Friday, February 11, 2011

How to fix your WP7 Bing Map search in Canada

(Note that this should not be a problem if you are using "Mango".  to check, go to Settings->about and click on the "more information" button.  Check the OS version for something greater than 7720, if your phone's version is less than this, install Zune Desktop on your PC and plug in your phone and Zune desktop should tell you that you can update)

One of the biggest problem on a Canadian WP7 map search in Canada is the search results.  You know what I am talking about, you want to say search for the Zellers stores around your location and your damn WP7 device will find you City of Zellers somewhere in Russia.  However, I do have a very simple fix for us Canucks....

If you have gotten a Canadian WP7 handset, you'd probably be pretty pissed when you use Bing Map to search for say McDonald's around your area and the Bing Map would give you MacDonald city in British Columbia or some place like that.  Searching for a local address was quite frustrating as I had to type the entire address (including the city) and I was beginning to wonder what the hell was the "Use My Location" toggle for in the map search settings?

It was so frustrating that I was hoping for a Google map to appear on the WP7 marketplace.  Read on for the solution.

I sort of stumbled onto this solution when I was in Bellevue couple weeks ago.  I was playing around with the Microsoft Store's WP7 handsets (oh Dell Venue Pro, how I want to lick you) and found that their local search was fine.  If I move the bing map to the Vancouver area, search works like a charm too.  Honestly, I was seriously confused.

Then it dawned on me... was there some standard Canadian WP7 handset setting that was causing all this frustration?  I hadn't change anything relating to regional settings or anything so I thought could those be the source of the problem?

So after playing around with the settings for a bit, I finally solved the bing map searching problem... Tested on various things like local addresses, store names and they all seem to be coming back correctly. I was so happy I almost cried. Here's what you need to do my fellow Canadians:

1. Open Settings
2. Open Region & Language
3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and check out "Browser & search language"
4. It is likely that your wp7 handset has this set to "English (Canada)"
5. Change this to "English (United States)"

and you are done and finally be able to use Bing Map properly in your area.  Leave me a comment if this working for you or not...


  1. oh man this totally works
    you're a genius.

    I wonder if i should change the other settings from "English (Canada)" --> "English (United States)
    like: browser & search language, system locale, region format

  2. glad to see that it works for you. it's working for my friends too. Only thing is that if you are trying to get directions, it's in miles instead of km. Still playing around with the settings but so far no luck with getting km. Feel free to comment if somehow you got it to work in km.

    hope they fix it in NoDo. I'll probably post another update on this after I get NoDo update :)

  3. This is a major oversight by the Maps team it seems. Not a big deal though, as your fix worked (for the most part).

    Thanks again1

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  5. i live at Puerto Rico, I WAS HAVING PROBLEMS with bing.thx, now is fix

  6. Hi,
    I'm living in Switzerland (French speaking side) and your tip works for me too !!
    By the way, I have NoDo installed, and unfortunately the distances are in Miles...

  7. I've just found a new tip :
    On point 5 : Change this to "English (United States)", if you choose instead "English (Australia)", you'll have the distance in Kilometers... ;-)

  8. Thank you for your tip. It did help a lot. But i am still shocked that MS produced such a crappy map on a phone. They better fix this ASAP on the next updated.