San Francisco: Microsoft has released a revamped version of Bing Maps with street views and other features already offered by rival Google`s free online mapping service.
The Bing Maps upgrade released in beta, or test, form also boasts a gallery for applications, such as live traffic data feeds or input from travel webcams or Twitter Maps, according to Microsoft.
New features include letting users zoom in or out of immersive imagery stitched together for 360-degree viewing.
Bing Maps users can swoop down from "bird`s eye" views all the way into buildings, according to Microsoft technical evangelist Chris Pendleton.
"With bird`s eye, high resolution aerials, high fidelity, accurate road data plus the new addition of streetside photography and enhanced bird`s eye all available in Bing Maps as map-based content, I think the game is afoot yet again!" Pendleton said in a blog post.
The overhaul is the result of years of work by Microsoft researchers, according to Bing director Stefan Weitz.
He added that the focus was to measure real world usefulness of the online maps by asking users "Did you accomplish what you were trying to do?" instead of simply whether they found what they were seeking.