Microsoft shows off Bing Maps Preview for Windows 8.1

Microsoft shows off Bing Maps Preview for Windows 8.1

Not to be outdone by the likes of Google Maps, Microsoft has released Bing Maps Preview which allows users to explore the world, including walking through cities in three dimensions. Available for Windows 8.1 the preview can be downloaded from the Windows Store free of charge -- and it's well worth a look as this is an impressive piece of software.

Microsoft says that the app has been built from the ground up and includes the highest image quality possible. The big addition to the new preview version is StreetSide which allows for an immersive 3D experience so you can explore cities before you visit them in person.

As you would expect, there is full support for touch navigation, and this really comes into its own on Surface when navigating in three dimensions. There is an interesting "bubble view" which displays StreetSide at the same time as regular maps complete with road labels.  Change your point of view and both view change simultaneously so everything is always in the correct orientation.

You can save routes within the app, and Bing Maps Preview will let you know of traffic issues at different times of the day. In addition to all of this, you can search for local shops and restaurants -- there's even integration with Skype so you can place a call to book a table for your evening meal.

Check out the introductory below:

Bing Maps Preview App from Bing on Vimeo.