There is a New Style of maps across Microsoft
Published Apr 05 2023 06:12 AM 5,058 Views

We are pleased to announce that we have developed a new and improved style for our maps across Microsoft. Azure Maps now uses the very same vector tiles and satellite imagery directly as our other Microsoft mapping platforms, which includes our Bing Maps consumer site and more. This updated style introduces a new cartographic identity across Microsoft that focuses on improving usability, information clarity, and aesthetic appeal.




As before, Azure Maps lets you and your customers choose from several styles, such as Road, Night, Hybrid, Grayscale (dark and light), Terra, and High Contrast (dark and light). We have taken the feedback on our previous styles, and the result consists of fine-tuned colors and information density designed to make our maps more easily consumable across zoom levels and device profiles. We have also introduced transport features, with hairline rendering, to provide more information and context sooner but without impacting readability. We are going even greener as our base map colors now support biomes and landcover classes, including subtle but functional terrain shading rendered with ambient occlusion.




With this update, we have significantly improved label density to provide an even and consistent level of detail across zoom levels and geographies. We also have defined a clear hierarchy of types, making it easy to distinguish between transport and infrastructure labels versus those for administrative districts and natural features.




Another benefit comes from our partners. The Microsoft mapping platform combines and enhances data from various sources, and as a result, we have expanded our coverage in China, Japan, and Korea.




Other enhancements include additional road details, building footprints, hiking trail coverage, wider zoom level ranges for the Terra style, more transit types and information (e.g., ferry stops, metro stops, bus stops), and additional details about mountains, altitude, and waterfall locations.


We will roll out the new style more broadly over the coming weeks. If you want to explore the new style immediately, visit our Azure Maps Samples or try out the Azure Maps Demo site. You can also use the Azure Maps V3 Web Control preview version in your non-production application by using our CDN endpoint or the NPM package.


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We welcome any feedback or comments you may have, which you can provide on our feedback site or in this blog.

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‎Apr 05 2023 06:27 AM
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