Microsoft has announced that Bing Maps is receiving a new feature known as Map Builder. This is a community-driven service that sources contributors to add to map data. The company points out that all data it takes through Map Builder will be given to OpenStreetMap.
If you're unfamiliar with OpenStreetMap, it is a free map of the world that is open source. It can be publicly edited and is a community project. Major mapping companies leverage OpenStreetMap data, including Microsoft Bing Maps.
Microsoft says it has built the new Map Builder service on iD, an open source project. Any edits users make must come from on the ground-surveying, personal knowledge, or aerial/street level imagery. The company points out that users are not permitted to take data from commercial map sources such as Google Maps.
Users who want to become contributors on Map Builder can head to https://www.bing.com/mapbuilder/, where there objects that are ready for mapping, such as roads, buildings, bodies of water, and more.
Map Builder is only available for Bing Maps for the web on desktop. It is rolling out in Australia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.
Of course, no mention of Bing these days would be complete without discussing Microsoft's AI binge in recent months. The company launched Bing chat last month, an AI search engine that uses OpenAI's ChatGPT technology within its Prometheus engine.
While Bing Chat does not yet play a crucial role in Bing Maps just yet. However, it seems a certainty that Microsoft will be finding ways to fold AI into all parts of the search platform.
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