Bing Maps Aerial Imagery into Desktop themes

Some of the best imagery from the Bing Maps Global Ortho Project is collected into Windows 7 Desktop Themes.  These themes change your PC desktop experience as the images rotate through on a regular basis so you never know which part of the world you’ll be looking at next! The United States version is the most content-rich Windows 7 Desktop Theme with nearly 200 images from all parts of the Continental United States, and has had almost a million downloads. The European version just launched last month and contains photos from 10 different countries in Western Europe. Once downloaded, both of these themes are updated through RSS feeds as new imagery is available. For a deeper dive on these themes, check out this post . What are you waiting for? Go download one today!

Bing Maps Aerial Imagery – United States
Windows 7 desktop theme
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Bing Maps Aerial Imagery – Europe
Windows 7 desktop theme
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Google Maps for Android: Now you can see your rated places and discover new ones directly on the map

Since the My Places tab was released earlier this summer, you’ve been able to view all the places you’ve rated in one manageable list. This list is now being used to personalize your view of Google Maps, enabling you to visualize all the various places you’ve visited, loved, loathed, and might want to check out right on the map.

Starting today, business labels for locations you’ve rated with Google Places will be highlighted on the map with your corresponding rating beneath it. Additional places that our system thinks you might enjoy visiting — either to eat, shop, or more — will be highlighted as well. These personalized recommendations are based on the places and ratings you’ve already shared.

Rated Foreign Cinema 5 Stars. Ritual Coffee & Spork are recommended by Google Places
Whereas old paper road maps only became “personalized” when you accidentally folded them the wrong way, spilled a drink on them while driving or physically got out a highlighter to circle locations of interest, we hope this simple and lightweight way of emphasizing the places you’ve shared your opinions about makes Google Maps even more personal, relevant and helpful.

These highlighted map labels are available on the desktop and Google Maps for Android. To get started, sign in with your Google account and either check out a place you’ve rated or contribute more Places ratings.

Biking and walking directions on Custom Maps

You can now use your desktop to create a biking or walking itinerary using Custom Maps in Google Maps. You can choose to share these directions by allowing people to view your Custom Map and avoid the hassle of scribbling them down or printing them out. Additionally, you can access these stored directions from your phone with the Google Maps Android application.

This provides a quick and easy way to navigate trips that have multiple routes and stops when you’re on-the-go. Give it a try the next time you plan a group bike ride or to keep track of your favorite jogging routes.

To start, first get directions to your destination(s) and select the biking or walking icon in Google Maps. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the directions in the left-hand panel and click the “Save to My Maps” link.

You can then save the directions to an existing custom map or create a new one. Once the directions have been added to a custom map, you can continue to insert extra stops or make notes. After you complete mapping out your itinerary, you can choose to share it with friends or a workout buddy.

If you have an Android-powered device, you can access stored directions in Custom Maps right from your mobile phone – just click on the layers icon in the upper toolbar and select the saved Custom Map you want.

If you don’t have an Android phone, you can open your Custom Maps using your phone’s browser and visiting