Bing Maps adds a distance calculator, gas price finder, and more.

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 spots. All of these features have been available on most competing solutions for some time. But Bing Maps has never been the most advanced navigation app, so it’s no surprise.

Bing Maps adds distance calculator and more new features

Starting with the distance calculator, this feature does the job quite effectively. You enter your origin and destination locations and Bing Maps will show 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 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 route on your way, whether for points of interest not mentioned or for some other reason, Bing Maps will recalculate everything to make sure you have navigation instructions at your fingertips. Although fairly late on the scene, it’s a welcome addition to Microsoft’s navigation app.

Finding nearby gas stations is one of the most used features of navigation apps, especially when driving in an unfamiliar location. Luckily, Bing Maps can now not only locate gas stations, but also show you prices. If available, he will provide you with the phone number of each station so you can call and confirm prices. This allows you to make an informed choice as to where you want to fill your tank. You may be able to save money on fuel without straying from your route.

Bing Maps will also let you find nearby parking spots. You will get information such as address, phone number, payment methods and type of parking, such as outdoor parking and self-parking. Maps will show you directions to the location.

Bing Maps Distance Calculator

Bing Maps uses Isochrone API to find relevant results

None of the features that Bing Maps gains with the latest update are new to the navigation space. But Microsoft’s Isochrone API intelligently finds relevant results when searching for nearby points of interest, such as hotels, gas stations, and more. Instead of showing places within a circular radius of your location, it uses drive-time polygons to find places that require a shorter drive.

For example, if you’re in a city with a river running through it, Bing Maps won’t show locations across the river unless it’s relevant. A location may be physically close to you, but first you will need to find a bridge to cross the river. And the bridge may not be close enough. In addition to this, some bridges may not allow cars. So a physically more remote location may be more suitable for you. The Isochrone API takes all these calculations into account.

“Bing Maps API location intelligence uses geolocation to provide users with contextual information relevant to a given location. Whether it’s gas stations, restaurants or hotels, the intelligence of location makes every step of the journey easier,” Microsoft said. The company doesn’t say 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.

Eleanor C. William