Bing continues to add overlay data on top of its mapping application rather than relying on third-party mashups and its becoming increasingly useful in doing so.
The first of the three new features is a Distance Calculator Map App that helps you to find out how far it is from point A to point B. It will tell you the distance flying, driving and bussing. If you feel like adding a few stops along the way, it will let you add as many of those as you'd like to, so you can plan out different legs of a trip.
In addition to distance calculation, Bing has also added apps to find gas prices and parking places. Both operate rather simply - zoom in on an area of the map and get results. For the gas prices, if you enter an address, it will provide you with gas prices within a 5-mile radius. Makers for each location dot the map, while the price, name, brand, and location are listed in a sidebar.
The parking finder, powered by BestParking.com is much the same - markers for lots with more information when you click on the marker or look to the sidebar. Although it won't find you a street spot in Manhattan, it will give you an estimate on parking costs with a rate calculator. You can even find out lot hours, payment types, and locations, as well as look at photos of the place you'll be leaving your beloved vehicle.
Microsoft makes a good case for these new apps being handy-dandy tools for planning out a trip and we're looking forward to more. From finding out the best place to live to planning out a road trip, Bing Maps really seems to be bringing more to the table with each addition.