Today the Bing Maps team announced the new unified map style they released. This new map style was created in partnership with Nokia and can be seen in both Bing Maps and in Nokia’s maps as well. I really liked the new map style until someone pointed out a major change in Japan which made me love this new map style. In the past Bing Maps always displayed Japan in Japanese. This has been the user experience since Bing Maps was released. Needless to say this made it extremely difficult for people traveling to Japan who don’t know Japanese to use Bing Maps. Here are a before and after screen shot that shows the difference.
The above screenshot you can see Japanese writing on the map, but English in the top left corner which is China. Looking in the same area with the new map control you can see that difference.
Now this is great, but what if you actually wanted your maps in Japanese. Well, that easy, simply set the market of the map control to ja-JP as documented here. Take the following code for example:
If you zoom into the same area as the screenshots above you will see a map like this: