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Maps Blog — Jan 2008

  • January
    29

    Google Suggests Using Microsoft MapCruncher

    Being the Microsoft Virtual Earth Platform Evangelist, I'm all about getting the word out about Microsoft mapping products. There is a greater good in what I do, however and that is to get people using mapping. Something like 82% of all data in the world has a location component, so what better way to display that data than on a map? All kinds of data are creeping out of those spreadsheets and databases and getting themselves plotted onto a map. Well, I couldn't help but notice that even Google has the same idea. For the greater good, their official Google Maps API Blog suggests using Microsoft MapCruncher for creating custom maps atop of Google maps. That's just awesome. The idea behind MapCruncher is that you have maps (in .pdf or other image format) that have the need for a better interface, specifically for the web. Well, now the $50,000 you spent having a graphic artist create renderings of your new housing community, factory layout, golf course, etc. won't go to waste. Here's a shot of the UCLA campus using a Virtual Earth aerial photo (hybrid) map: Now, here's one with the UCLA campus building information layered atop the photo using MapCruncher: MapCruncher is a free client... Read More Being the Microsoft Virtual Earth Platform Evangelist, I'm all about getting the word out about Microsoft mapping products. There is a greater good in what I do, however and that is to get people using mapping. Something like 82% of all data in the world has a location component, so what better way to display that data than on a map? All kinds of data are creeping out of those spreadsheets and databases and getting themselves plotted onto a map. Well, I couldn't help but notice that even Google has the same idea. For the greater good, their official Google Maps API Blog suggests using Microsoft MapCruncher for creating custom maps atop of Google maps. That's just awesome. The idea behind MapCruncher is that you have maps (in .pdf or other image format) that have the need for a better interface, specifically for the web. Well, now the $50,000 you spent having a graphic artist create renderings of your new housing community, factory layout, golf course, etc. won't go to waste. Here's a shot of the UCLA campus using a Virtual Earth aerial photo (hybrid) map: Now, here's one with the UCLA campus building information layered atop the photo using MapCruncher: MapCruncher is a free client... Read More
  • January
    26

    New Imagery, January 2008

    27+ TB of imagery have just been added to Virtual Earth. 3D Cities USA Redding, CA Colorado Springs, CO Fort Collins, CO Des Moines, IA Sioux City, IA Waterloo, IA Boise City, ID Decatur, IL Ann Arbor, MI Dearborn, MI Flint, MI Kalamazoo, MI Lansing, MI Lincoln, NE Omaha, NE Reno, NV Ogden, UT Bellingham, WA Kenosha-Racine, WI Ortho Aerial Imagery (Microsoft Proprietary) USA Ann Arbor, MI Bellingham, WA Boise City, ID Colorado Springs, CO Decatur, IL Des Moines, IA Flint, MI Fort Collins, CO Kalamazoo, MI Kenosha-Racine, WI Lansing, MI Lincoln, NE Omaha, NE Redding, CA Reno, NV Sioux City, IA Waterloo, IA Japan Added level 19 tiles (previously stopped at 18) Oblique Aerial Imagery (Pictometry): USA Dekalb, AL Fayette, AL Lamar, AL Madison, AL Marion, AL Marshall, AL Morgan, AL Walker, AL Winston, AL Barrow, GA Gwinnett, GA Newton, GA Ada, ID Madison, IL Delaware, IN Lake, IN Sedgwich, KS Anoka, MN St Louis, MN Amite, MS Covington, MS Itawamba, MS Jones, MS Lee, MS Marshall, MS Newton, MS Prentiss, MS Rankin, MS Wayne, MS Cabarrus, NC Gaston, NC Lake, OH Trumbull, OH Bucks, PA Delaware, PA Luzerne, PA Kanawha, WV Alachua, FL Pinellas, FL Volusia, FL Brazoria, TX Hood,... Read More 27+ TB of imagery have just been added to Virtual Earth. 3D Cities USA Redding, CA Colorado Springs, CO Fort Collins, CO Des Moines, IA Sioux City, IA Waterloo, IA Boise City, ID Decatur, IL Ann Arbor, MI Dearborn, MI Flint, MI Kalamazoo, MI Lansing, MI Lincoln, NE Omaha, NE Reno, NV Ogden, UT Bellingham, WA Kenosha-Racine, WI Ortho Aerial Imagery (Microsoft Proprietary) USA Ann Arbor, MI Bellingham, WA Boise City, ID Colorado Springs, CO Decatur, IL Des Moines, IA Flint, MI Fort Collins, CO Kalamazoo, MI Kenosha-Racine, WI Lansing, MI Lincoln, NE Omaha, NE Redding, CA Reno, NV Sioux City, IA Waterloo, IA Japan Added level 19 tiles (previously stopped at 18) Oblique Aerial Imagery (Pictometry): USA Dekalb, AL Fayette, AL Lamar, AL Madison, AL Marion, AL Marshall, AL Morgan, AL Walker, AL Winston, AL Barrow, GA Gwinnett, GA Newton, GA Ada, ID Madison, IL Delaware, IN Lake, IN Sedgwich, KS Anoka, MN St Louis, MN Amite, MS Covington, MS Itawamba, MS Jones, MS Lee, MS Marshall, MS Newton, MS Prentiss, MS Rankin, MS Wayne, MS Cabarrus, NC Gaston, NC Lake, OH Trumbull, OH Bucks, PA Delaware, PA Luzerne, PA Kanawha, WV Alachua, FL Pinellas, FL Volusia, FL Brazoria, TX Hood,... Read More
  • January
    23

    Come See Me At MIX 2008

    Vegas baby, Vegas! March 5-7. 2008 - MIX 2008 - be there or be square. I'll be presenting a level 200 how to session called " Developing Applications with Microsoft Virtual Earth ." I'll talk features, I'll talk code, I'll talk business examples and I'll give you every reason to get cracking on the next killer mapping application after losing all your money at the craps table. Register online and get there because this is THE SHOW for Microsoft online technologies. $200 discount if you register before January 31, 2008. And, it's at The Venetian which is just sick - the gelato stand near the gondolas inside is unbeatable. Make it happen. CP Vegas baby, Vegas! March 5-7. 2008 - MIX 2008 - be there or be square. I'll be presenting a level 200 how to session called " Developing Applications with Microsoft Virtual Earth ." I'll talk features, I'll talk code, I'll talk business examples and I'll give you every reason to get cracking on the next killer mapping application after losing all your money at the craps table. Register online and get there because this is THE SHOW for Microsoft online technologies. $200 discount if you register before January 31, 2008. And, it's at The Venetian which is just sick - the gelato stand near the gondolas inside is unbeatable. Make it happen. CP
  • January
    23

    Yellow Pages Group (Canada)

    The Yellow Pages Group published a press release about their launch with Virtual Earth. Read below. I took a screen shot of Tim Horton's locations in British Columbia - I've heard it's the best donut in Canada, so maybe someone can send me some. (Chris Pendleton, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98052). I actually surprised myself at how good our imagery was in Vancouver - toot, toot! Owe, that was my arm breaking... Yellow Pages Group Strengthens Connection Between Buyers and Sellers With Microsoft Virtual Earth Powerful mapping platform provides a richer Web experience MISSISAUGA, ONTARIO and MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2008) - Microsoft Canada Co. and Yellow Pages Group (YPG) announced today that the innovative imaging and location capabilities of Microsoft® Virtual EarthTM mapping software are available on YellowPages.caTM, Canada's leading and most visited online directory. As a leader in online directories, YPG is committed to providing the richest and most enjoyable user experience possible to the more than seven million people who visit its network of Web sites each month. The addition of Virtual Earth technology to YellowPages.ca will help YPG fulfill that commitment... Read More The Yellow Pages Group published a press release about their launch with Virtual Earth. Read below. I took a screen shot of Tim Horton's locations in British Columbia - I've heard it's the best donut in Canada, so maybe someone can send me some. (Chris Pendleton, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98052). I actually surprised myself at how good our imagery was in Vancouver - toot, toot! Owe, that was my arm breaking... Yellow Pages Group Strengthens Connection Between Buyers and Sellers With Microsoft Virtual Earth Powerful mapping platform provides a richer Web experience MISSISAUGA, ONTARIO and MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2008) - Microsoft Canada Co. and Yellow Pages Group (YPG) announced today that the innovative imaging and location capabilities of Microsoft® Virtual EarthTM mapping software are available on YellowPages.caTM, Canada's leading and most visited online directory. As a leader in online directories, YPG is committed to providing the richest and most enjoyable user experience possible to the more than seven million people who visit its network of Web sites each month. The addition of Virtual Earth technology to YellowPages.ca will help YPG fulfill that commitment... Read More
  • January
    22

    Live Search Racing Team

    Virtual Earth is a part of the Live Local Search team which is a part of the Live Search team which is a part of Windows Live which is a part of Microsoft. This helps you understand the brand a bit more and helps me justify posting some exciting news about Microsoft's contributions to Children's Hospital. Live Search and Team Seattle are going to the Daytona Motor Speedway this weekend for the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. As a primary sponsor of Team Seattle, we are committed to helping them reach their goal of raising $700,000 for Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. To learn how you can support Team Seattle, and follow along with the team leading up to and during the race, we’ve turned over the Live Search Racing Space to Team Seattle and their drivers. We’d love you to go there, read about what it takes to compete in the premier endurance race in Motorsports, and sponsor the Live Search car to help Children’s Hospital provide world class care to children, regardless of their ability to pay. Microsoft has been involved with the Team Seattle effort at some level from the beginning in 1997, and for the last two years Live Search has taken the lead role. For 2008, Live Search is returning... Read More Virtual Earth is a part of the Live Local Search team which is a part of the Live Search team which is a part of Windows Live which is a part of Microsoft. This helps you understand the brand a bit more and helps me justify posting some exciting news about Microsoft's contributions to Children's Hospital. Live Search and Team Seattle are going to the Daytona Motor Speedway this weekend for the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. As a primary sponsor of Team Seattle, we are committed to helping them reach their goal of raising $700,000 for Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. To learn how you can support Team Seattle, and follow along with the team leading up to and during the race, we’ve turned over the Live Search Racing Space to Team Seattle and their drivers. We’d love you to go there, read about what it takes to compete in the premier endurance race in Motorsports, and sponsor the Live Search car to help Children’s Hospital provide world class care to children, regardless of their ability to pay. Microsoft has been involved with the Team Seattle effort at some level from the beginning in 1997, and for the last two years Live Search has taken the lead role. For 2008, Live Search is returning... Read More
  • January
    22

    KSPR - Springfield, MO

    The list of broadcasters using Virtual Earth continues to grow. KSPR in Springfield, MO is now leveraging Virtual Earth to illustrate their weather news cast. Throughout this broadcast they actually use our aerial imagery (ortho) and 3D (seen below). It's exciting to see so many broadcasters adopting our mapping technologies in so many different ways. After all, the news is local and it's all about WHERE you are, so why not use mapping to better highlight a story? And if you're going to use mapping you may as well use Microsoft Virtual Earth . :) CP The list of broadcasters using Virtual Earth continues to grow. KSPR in Springfield, MO is now leveraging Virtual Earth to illustrate their weather news cast. Throughout this broadcast they actually use our aerial imagery (ortho) and 3D (seen below). It's exciting to see so many broadcasters adopting our mapping technologies in so many different ways. After all, the news is local and it's all about WHERE you are, so why not use mapping to better highlight a story? And if you're going to use mapping you may as well use Microsoft Virtual Earth . :) CP
  • January
    21

    Cleveland Rocks!

    O-HIO! This is pretty awesome. The State of Ohio's Department of Transportation has rolled out a site for all you Buckeyes (and those of you living in the Ohio who didn't go to The Ohio State University). Navigate to BuckeyeTraffic.org and you'll see a huge map (love that) with a number of filters on the left. Now, this is not your basic traffic site...not by a long shot. This site has tons of useful information for those traveling through the heart of our country. Check out these filters: Closures & Restrictions Closures Restrictions Road & Weather Sensors Ice Snow Wet Dry Error Other Outdated Road Activity Accident Debris Disabled Vehicle Flooding Roadwork Snow / Ice Other Web Cameras Winter Conditions No Data Dry Wet Moderate Severe Okay, so this is traffic data with checkboxes to turn on the different layers of information. There's no reason this data couldn't be ANYTHING you have with a location reference to it. Gas stations, retail locations, libraries, ANYTHING! I love the clean interface. Now, if all the other DOTs can get on board, perhaps we'd all be working from home like me because I just don't deal well with traffic, especially having grown up in SoCal where it... Read More O-HIO! This is pretty awesome. The State of Ohio's Department of Transportation has rolled out a site for all you Buckeyes (and those of you living in the Ohio who didn't go to The Ohio State University). Navigate to BuckeyeTraffic.org and you'll see a huge map (love that) with a number of filters on the left. Now, this is not your basic traffic site...not by a long shot. This site has tons of useful information for those traveling through the heart of our country. Check out these filters: Closures & Restrictions Closures Restrictions Road & Weather Sensors Ice Snow Wet Dry Error Other Outdated Road Activity Accident Debris Disabled Vehicle Flooding Roadwork Snow / Ice Other Web Cameras Winter Conditions No Data Dry Wet Moderate Severe Okay, so this is traffic data with checkboxes to turn on the different layers of information. There's no reason this data couldn't be ANYTHING you have with a location reference to it. Gas stations, retail locations, libraries, ANYTHING! I love the clean interface. Now, if all the other DOTs can get on board, perhaps we'd all be working from home like me because I just don't deal well with traffic, especially having grown up in SoCal where it... Read More
  • January
    21

    VE and the BBC

    The British Broadcast Corporation has agreed to use Virtual Earth. The plane crash at Heathrow was detailed in this article on the BBC News web site. The article included many illustrations about the accident and the plane itself, but also included a map of the area highlighting the points of interest around the effected area. This allows their readers to get a better understanding of exactly where the plane stopped, where the plane touched down, and where these touch points are with respect to the south runway, a nearby car park and most importantly a residential area. Maps and (more specifically) aerial imagery are a great way to further illustrate a news article and really drive the point home. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Now, had they used our Bird's Eye imagery of Heathrow , well, that would've just been "tops." CP The British Broadcast Corporation has agreed to use Virtual Earth. The plane crash at Heathrow was detailed in this article on the BBC News web site. The article included many illustrations about the accident and the plane itself, but also included a map of the area highlighting the points of interest around the effected area. This allows their readers to get a better understanding of exactly where the plane stopped, where the plane touched down, and where these touch points are with respect to the south runway, a nearby car park and most importantly a residential area. Maps and (more specifically) aerial imagery are a great way to further illustrate a news article and really drive the point home. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Now, had they used our Bird's Eye imagery of Heathrow , well, that would've just been "tops." CP
  • January
    21

    Visualizing Broadcast Areas in Virtual...

    Our Microsoft Certified Partners SpatialPoint are at it again. They've published a new visualization tool for viewing radio broadcast signal coverage areas by station at FollowTheGame.com . The theme for the application is football, so you can stay tuned to the big game(s) while you're driving state to state. You'll know what radio station to tune into depending on where you are; however, you can imaging how useful this might be for radio stations in general - and what a great marketing tool this would be for Satellite radio (I'm a Sirius subscriber myself). I performed a search from Bellevue (home) to San Diego (hometown) to "pat" the Chargers on the back for a game well played - Hey! They made it interesting!. The site is a bit rough - you need to click "Find" and "Directions" in order to see both directions and the signal coverage areas and the radio stations who are transmitting them, but all in all this is a great illustration of the power and flexibility of the Virtual Earth platform. So, how did they do it? They're using raster overlays (perhaps generated from MapCruncher ). The data comes from their own sources which get rasterized before being published. I had published a similar... Read More Our Microsoft Certified Partners SpatialPoint are at it again. They've published a new visualization tool for viewing radio broadcast signal coverage areas by station at FollowTheGame.com . The theme for the application is football, so you can stay tuned to the big game(s) while you're driving state to state. You'll know what radio station to tune into depending on where you are; however, you can imaging how useful this might be for radio stations in general - and what a great marketing tool this would be for Satellite radio (I'm a Sirius subscriber myself). I performed a search from Bellevue (home) to San Diego (hometown) to "pat" the Chargers on the back for a game well played - Hey! They made it interesting!. The site is a bit rough - you need to click "Find" and "Directions" in order to see both directions and the signal coverage areas and the radio stations who are transmitting them, but all in all this is a great illustration of the power and flexibility of the Virtual Earth platform. So, how did they do it? They're using raster overlays (perhaps generated from MapCruncher ). The data comes from their own sources which get rasterized before being published. I had published a similar... Read More
  • January
    21

    Live Search Maps China Tops Google and...

    I can't read this article , but some of my cohort here in Redmond can. The folks at ZOL (CNET) have rated Live Search Maps China higher than both Google Maps China and Baidu Maps. ZOL specified that Live Search Maps China was better because of the "superior user interface, integration with local search result, personalization and bus transit." Okay, I had someone translate that for me. Kudos to the product team for building out such a user friend, content heavy site for China. For more information on Live Search Maps China you can read a previous post I published detailing the site. CP I can't read this article , but some of my cohort here in Redmond can. The folks at ZOL (CNET) have rated Live Search Maps China higher than both Google Maps China and Baidu Maps. ZOL specified that Live Search Maps China was better because of the "superior user interface, integration with local search result, personalization and bus transit." Okay, I had someone translate that for me. Kudos to the product team for building out such a user friend, content heavy site for China. For more information on Live Search Maps China you can read a previous post I published detailing the site. CP
  • January
    21

    3DVia Survey

    For those of you who have used the 3DVia toolset for creating 3D models and injecting them into Live Search Maps, the folks at Dassault Systems are looking for your feedback. I received a link to the survey which seems to have some kind of identifier, but feel free to use my link anyway. Perhaps the token on the redirected URL will also be unique. I haven't had the best experience with the performance of the toolkit, so I'll be providing my feedback to them about that. I invite you to do the same. If you're not familiar with 3DVia...during the install of the 3D component from Live Search Maps you get prompted to install 3DVia. You can also download it from their product page . It's a bit of a bear if you don't have a lot of RAM, so be patient....and send your feedback to them about that. CP For those of you who have used the 3DVia toolset for creating 3D models and injecting them into Live Search Maps, the folks at Dassault Systems are looking for your feedback. I received a link to the survey which seems to have some kind of identifier, but feel free to use my link anyway. Perhaps the token on the redirected URL will also be unique. I haven't had the best experience with the performance of the toolkit, so I'll be providing my feedback to them about that. I invite you to do the same. If you're not familiar with 3DVia...during the install of the 3D component from Live Search Maps you get prompted to install 3DVia. You can also download it from their product page . It's a bit of a bear if you don't have a lot of RAM, so be patient....and send your feedback to them about that. CP
  • January
    18

    Chargers Take Down Patriots!

    Heck yes I'm backing my home team! I met some girl in a bar last year. I don't know her name, but it was the weekend before the Chargers and Patriots played in the Divisional round of the AFC playoffs. The Chargers were 14-2 and the Patriots were limping into San Diego as a wildcard contender. She was from Boston and talked all kinds of crap on my boys. I told her Shawne Merriman was going to knock Brady out in the first quarter, LT would run for 200 yards and it wouldn't even be close. Well, she's been laughing at me while I ate crow for the last year. Actually, she probably forgot me immediately, but that's neither here nor there. As the saying goes, revenge is a dish best served cold. And this weekend, it is going to be REAL cold in Boston where the Chargers head up to face the Pats. Not as cold as Green Bay (negative 28 wind chill). "Okay Chris, where in the world are you going with this???" Sticking with today's weather theme, I thought I'd post a video clip I received from CNN which they are using to highlight weather in Boston and Green Bay for this weekend's festivities. That's right. That is Microsoft Virtual Earth Bird's Eye Imagery in the background. Turner Networks has successfully... Read More Heck yes I'm backing my home team! I met some girl in a bar last year. I don't know her name, but it was the weekend before the Chargers and Patriots played in the Divisional round of the AFC playoffs. The Chargers were 14-2 and the Patriots were limping into San Diego as a wildcard contender. She was from Boston and talked all kinds of crap on my boys. I told her Shawne Merriman was going to knock Brady out in the first quarter, LT would run for 200 yards and it wouldn't even be close. Well, she's been laughing at me while I ate crow for the last year. Actually, she probably forgot me immediately, but that's neither here nor there. As the saying goes, revenge is a dish best served cold. And this weekend, it is going to be REAL cold in Boston where the Chargers head up to face the Pats. Not as cold as Green Bay (negative 28 wind chill). "Okay Chris, where in the world are you going with this???" Sticking with today's weather theme, I thought I'd post a video clip I received from CNN which they are using to highlight weather in Boston and Green Bay for this weekend's festivities. That's right. That is Microsoft Virtual Earth Bird's Eye Imagery in the background. Turner Networks has successfully... Read More
  • January
    18

    Weather Central

    Jerry Skaw from The Virtual Earth Public Sector Marketing Team posted a blog entry highlighting how some Local News Stations are Leveraging Virtual Earth . Roger Mall and I work closely on media outlets for Virtual Earth, so what you see in the Seattle News area is large in part to our efforts (mostly Roger).:) in any case, I thought it would be prudent to discuss how some of these are coming about. Weather Central as become a value Microsoft partner. They have software which many of the news stations use and after some incredible integration efforts from their dev team, local stations around the US are leveraging Virtual Earth for their news broadcasts! I worked closely with Weather Central during their evaluation and integration, so I reached out to Victor Marsh, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, to get a better understanding. " On the Broadcast side of things we are pulling in VE tiles directly from the VE tile server and integrating them into our internal mapping tile database. This allows a blended map experience where a TV station can transition from their map “look” that they use in news and weather to the VE tiles in a seamless cross-fade transition. This is important... Read More Jerry Skaw from The Virtual Earth Public Sector Marketing Team posted a blog entry highlighting how some Local News Stations are Leveraging Virtual Earth . Roger Mall and I work closely on media outlets for Virtual Earth, so what you see in the Seattle News area is large in part to our efforts (mostly Roger).:) in any case, I thought it would be prudent to discuss how some of these are coming about. Weather Central as become a value Microsoft partner. They have software which many of the news stations use and after some incredible integration efforts from their dev team, local stations around the US are leveraging Virtual Earth for their news broadcasts! I worked closely with Weather Central during their evaluation and integration, so I reached out to Victor Marsh, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, to get a better understanding. " On the Broadcast side of things we are pulling in VE tiles directly from the VE tile server and integrating them into our internal mapping tile database. This allows a blended map experience where a TV station can transition from their map “look” that they use in news and weather to the VE tiles in a seamless cross-fade transition. This is important... Read More
  • January
    17

    Virtual Earth Innovation at Harley-Davidson

    Hopefully, by now you are all aware of the Great Roads application which Harley-Davidson rolled out in late 2006. It was a sleek interface with brand retention and allowed us to demonstrate some strong evidence of how powerful VE integration can be in the enterprise. Additionally, it provided an example of cross brand pollination and monetization opportunities by showing Best Western hotels on their Great Roads application – a practical service for their riders providing them with hotel information when the routes were too long to complete in a single day. Well, H-D continues to be a showcase as they recently launched their new applications…yes, as in two new applications. This time around the Great Roads application has been morphed into a social application – allowing users to submit routes which appear on their Great Roads site . The routes are submitted through their Ride Planner application. Here’s a quick list of high level Ride Planner features: · User can submit origin information in 3 ways (1) submit address, place name, postal code, etc., (2) right click on the map, click any point of interest or existing road and build it from that. · You can continue to add waypoints and... Read More Hopefully, by now you are all aware of the Great Roads application which Harley-Davidson rolled out in late 2006. It was a sleek interface with brand retention and allowed us to demonstrate some strong evidence of how powerful VE integration can be in the enterprise. Additionally, it provided an example of cross brand pollination and monetization opportunities by showing Best Western hotels on their Great Roads application – a practical service for their riders providing them with hotel information when the routes were too long to complete in a single day. Well, H-D continues to be a showcase as they recently launched their new applications…yes, as in two new applications. This time around the Great Roads application has been morphed into a social application – allowing users to submit routes which appear on their Great Roads site . The routes are submitted through their Ride Planner application. Here’s a quick list of high level Ride Planner features: · User can submit origin information in 3 ways (1) submit address, place name, postal code, etc., (2) right click on the map, click any point of interest or existing road and build it from that. · You can continue to add waypoints and... Read More