The Windows 8 SDK is pointing to some tantalising improvements to the maps functionality. Specifically maps will now support overlaying Landmarks, in this example, a 3d transparent building and pedestrian features. The pedestrian feature show in the example seems to be that of stairs.
As well as that the documentation makes reference to a range of Cartographic modes that can be used, it also looks like it’s now possible to pitch the maps along with that:-
- Road : displays the normal, default 2-D map
- Aerial : displays an aerial photographic map.
- Hybrid : displays an aerial view of the map overlaid with roads and labels.
- Terrain : displays physical relief images for displaying elevation and water features such as mountains and rivers.
Where once there was light, now there is dark...
Pitch of map view now available - rejoice!
If that weren’t enough you can now have either light or dark mode maps. This looks to be similar to how Nokia drive works in Night Mode currently. Looks like maps is going to get a nice boost in Windows Phone 8. The features detailed above alone will put the standard mapping technology up a level. Hopefully the feature set of maps goes beyond this to include streetview and streetside but even as it is, this will mean it’s just as capable as something like google earth or similar products currently available on a desktop from Nokia and Microsoft.
Beyond these new features, it looks as though developers will now be able to download maps for offline use in their apps. Thanks to Jay B for the tip.
What do you folks think of the details revealed so far? You know more? Let us know? Get in those comments!