Panic sets in as soon as I walk into a mall. I realize I parked a mile from the one store I wanted to visit, and that I'll have to part the sweaty seas of tweens to get there. With its new mall directory maps, however, Bing Maps just made my mall shopping—and maybe yours—a little less excruciating.
Here's how it works: supported malls will show up in the "Mall Map" link in the Bing Local results, and show you where each store in located. Today's release is still limited, so unless you live in the Boston, New York, or the Seattle metro area, your mall probably hasn't been mapped yet. Over the coming weeks, though, Microsoft intends to continue rolling out maps, beginning with the largest malls and adding support for major cities.
Each mall map features clickable stores from which you may access phone numbers, Web sites, and addresses (not that they'll do you much good in a mall). You can send store information to your phone or e-mail address. One curiously absent feature is store hours; here's hoping they bundle that in with future releases.
For those of you who use Bing or enjoy fraternizing with festering adolescents and bling-your-cell phone stands, take a look below for a complete list of Binged malls.
Tired of hailing down cab drivers who pretend to take you the fastest route, only to bog down your travelling with weird routes that add to the total fare? Bing is, as they’ve now added the ‘Taxi Fare Calculator’. This enables you to keep track of the best routes your taxi driver should be going, as well as an estimate on the total fare. Bing Map’s Taxi Fare Calculator was developed during the ‘King of Bing Maps’ competition, and is being tweaked to include more cities. As of now only a few dozen cities around the world are included. However, when more routes are mapped out and a dedicated mobile version is available, you can expect everyone in the know to use the Taxi Fare Calculator to avoid getting the run around from cabbies in unfamiliar cities. Check out the calculator here
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If you are wondering what exactly makes Bing a decision engine, this video we took at CES 2010 does a good job explaining. Get a look at how Bing can help you with travel planning, purchasing items, and more, using fare predictions and comparisons. We also look at some of the new features in Bing Maps, including apps that let you check out tweets that are happening in any area.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring Gear Live’s CES 2010 coverage.