Microsoft adds 3D buildings and voice to Live Search

Microsoft has announced a range of improvements to its Live Search service, including new features in Maps and an improved version of Search for Windows Mobile.

Microsoft adds 3D buildings and voice to Live Search

Live Search Maps now has 3D support, with data on 200 cities already available. However, viewing London reveals only a handful of buildings that have actually been represented in 3D, with Central London largely sparse.

There is the capability for users to create and share their own 3D models of buildings though, which may mean that the service builds a more comprehensive model in time.

Maps features new driving directions, which include dynamic rerouting of directions based on traffic conditions. Another new feature provides “hints” based on local landmarks to make directions easier to read.

On a test route a shade under seven miles long, there were 21 direction items, but only one included a reference to a landmark – simply giving the name of the road after the destination, and warning that if you’ve reached that road you have gone too far.

Live Search for Windows Mobile has also received an update, with voice input for searches, and the ability to use GPS data on enabled handsets.

“Collectively, these improvements… are an important milestone in our efforts in delivering a comprehensive, innovative search offering that includes mobile, mapping, web and local services for customers to find what they need, when they need it, on any device,” says Cynthia Crossley, UK director of search for Microsoft.

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