Live Search Maps is an elegantly organized mapping website that enables people to have a concise view of the major metropolis, various specialized goods at far and distant locations thereby permitting users to travel around the web in multiple ways. It is a web service contributed by Microsoft as a part of its online mapping services, power-driven by its Virtual Earth platform. Previously identified as 'Window Live Maps', they are now known as 'Live Search Maps'. Search can extend to any specific level; commencing from an individual and then moving onto group, business and so on. One can engage in a global investigation on the map about various locations, businesses, traffic in any particular area and distribute inquiries among people across the globe. Users can search a particular place by clicking at a specific location on the map or otherwise particular category and location can be specified in the text box available on the site. Maps are capable of recommending driving directions from location of commencement to the destination place. Graphical view in conjunction with theoretical description about driving directions makes it more interactive and attractive.
Live Search Maps was released in December, 2005 in line with other existing Microsoft technologies such as TerraServer and Microsoft MapPoint .In November 6, 2006 a new feature called 3-D was introduced. Original version was devoid of some features such as Bird's eye view, 3-D views and Collections functionality which were later on incorporated in the newer versions. In June 2009 Live Search Maps was rebranded as Bing Maps in June 2009.
Unique features belonging to any site makes it atypical in comparison to other sites. Live Search Maps permit users to make collections and mark those favorite collections on maps by using collections tab on the home page. It facilitates users to plot a mark on the map called pushpin and enter details about that particular location which will be of great help to the user and others for future reference. This is quite a handy feature to use. Moreover, 3-D images and photos make it unique. With the introduction of Bird's eye feature, live maps are capable of serving real images from higher elevation.
Live Search Maps presents a calm look with white-colored background. As the user is encountered or confronted with the site, Virtual Earth 3-D installation wizard comes up before the user showing 3-D view of the Virtual Earth. Maps have a light yellow background and highlight directions with sky blue color, roads with yellow color and areas with red color. It shows traffic signals with marks of orange color.
There is no specific registration process for working with Live Search Maps. One can directly access this site without signing-up. But it is necessary to sign-in to Windows Live Id to save collections on the Live Search Map.
It is a totally free web service. It has no paid versions. It collects its funds from advertisements. It also earns from its brand name.
It is recommended to those who want to explore new places, especially travelers and businesses. Live Search Maps is facing tough competition from other map sites such as Google and Yahoo on the web but still it is worth using because of its variety of features which caters to different needs of different people.