Bing Maps Vs. Google Maps

Bing has just completed a two-year project to dramatically improve the clarity and accuracy of its aerial mapping data. By utilizing multiple imaging resources (including images captured by plane during a fly-over) Bing Maps has just completed a mapping quality that is consistent across the entire continental United states. The end goal of the Global Ortho (GO) project is to cover the entire world with these extraordinarily accurate images that are detailed enough so that one foot of actual space is one pixel on Bing Maps.

Google Maps, incorporated with Google Earth and Google Street View, has a wider variation of resolution and detail. Many of its captures are taken by satellite, and while users can zoom in a little further, the quality of the image may not do the zoom feature much justice.

Side-by-Side Analysis

How do these mapping sites compare in a side-by-side analysis? I was fortunate enough to stumble across a tool that brings Bing Maps and Google Maps next to each other so you actually can see these images side-by-side.

Jonasson.org’s maps application sits Bing Maps directly next to Google Maps. Searching for 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA will reveal the address as seen by each of these sites. You can zoom in with each of these tools and see how they compare in terms of quality and accuracy.

Bing Maps boasts that each square foot of ground space has an exact coordinate associated with it represented by one visual pixel on the map.

Both mapping applications feature a bird’s-eye view of the map enabling you to see things as they would appear from the side. It isn’t always easy to identify an area from a direct top-down image, so this is a plus.

Below: 1 Infinite Loop / Cupertino, CA

Bing Maps

Google Maps

Between these two images, I’d have to pick Google Maps over Bing Maps for picture quality, though Bing Maps does provide a cleaner interface. This isn’t necessarily the case in all locations as the side-by-side comparison of the greater North American region will show you.

I decided to try mapping the area around the Statue of Liberty to get a quick glance of Lady Liberty herself. I was surprised to find that no Street view or 45-degree angle view of the statue was available in Google Maps (though it is detailed in 3D using Google earth). Google Maps did provide me with a number of location-accurate photos to choose from so it wasn’t a total loss.

Bing Maps, on the other hand gave me a 45-degree view of the statue. Here is a comparison:

Bing Maps

Google Maps

Edge: Tie

Streetside Vs. StreetView

Bing and Google both have an integrated engine that enables you to see the sights from the street as opposed to having to rely exclusively on overhead maps. Google is well known for having cars roaming around the world in order to create unique images of locations for its StreetView service. Meanwhile, Bing has a version of this same feature of its own called Streetside.
Comparing the two is difficult. Each has highs and lows in terms of image quality, and it would be hard for me to really declare an edge here except to say that Google has charted more rural areas than Bing. For example, my old home in Victoria, TX can be pulled on Google Streetview and isn’t available in Bing Streetside.

Edge: Google

Final Thoughts

I’ve spent the greater part of a few hours attempting to come up with a clear victor between the two. Unfortunately, I was unable to. The time of day the aerial shots are taken, details of the maps, and even the street-level imagery taken into account leave me with no clear preferred service. It’s up to the user and their own specific needs to determine that one.

For what it’s worth: I found Bing Maps upgraded images to be cleaner and easier to understand than Google’s. Google has social integration through Google+ for location reviews and social meetups. In the end, it all comes down to what I need at the time I need it.

What about you? Have you tried the new Bing Maps aerial views out? Do you prefer it over Google, or the other way around?

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Chris

    Bing Maps UI Is Classy and Clean Google Maps and Bing Maps Are Totally Different

  • Curtis Coburn

    I would have to say Google takes the win, at least for me. Not because I’m a Google fan, but because Google Maps has more integration with its other services, like Google Plus, Google Local. When I look for a place on a map, I can search for it on Google Local, and it will take me to a Google Plus page showing me all about that place. I can map it, and get directions to there using turn by turn navigation.
    Google is very open about what they are doing with maps, and I see all the changes they are doing because they update it on their Google Plus page.

    Bing maps, it does have a much cleaner, and easier to look at pictures, from what I see above, but from my point of view, Google fit better with me because I use a lot of their services already.
    Good article.

  • http://twitter.com/creation4use Samuel Guillermo

    Google will win every time. Usually once google makes a stamp on something, everything else is obsolete.

    • http://adrielsonlinedomain.com/technology Adriel D. Mingo

      Google maps was here first but a true rival has emerged in Bing+Nokia (Navteq) and and it’s made Google snap to life in terms of improving their own mapping.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wwallender Dakota Wallender

    I completely hate bing, the maps are the only exception. they are much clearer and dont stuff a bunch of garbage onto the map. The Quality (Perfection) of bings maps are better as seen by the Statue of Liberty photos. Being me i don not like windows 8 relying on bing

  • Liam Jackson

    I have always used Google maps. I use google for everything as its convenient, so until Bing can pull off Google’s convenience and more, then I can think of moving over.

  • kefir

    great article

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michael.Basil.Albayya Michael Albayya

    i have a feeling bing maps will have alot of problems

  • http://twitter.com/RadSel8 Ahmed A

    I personally use Bing maps, and I’m saddened by Microsoft using Nokia maps for WP8. Pretty sure I’m the only one I know who uses Bing, though.

    • http://adrielsonlinedomain.com/technology Adriel D. Mingo

      Oh i won’t worry too much about that goodsir. There might be a merger in the works for all we know. Imagine the awesome and excellent coverage of Nokia maps (Navteq) combined with Bing maps and it’s app capability. Windows Phone and Windows 8 are in excellent hands location service-wise :)

  • Neill Young

    Whether Bing Maps are better or not Microsoft’s going to have a hard time getting people to switch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qwilleran.lake Qwilleran Lake

    I havent tired Bing Maps, but reading this makes me want to ‘give it a go.’ The one fault I find with Google Maps, is that they have a hard time updating there imagery. I live in Vancouver, CA, and there are many areas that are updated, but they are not the ones I want to see updated. Perhaps when I try Bing maps my problems will be solved.

  • Jesse Aranda

    I think this could be interesting. If Microsoft releases an app for android that is very good and if they do it for free they could put Google on their toes. Apple not using Google’s maps in iOS 6 decreases Google’s users. An app that works really well on android from Microsoft could shift the balance away from Google in the least.

  • http://ironiclee.blogspot.com/ Jentylee

    In the first image, I would pick Google maps over Bing as well. Though you gotta love a mapping system called GO, whatever the image. I have been a Google fan for a long time but it is nice to hear that someone is not only pitching their coin into the race but head to head in the race. For the user, it would have to be what is immediately available to you on your phone. At least we all don’t have to rely on Google maps alone now. Though Google has a leg up on the rural account (and I’d have to test that out myself; great idea looking at old houses you’ve lived in) I must say that Bing’s quality per image is better even the pixal per image post is believable. Interesting and glad to here more horses are winning. It gets boring otherwise.

  • http://bkgcom.blogspot.in/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    Microsoft has serious potential in their products and its only through good design & implementation personally i believe they can take on any service offered by their competitors, like Chris pointed out in geek out video their iOS Bing app is astounding, so microsoft just needs to create a well jointed experience across devices, and dude design & implementation is the only factor that’s missing, they have to work a lot in this department.

  • http://twitter.com/armanzokaei Arman

    I use Google Maps more often because I have an Android phone and I’m used to using it. I have tried Bing maps but it was slow and not that great, but after seeing these pictures and this article I think I’ll use it the next time I need directions.

  • Joshie305

    Personally ive never used bing maps but google maps i think it a good map for the average user but for someone like me who likes nicer quality better images and more, now i kinda prefer bing

  • Mohamed Hisham Hadjazi

    although bing has came a long way. google is still way ahead. especially in maps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ROBERTO1811 Roberto Van Gilder

    Well, I think that bing is much better designed than google. The UI. But google maps, is the most common and it’s the one I use, because I have an Android Phone

  • Nick

    Just look at where Bing has streetside imagery. Zoom out to view the whole world, then try to turn on streetside. Maybe a few dozen cities in the US and a handful outside. Do the same in Google and much of the world is lit up. Google has imagery pretty much everywhere.

  • http://www.cyberfanatic.com/ CyberFanatic

    I still prefer Google. In my opinion Google has the better maps in terms of giving you an inside view if you know what I mean.

  • http://www.cyberfanatic.com/ CyberFanatic

    I also have a question. Since I am here I might as well ask it. I was recently watching one of Chris Pirillo’s videos on YouTube and he mentioned that his website is getting a redesign so I was wondering is this the redesign or is the redesign going to be launched sometime in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.sharples.18 Tom Sharples

    AFTER READING MY MAIN MAPS IS GOING TO BE BING MAPS IT JUST THE THING IV BEEN LOOKING FOR

  • http://www.facebook.com/xhannan Khan Hannan

    Bing pictures way too old! Google seems to have more recent pictures.

  • Ned

    Google is still better but Bing does a descent job keeping up with them.

  • http://jp-pc-tech.blogspot.com/ Pascal Fiedler

    I think, google maps is more public. If I’m wrong, it’s only here in germany.
    In our school no one is searching w/ bing or bing maps.

  • louis percival

    I prefer google maps simply because it’s what I’m used to using, google is my standard homepage so its just easier to use it than re-direct to bing where there is no ‘amazing’ reason to change.

  • http://adrielsonlinedomain.com/technology Adriel D. Mingo

    Bing maps is it for me, I still use Google’s for some super-rural places sometimes but I love how you can share Bing directions to Facebook, and how lovely Photosynth photos integrate into the map and I also like the mini map apps that no one seems to talk about but are very useful and fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606163198 Christopher Micallef

    GO BING!!!!!!!!!!! #$15amaawesome

  • Kieran David Bold

    I’ve always been a fan of using Google Maps, simply because I find it more productive in features and how they are constantly updating with latest street views unlike Bing in some aspects. I like the use of how on Bing; you can share directions to Facebook. Both very good providers for Maps but Google Maps is most useful to me!

  • Joe Latchaw

    I took a couple of trips this summer and while the directions were the same, the driving time was vastly different. Google was closer to reality.

  • Guest

    I will try bing maps.

  • johnvforeighner

    This update has never happened in the Philippines….many areas not actually covered properly.

  • johnvforeighner

    I use both to try and track roads in the Philippines, but to be honest both do fail miserably, both accuracy and age. 10 years old in some cases, and the inaccuracy of early photos by Google have not yet been corrected. Both suffer from lack of clarity in the majority of areas. Clouds or just not processed at all.
    So do not believe the hype they put out.

  • hv

    you are sponsored by M$