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Maps Blog — Mar 2008

  • March
    26

    Virtual Earth Site for Business Decision...

    A few months ago we launched our new marketing site @ www.microsoft.com/virtualearth . This site is a great place for a business decision maker to read up on Virtual Earth. The site is packed with information about the platform including News, Events, Case Studies and Product Sheets to name a few features. The News page is new and contains some of our latest developments announcements and aggregates some of the blog posts from people in our group. Did you know there are several bloggers posting from within the Virtual Earth Product Group? Here are some of them: Chris Pendleton (Technical Evangelist) Steve Lombardi (Program Manager) Jerry Skaw (Public Sector Marketing) Johannes Kebeck (Technology Specialist EMEA) Keith Kinnan (Sr. Dev. Lead) David Buerer (Sr. Dev) Arnaud Gstach (Biz Dev EMEA) Ken Miller (North American Sales Manager) I probably missed a few, but these are the ones I came up with off the top of my head. The Events page is a great place to see what events we'll be attending and web casts we're putting on. I often post where I'M going to be (or have been) on this blog and will often post where the team will be, but the Marketing page will have everything including the events... Read More A few months ago we launched our new marketing site @ www.microsoft.com/virtualearth . This site is a great place for a business decision maker to read up on Virtual Earth. The site is packed with information about the platform including News, Events, Case Studies and Product Sheets to name a few features. The News page is new and contains some of our latest developments announcements and aggregates some of the blog posts from people in our group. Did you know there are several bloggers posting from within the Virtual Earth Product Group? Here are some of them: Chris Pendleton (Technical Evangelist) Steve Lombardi (Program Manager) Jerry Skaw (Public Sector Marketing) Johannes Kebeck (Technology Specialist EMEA) Keith Kinnan (Sr. Dev. Lead) David Buerer (Sr. Dev) Arnaud Gstach (Biz Dev EMEA) Ken Miller (North American Sales Manager) I probably missed a few, but these are the ones I came up with off the top of my head. The Events page is a great place to see what events we'll be attending and web casts we're putting on. I often post where I'M going to be (or have been) on this blog and will often post where the team will be, but the Marketing page will have everything including the events... Read More
  • March
    25

    Marriott "Go Board"

    Virtual Earth has a multitude of uses on the web, but now you can see it moving into the hotel lobby. Marriott is rolling out their "Go Board" which is a large screen in their hotel lobbies highlighting weather, news, events and other local information, but more importantly maps! Virtual Earth maps no less. The Go Board has a touch screen interface allowing users to view maps and get directions right from the screen. There's a full list of local points of interest for guests to browse through, see where they are in proximity to the hotel and get directions right to the respective location. It's not evident from the video, but you can touch the map and drag it for that fluid AJAX experience you've come to love. And you thought Virtual Earth was for the web only. The Go Board is currently available at the Courtyard Fairfax Fair Oaks in Virginia . You'll see the Go Board in the following locations soon: Courtyard Baltimore BWI Airport, Maryland Courtyard Mt. Laurel, New Jersey Courtyard Orlando International Drive, Florida Courtyard St. Louis Downtown, Missouri Courtyard Chicago O’Hare Airport, Illinois Courtyard Irvine John Wayne Airport, California ... Read More Virtual Earth has a multitude of uses on the web, but now you can see it moving into the hotel lobby. Marriott is rolling out their "Go Board" which is a large screen in their hotel lobbies highlighting weather, news, events and other local information, but more importantly maps! Virtual Earth maps no less. The Go Board has a touch screen interface allowing users to view maps and get directions right from the screen. There's a full list of local points of interest for guests to browse through, see where they are in proximity to the hotel and get directions right to the respective location. It's not evident from the video, but you can touch the map and drag it for that fluid AJAX experience you've come to love. And you thought Virtual Earth was for the web only. The Go Board is currently available at the Courtyard Fairfax Fair Oaks in Virginia . You'll see the Go Board in the following locations soon: Courtyard Baltimore BWI Airport, Maryland Courtyard Mt. Laurel, New Jersey Courtyard Orlando International Drive, Florida Courtyard St. Louis Downtown, Missouri Courtyard Chicago O’Hare Airport, Illinois Courtyard Irvine John Wayne Airport, California ... Read More
  • March
    24

    New Imagery - March 2008

    42.85 TB make up our March release of Virtual Earth data. Insane. Plus, we're hosting a whole new tile set that is out of this world! Orthos USA § Las Vegas, NV § Denver, CO § Phoenix DT, AZ § San Luis Obispo, CA Austria/Switzerland Orthos: § Vienna, Austria § Bern, Switzerland § Basel, Switzerland § Innsbruck, Austria § Salzburg, Austria § Klagenfurt, Austria § Zurich, Switzerland § Geneva, Switzerland United Kingdom § Norwich § Ipswich § Cambridge § Hereford § Ludlow/Diddlebury Region § South Coventry § Bury St. Edmonds India § Mysore, India § Ranchi, India § Mangalore, India § Lucknow, India § Guwahati, India § Amritsar, India § Surat, India § Taj Mahal, India § Jamshedpur, India § Koshikode, India China § Fuzhou, China § Baotou, China § Macao, China § Wuhu, China § Xuxhou, China § Taipei, China Obliques (Bird's Eye) North America § Pickens Co, AL § Cullman Co, AL § Blount Co, AL § Sebastian Co, AR § Jefferson Co, CO § Hendry Co, FL § Milton Metro, FL § Orange Co, FL § Atlanta Metro, GA § McHenry Co, IL § Peoria Co, IL ... Read More 42.85 TB make up our March release of Virtual Earth data. Insane. Plus, we're hosting a whole new tile set that is out of this world! Orthos USA § Las Vegas, NV § Denver, CO § Phoenix DT, AZ § San Luis Obispo, CA Austria/Switzerland Orthos: § Vienna, Austria § Bern, Switzerland § Basel, Switzerland § Innsbruck, Austria § Salzburg, Austria § Klagenfurt, Austria § Zurich, Switzerland § Geneva, Switzerland United Kingdom § Norwich § Ipswich § Cambridge § Hereford § Ludlow/Diddlebury Region § South Coventry § Bury St. Edmonds India § Mysore, India § Ranchi, India § Mangalore, India § Lucknow, India § Guwahati, India § Amritsar, India § Surat, India § Taj Mahal, India § Jamshedpur, India § Koshikode, India China § Fuzhou, China § Baotou, China § Macao, China § Wuhu, China § Xuxhou, China § Taipei, China Obliques (Bird's Eye) North America § Pickens Co, AL § Cullman Co, AL § Blount Co, AL § Sebastian Co, AR § Jefferson Co, CO § Hendry Co, FL § Milton Metro, FL § Orange Co, FL § Atlanta Metro, GA § McHenry Co, IL § Peoria Co, IL ... Read More
  • March
    19

    ESRI Developer Summit - SIG Presentation...

    As a part of the Special Interest Group, I'm presenting Virtual Earth at the ESRI Developer Summit tonight @ 6PM along with Ed Katibah (SQL Server 2008) and Kevin Ramsaur (. NET). If you are here at the conference in Palm Springs, come to Oasis 2 & 3. I'll show Virtual Earth, code level walkthroughs, plus Virtual Earth integration with ESRI ArcGIS. Free food, beer and wine! Don't miss it. As a part of the Special Interest Group, I'm presenting Virtual Earth at the ESRI Developer Summit tonight @ 6PM along with Ed Katibah (SQL Server 2008) and Kevin Ramsaur (. NET). If you are here at the conference in Palm Springs, come to Oasis 2 & 3. I'll show Virtual Earth, code level walkthroughs, plus Virtual Earth integration with ESRI ArcGIS. Free food, beer and wine! Don't miss it.
  • March
    19

    Life 2.0 & Virtual Earth

    Yesterday, I did a Virtual Earth presentation in Second Life as a part of the Dr. Dobbs Life 2.0 Conference "inworld." What a trip. First off, I was asked to do this last week and having never even been in Second Life I had some work to do. About a year ago, I tried downloading Second Life and my video card wasn't strong enough to run it. So, I bought a new machine (IBM/Lenovo T60p) with tons of RAM, HD space and a high end video card. I actually forgot about my desire to install Second Life until this conference speaking request came up, so I was excited to enter the virtual world and be born into my second life. Once I got an account setup, the software installed and my avatar created (see screenshot, guy who is front and center) I figured I was off and running. Um, not exactly. I have this virus on my machine called "QuickTime" that's required for running media in Second Life. QuickTime wouldn't upgrade or uninstall but would repair fine, so I had to use a hack I found on the web to remove the files and I finally was able to install the correct version, so I'm still infected. I digress. I presented Virtual Earth as a developer platform, but dove deep into the imagery processing called... Read More Yesterday, I did a Virtual Earth presentation in Second Life as a part of the Dr. Dobbs Life 2.0 Conference "inworld." What a trip. First off, I was asked to do this last week and having never even been in Second Life I had some work to do. About a year ago, I tried downloading Second Life and my video card wasn't strong enough to run it. So, I bought a new machine (IBM/Lenovo T60p) with tons of RAM, HD space and a high end video card. I actually forgot about my desire to install Second Life until this conference speaking request came up, so I was excited to enter the virtual world and be born into my second life. Once I got an account setup, the software installed and my avatar created (see screenshot, guy who is front and center) I figured I was off and running. Um, not exactly. I have this virus on my machine called "QuickTime" that's required for running media in Second Life. QuickTime wouldn't upgrade or uninstall but would repair fine, so I had to use a hack I found on the web to remove the files and I finally was able to install the correct version, so I'm still infected. I digress. I presented Virtual Earth as a developer platform, but dove deep into the imagery processing called... Read More
  • March
    16

    Destroy All Invaders

    Perhaps you saw my MIX presentation of Virtual Earth in Silverlight . If not, check it out. In the meantime, you can check out Virtual Earth in Silverlight as the backdrop and interface respectively for the game Destroy All Invaders , by Andy Beaulieu . I found this link off of the Public Sector Developer Weblog . It's classic. Using your mouse to direct a helicopter and the CTRL button to accelerate it, you fly over different areas of the US with Virtual Earth's Oblique Imagery (aka Bird's Eye) while shooting down UFOs. You can play over Upstate New York; The Statue of Liberty; Universal Studios, Orlando; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA; or Hollywood, CA. I love this. It's built with Silverlight 2.0 and The Virtual Earth tile set. Great stuff Andy! CP Perhaps you saw my MIX presentation of Virtual Earth in Silverlight . If not, check it out. In the meantime, you can check out Virtual Earth in Silverlight as the backdrop and interface respectively for the game Destroy All Invaders , by Andy Beaulieu . I found this link off of the Public Sector Developer Weblog . It's classic. Using your mouse to direct a helicopter and the CTRL button to accelerate it, you fly over different areas of the US with Virtual Earth's Oblique Imagery (aka Bird's Eye) while shooting down UFOs. You can play over Upstate New York; The Statue of Liberty; Universal Studios, Orlando; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA; or Hollywood, CA. I love this. It's built with Silverlight 2.0 and The Virtual Earth tile set. Great stuff Andy! CP
  • March
    15

    Developing Virtual Earth with Java

    Last October we released a version of Virtual Earth which included the ability to track and report on transactions (Version 6). While the Virtual Earth interface has thus far been AJAX, we introduced a component that required a non-scripting language such as .Net or Java. And, while we provided an article on how to use the transaction reporting system it was in ASP .Net. Well, I'm happy to announce to all you Java drinkers that we have published an article explaining how to authenticate using Java . In fact, the article goes deep into how to integrate with Java Server Pages altogether. Big ups to Eileen Chang and Rob McGovern from Infusion for putting this together. CP Last October we released a version of Virtual Earth which included the ability to track and report on transactions (Version 6). While the Virtual Earth interface has thus far been AJAX, we introduced a component that required a non-scripting language such as .Net or Java. And, while we provided an article on how to use the transaction reporting system it was in ASP .Net. Well, I'm happy to announce to all you Java drinkers that we have published an article explaining how to authenticate using Java . In fact, the article goes deep into how to integrate with Java Server Pages altogether. Big ups to Eileen Chang and Rob McGovern from Infusion for putting this together. CP
  • March
    14

    BBC News: School Report News

    The BBC is expanding their use of Virtual Earth . They released their School Report which brings in the news from all of the local schools from the UK and puts them on a map for easy navigation and exploration. I love this. When I was a kid reporting the news in my monthly class newsletter (or even as a writer for the SDSU Daily Aztec !), I think it would've been so cool to see my news story up on a major news web site. Even if it was just a mention of my school, my name or my picture in a story or byline I would've been elated. Very cool idea BBC! I hope this inspires children to aspire to careers in journalism...or at least start blogging. CP The BBC is expanding their use of Virtual Earth . They released their School Report which brings in the news from all of the local schools from the UK and puts them on a map for easy navigation and exploration. I love this. When I was a kid reporting the news in my monthly class newsletter (or even as a writer for the SDSU Daily Aztec !), I think it would've been so cool to see my news story up on a major news web site. Even if it was just a mention of my school, my name or my picture in a story or byline I would've been elated. Very cool idea BBC! I hope this inspires children to aspire to careers in journalism...or at least start blogging. CP
  • March
    14

    Case Study: Fidelity National Real Estate...

    We posted a new case study about Microsoft and Cyberhomes which highlights some of the work Fidelity did with Virtual Earth . I worked with Marty Frame and team on their roll out of Cyberhomes.com which features maps and imagery from Virtual Earth . The site was an overnight hit (and makes things interesting for Zillow ). Cyberhomes (and Fidelity, in general) made such a compelling using of Virtual Earth that we went a bit deeper with them and wrote a case study which is posted on Microsoft.com . Here's a teaser from the site: " Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions wanted the fastest possible time-to-market for a best-of-breed, consumer-oriented Web site for the residential real estate market. It turned to Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner Neudesic and to Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Visual Studio® Team System 2008, Virtual Earth™, SQL Server®, Windows Server® 2008, and Silverlight™. The result—www.cyberhomes.com—went into production in just four months and cost approximately U.S.$1.4 million less to develop than it would have cost using other technologies. The site delivers customized content 10 times faster than with older technologies, and features stunning mapping... Read More We posted a new case study about Microsoft and Cyberhomes which highlights some of the work Fidelity did with Virtual Earth . I worked with Marty Frame and team on their roll out of Cyberhomes.com which features maps and imagery from Virtual Earth . The site was an overnight hit (and makes things interesting for Zillow ). Cyberhomes (and Fidelity, in general) made such a compelling using of Virtual Earth that we went a bit deeper with them and wrote a case study which is posted on Microsoft.com . Here's a teaser from the site: " Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions wanted the fastest possible time-to-market for a best-of-breed, consumer-oriented Web site for the residential real estate market. It turned to Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner Neudesic and to Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Visual Studio® Team System 2008, Virtual Earth™, SQL Server®, Windows Server® 2008, and Silverlight™. The result—www.cyberhomes.com—went into production in just four months and cost approximately U.S.$1.4 million less to develop than it would have cost using other technologies. The site delivers customized content 10 times faster than with older technologies, and features stunning mapping... Read More
  • March
    14

    City of Miami

    I'm going to Miami this summer. I'll be attending the TeleAtlas Conference in June; however, that's not the point of this. I wanted to highlight what The City of Miami has done with Virtual Earth . There are actually several applications built atop of Virtual Earth , the latest being the zoning application. The zoning application allows for users to see what parcels of land are dedicated to the different types of zoning permits available in the city of Miami. Here are a list of the applications: City of Miami Zoning 3D - Locate information and access interactive maps relating to Zoning and Property information within in the City of Miami in 3D. City of Miami Zoning Application - View a map of the City of Miami. Zoom in to find your neighborhood! Apply layers to show City resources. City of Miami Code Enforcement Application - Search for zoning violations in your area by Folio Number, Violation or Address. Miami Large Scale Report - Application to locate and access the latest information on major development going on in the City of Miami The sites were developed in coordination with IS Consulting and their MapDotNet Server . CP I'm going to Miami this summer. I'll be attending the TeleAtlas Conference in June; however, that's not the point of this. I wanted to highlight what The City of Miami has done with Virtual Earth . There are actually several applications built atop of Virtual Earth , the latest being the zoning application. The zoning application allows for users to see what parcels of land are dedicated to the different types of zoning permits available in the city of Miami. Here are a list of the applications: City of Miami Zoning 3D - Locate information and access interactive maps relating to Zoning and Property information within in the City of Miami in 3D. City of Miami Zoning Application - View a map of the City of Miami. Zoom in to find your neighborhood! Apply layers to show City resources. City of Miami Code Enforcement Application - Search for zoning violations in your area by Folio Number, Violation or Address. Miami Large Scale Report - Application to locate and access the latest information on major development going on in the City of Miami The sites were developed in coordination with IS Consulting and their MapDotNet Server . CP
  • March
    12

    ESRI Developer Summit

    Next stop, Palm Springs . I'll be at the ESRI Developer Summit next week. I'll be working at the ESRI booth Monday, March 17 - Friday, March 21. Roger Mall (Virtual Earth Business Development Manager) and I will be demonstrating some extended capabilities of Virtual Earth . This should be quite the interesting forum, so come on out and see us. We might have a cool thing or two to show you. CP Next stop, Palm Springs . I'll be at the ESRI Developer Summit next week. I'll be working at the ESRI booth Monday, March 17 - Friday, March 21. Roger Mall (Virtual Earth Business Development Manager) and I will be demonstrating some extended capabilities of Virtual Earth . This should be quite the interesting forum, so come on out and see us. We might have a cool thing or two to show you. CP
  • March
    12

    The Code Trip

    The Code Trip is a bunch of Microsoft Technical Evangelists jumping on a bus and touring the western half of the United States to educate users on Microsoft technologies - the ultimate road trip. This is just fantastic! They're using Virtual Earth to show the locations of their stops, as well as, where they are today (University of Montana, March 12). It's a pretty basic implementation using GeoRSS to pull in locations of their stops, custom icons and some best map fit features to center on the bus or zoom out to see all of the stops. Plus, there's lots of detail and links in the rollovers. So, check out your city and find out when they'll be in your neck of the woods. These guys will talk your ear off and they love this stuff so go eat their food, learn a thing or two about Microsoft technologies and see if they won't let you on their bus. Although, with a bunch of geeks on a bus for a month I'm not sure ON THE BUS is where you want to be, so maybe just peek in the door. CP The Code Trip is a bunch of Microsoft Technical Evangelists jumping on a bus and touring the western half of the United States to educate users on Microsoft technologies - the ultimate road trip. This is just fantastic! They're using Virtual Earth to show the locations of their stops, as well as, where they are today (University of Montana, March 12). It's a pretty basic implementation using GeoRSS to pull in locations of their stops, custom icons and some best map fit features to center on the bus or zoom out to see all of the stops. Plus, there's lots of detail and links in the rollovers. So, check out your city and find out when they'll be in your neck of the woods. These guys will talk your ear off and they love this stuff so go eat their food, learn a thing or two about Microsoft technologies and see if they won't let you on their bus. Although, with a bunch of geeks on a bus for a month I'm not sure ON THE BUS is where you want to be, so maybe just peek in the door. CP
  • March
    10

    Virtual Earth JavaScript Intellisense Helper

    Creating Microsoft Virtual Earth mashups and applications just got a whole lot easier. A group of 11 developers in the Code Plex community teamed up and in just 4 days produced a JavaScript library that generates Intellisense for the Microsoft Virtual Earth 6.0 AJAX library . This new library is being made available through the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) out on CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting website and comes complete with a sample project to host it so you can give it a test drive yourself. Also be sure to stay tuned to the project site itself for updates to this project. Ok, so this is so money and you don't even know it. Since the release of Virtual Earth I haven't been using Visual Studio all that much (yes, that team is hating me right now); however, with the release of Visual Studio 2008 with JavaScript Intellisense things just got interesting. No more Notepad for me. Yes, I'm old skool. For those who don't know, Intellisense provides available methods within a class as you type in the editor with documentation about what the method does. Here's a sample of me accessing the VEMap methods: Intellisense also provides you with documentation of the parameters... Read More Creating Microsoft Virtual Earth mashups and applications just got a whole lot easier. A group of 11 developers in the Code Plex community teamed up and in just 4 days produced a JavaScript library that generates Intellisense for the Microsoft Virtual Earth 6.0 AJAX library . This new library is being made available through the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) out on CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting website and comes complete with a sample project to host it so you can give it a test drive yourself. Also be sure to stay tuned to the project site itself for updates to this project. Ok, so this is so money and you don't even know it. Since the release of Virtual Earth I haven't been using Visual Studio all that much (yes, that team is hating me right now); however, with the release of Visual Studio 2008 with JavaScript Intellisense things just got interesting. No more Notepad for me. Yes, I'm old skool. For those who don't know, Intellisense provides available methods within a class as you type in the editor with documentation about what the method does. Here's a sample of me accessing the VEMap methods: Intellisense also provides you with documentation of the parameters... Read More
  • March
    09

    GITA GIS Conference

    Ok, with MIX behind us (just barely) I'm now looking forward to the GITA (Geospatial Information and Technology Association) Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference . in Seattle March 9-12. We'll have some presence at the show and I'll be there Monday. Our booth will be there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, don't miss Bill Gail's (Microsoft Virtual Earth Director from Vexcel) panel discussion on Tuesday, March 11 called "Mashups - Consumer Toy or Enterprise Tool?" from 2:30 - 4. See you there. CP Ok, with MIX behind us (just barely) I'm now looking forward to the GITA (Geospatial Information and Technology Association) Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference . in Seattle March 9-12. We'll have some presence at the show and I'll be there Monday. Our booth will be there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, don't miss Bill Gail's (Microsoft Virtual Earth Director from Vexcel) panel discussion on Tuesday, March 11 called "Mashups - Consumer Toy or Enterprise Tool?" from 2:30 - 4. See you there. CP
  • March
    09

    MIX 2008 Hands On Lab

    I mentioned previously that I written the Hands On Lab for Virtual Earth at MIX this year. If you went to MIX it's included on the DVD you got in your bag. If you didn't go to MIX, I believe the HOLs will be provided online at the MIX web site . For the Virtual Earth HOL, I uploaded a .PDF version of the lab to my SkyDrive site. Also, in the docs I included callouts for specifying how to accept the Active-X pop-ups. Well, as you might know there's a better way using a single line of code called " Mark of the Web " which changes the security setting for that page allowing it to render Active-X objects without prompting for permission. This is the code you can just add to the HEAD element of your HTML page. <!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet --> CP I mentioned previously that I written the Hands On Lab for Virtual Earth at MIX this year. If you went to MIX it's included on the DVD you got in your bag. If you didn't go to MIX, I believe the HOLs will be provided online at the MIX web site . For the Virtual Earth HOL, I uploaded a .PDF version of the lab to my SkyDrive site. Also, in the docs I included callouts for specifying how to accept the Active-X pop-ups. Well, as you might know there's a better way using a single line of code called " Mark of the Web " which changes the security setting for that page allowing it to render Active-X objects without prompting for permission. This is the code you can just add to the HEAD element of your HTML page. <!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet --> CP