(Note: This post is part of two major announcements for Bing Maps/Local on Dec. 15. Be sure to check out the other announcement about the launch for Version 1.1 of the new Bing Maps style.)

Throughout the last few months, Bing Maps & Local has focused on how our product can help with everyday decisions and deliver innovative experiences to a wide audience. The end result is a more functional, easier-to-use, and differentiated experience. The theme for this release has been around three areas: i) Delivering new types of visual detail, ii) Simplifying local tasks, and iii) Improving maps on mobile. With that in mind, today we’re announcing four new features we’re really excited about:

· Interior Views: Provides users with immersive 360-degree panoramas of local businesses
· OpenTable Integration: Lets users interact with OpenTable directly from restaurant pages
· Real Time Transit on Mobile: Gives users real time info if a bus is on-time or delayed
· Streetside for Mobile: Brings users street-level imagery + some mobile-exclusive enhancements

Interior Views

Have you ever showed up to a restaurant excited to try it for the first time only to be disappointed by its look and feel? Wouldn’t it be great if you could explore the inside of a restaurant just as you can explore the streets with Streetside? Reading reviews of what other people say about a place’s atmosphere is helpful, but you’re the real judge of whether a restaurant’s décor, size, and appearance fit what you’re looking for. And if a picture is worth 1000 words…well, each of our new Interior Views could make a very large book.

· Through a partnership with EveryScape Eats, Bing Local lets you “step inside” and explore full panoramas of restaurants.
· Interior Views are accessed by clicking on the “step inside” panoramic thumbnail on a Bing Local details page.
· Clicking the thumbnail opens the experience (built on Silverlight) and enables you to jump inside the restaurant, move from room-to-room, and explore 360-degree views.
· Current coverage is ~5,000 restaurants (majority Boston metro area) but will be expand continually for breadth and depth in more cities.

A few great examples are: Canlis, Davide Ristorante, Gennaro's, Ivy Restaurant