An update to Bing Maps enables the ability to view traffic cameras along a planned route. The addition follows improvements to colored traffic mapping last month, which made overlays more modular.
“You can now see traffic camera icons along a short to moderate-length route,” explains Microsoft in a blog post. “By clicking on a traffic camera icon, you can view the latest image from the traffic camera at that location.”
The feature should help users confirm congestion or weather conditions before they set off. In the case of a passenger, it could also enable adjustments on the fly. In the case of an unfamiliar route, users could also for check things like road conditions or steep inclines.
On its website, Bing warns that these images may not be checked by the driver while the engine is running. The pictures are sourced via local transport departments and as such camera coverage can vary.
U.S. Cities like Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Fransico, and New York appear to be supported. In Europe, a quick check revealed cameras in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and beyond.
To check cameras not along their route, users can visit the Traffic tab of Bing maps. Here they’ll also see their recently viewed cameras so they can check them periodically.
In general, this is a useful feature that saves visiting individual and often unintuitive websites. It’s worth noting that Google Maps does not appear to have the feature at this time.