places within a circular radius from your location, it uses isoline polygons to find places that require a shorter journey.

For example, if you’re in a city with a river flowing through it, Bing Maps will not show locations that are on the other side of the river unless relevant. A location may be physically close to you, but you will have to find a bridge to first cross the river. And the bridge may not be close enough. On top of that, some bridges may not allow cars. So a location that is physically farther may be more suitable for you. The Isochrone API takes into account all these calculations.

“Bing Maps API’s location intelligence uses geolocation to provide users with contextually relevant information for any given location. Whether it’s gas stations, restaurants, or hotels, location intelligence makes every step of the trip easier,” Microsoft says. The company doesn’t tell if the new features are available everywhere. While the distance calculator may be, the gas price finder and parking finder may be limited to certain regions.

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Bing Maps gas price finder
Bing Maps parking finder
Bing Maps gas price finder
Bing Maps parking finder