Google Maps Versus Bing Maps – A Close Study

Microsoft’s product Bing has been one of the success stories in the web world till now. Even though Google still dominates the industry as the big daddy, Bing is a small competitor at the end. Both of these companies offer map services and have been recently adding major features to their products. And now, it makes sense to ask this common question: which one is the best among the two?

I’m discussing the major points in this, Usability and Looks.

Usability

This is one of the main concern while discussing about a product. In terms of ease of access, both of these products serve fine. We can access and navigate through these services, quite easily. Zooming in and out, is pretty much easy and can be accomplished with a mouse-scroll. This has nothing to do with your screen resolution, the zooming process is the same for all. But, Bing provides a feature called Automatic view, where in you can switch views in accordance with your level of zoom. This is a cool feature, and it enables you to access Bing’s special feature – The Bird Eye view, which is more pleasant than the ordinary satellite view.

Excluding this feature, Google Maps still dominate, in terms of usability. Google maps have more quality and clarity. The locations are more specific and accurate in Google Maps whereas it’s slightly different in Bing. The directions and everything is quite accurate on Google maps, according to me. Both the Bing version and Google Map version are quite different from each other for the same route, and the Google Maps version showed more accuracy than Bing’s. That points towards the occassional inaccuracy in Bing’s maps, which can be of major concern at some particular times.

Google Maps provide good clarity maps even on Mobile View. It’s very much integrated with the much-used Google search and Bing Maps may seem to be quite awkward at times. Maybe it’s just preferential, but I would go with Google Maps, in terms of usability and user-friendliness.

Looks

According to this perspective, my opinion will be subjective to the reader. But there are some clear differences between the looks of both the products. The satellite view of places are almost the same with both the products, but they’re awfully different when you zoom in a little bit. Google Maps provide you a  plugin or a software named Google Earth, which can be used to navigate through any part of the globe, even while you’re offline. This allows you to access the 3D view of any city while you’re online. And Bing on the other hand gives you an option to have Bird Eye view on your PC, provided you have Microsoft Silverlight.

Bing has a slight edge in this point. Google Map’s 3D models are not accurate. But Bing’s Bird Eye viwe is quite accurate and is universal – and also very much beautiful.

The basic map view for both the products are the same. Though Google provides it in a more readable manner. The set of colors used for borders are much appealing than Bing’s. And well, it makes following of the maps much faster.

Street-side is Bing’s reply for Google’s Street View. And I wouldn’t say Steetside is bad. It’s quite good actually. Occasionally there can be some visual ticks with both the systems, but it’s pretty much the same when it comes into real practice. Well, I’d always go with Google’s Street View.

Conclusion

As you can see, Google wins the game with their set of unique features and powerful tools that would always dominate the industry. Bing’s Bird Eye View is quite good, but when it comes to usability and looks Google still has the edge. Bing has a pretty much long way to go to reach upto Google Maps.