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Maps Blog — Jul 2008

  • July
    31

    Don't Like Microsoft Virtual Earth Imagery...

    There are certain areas of the world where Virtual Earth's imagery is, well, low resolution. Let's face it, the world is a huge place and Virtual Earth just having had it's 3rd birthday is only in the initial phases of rolling out imagery and photography to cover the world. For those of you who just can't wait, have a specific area you want covered or need more recently updated imagery/photography than what's native to Virtual Earth there's a new service from TerraPixel called Image Patch . Image Patch uses the raster overlay capabilities built into Virtual Earth to render their own imagery and photography (a la MapCruncher ). There are several different types of layers in which they will patch, including, but not limited to: CAD professionals to design conceptual planning, overlay their CAD files and or view 3D buildings over high resolution terrain. GIS professionals to publish their own data along with MSVE data ( GoVE program ) and get progressive updates of recently developed locations to keep their Base Map up to date. Real Estate Developers will soon be able to publish their recently developed location on the core DB of VE. And, if you don't have imagery / photography, they'll... Read More There are certain areas of the world where Virtual Earth's imagery is, well, low resolution. Let's face it, the world is a huge place and Virtual Earth just having had it's 3rd birthday is only in the initial phases of rolling out imagery and photography to cover the world. For those of you who just can't wait, have a specific area you want covered or need more recently updated imagery/photography than what's native to Virtual Earth there's a new service from TerraPixel called Image Patch . Image Patch uses the raster overlay capabilities built into Virtual Earth to render their own imagery and photography (a la MapCruncher ). There are several different types of layers in which they will patch, including, but not limited to: CAD professionals to design conceptual planning, overlay their CAD files and or view 3D buildings over high resolution terrain. GIS professionals to publish their own data along with MSVE data ( GoVE program ) and get progressive updates of recently developed locations to keep their Base Map up to date. Real Estate Developers will soon be able to publish their recently developed location on the core DB of VE. And, if you don't have imagery / photography, they'll... Read More
  • July
    30

    Microsoft Virtual Earth Deprecation Reminder

    Just another friendly reminder that we're going to deprecate a couple older version of Virtual Earth - specifically, v3 and v4 are going down August 31, 2008 September 22, 2008. Don't say I didn't tell you so, because I've warned you a couple times now. Yes, the dates keep moving back, but now we're locked in. Virtual Earth Auto-Upgrade Postponed (June 12, 2008) Version 6.0 to 6.1 Auto-Upgrade Alert & V 3-5 Deprecation Reminder (May 8, 2008) Deprecating Older Versions of Virtual Earth (March 3, 2008) Plus, don't forget about the auto-upgrade to Version 6.1. So, if you're on v3 or v4 we are completely retiring these versions and you'll want to move completely off of these. If you're on v5 you will be automatically upgraded (read that as redirected) to Version 6.1 on September 22, 208. If you're on v6 you will be automatically upgraded (read that as redirected) to Version 6.1 on August 28, 208. We sent an official communication to our licensed customer base today. For those of you who don't receive these messages I've provided it to you below....free of charge. Dear Virtual Earth Customer, As has been communicated periodically over the last several months, we’d like to provide... Read More Just another friendly reminder that we're going to deprecate a couple older version of Virtual Earth - specifically, v3 and v4 are going down August 31, 2008 September 22, 2008. Don't say I didn't tell you so, because I've warned you a couple times now. Yes, the dates keep moving back, but now we're locked in. Virtual Earth Auto-Upgrade Postponed (June 12, 2008) Version 6.0 to 6.1 Auto-Upgrade Alert & V 3-5 Deprecation Reminder (May 8, 2008) Deprecating Older Versions of Virtual Earth (March 3, 2008) Plus, don't forget about the auto-upgrade to Version 6.1. So, if you're on v3 or v4 we are completely retiring these versions and you'll want to move completely off of these. If you're on v5 you will be automatically upgraded (read that as redirected) to Version 6.1 on September 22, 208. If you're on v6 you will be automatically upgraded (read that as redirected) to Version 6.1 on August 28, 208. We sent an official communication to our licensed customer base today. For those of you who don't receive these messages I've provided it to you below....free of charge. Dear Virtual Earth Customer, As has been communicated periodically over the last several months, we’d like to provide... Read More
  • July
    30

    Eye on Earth Water Watch (and Virtual Earth...

    The European Environment Agency and Microsoft have teamed up to launch a new campaign to monitor the quality of bath water across Europe - Eye on Earth Water Watch . OMG - what is going on in Europe that it is necessary to monitor this?? Forget it. I don't want to know. In any case, the site showcases Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Spatial) and Virtual Earth in the one-two spatial punch that we keep bring to your doorstep. You can zoom in to see the EEA water quality rating and even report problems you see at certain beaches along the coast. Something is going on on the northeast coast of UK which is just freaking me out. You can check out the official press release on the Microsoft EMEA Press Centre - " European Environment Agency and Microsoft Eye on Earth Observatory Bring European Beach Quality Into Sharp Focus ." It's a great read about how different Microsoft technologies went into the creation of the site and why the site is necessary to better serve the public. I will tell you this, the site is pretty slick in how quick the data is getting returned to the client which I'm going to attribute to SQL Server 2008 Spatial. More to come on that as we approach the official release... Read More The European Environment Agency and Microsoft have teamed up to launch a new campaign to monitor the quality of bath water across Europe - Eye on Earth Water Watch . OMG - what is going on in Europe that it is necessary to monitor this?? Forget it. I don't want to know. In any case, the site showcases Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Spatial) and Virtual Earth in the one-two spatial punch that we keep bring to your doorstep. You can zoom in to see the EEA water quality rating and even report problems you see at certain beaches along the coast. Something is going on on the northeast coast of UK which is just freaking me out. You can check out the official press release on the Microsoft EMEA Press Centre - " European Environment Agency and Microsoft Eye on Earth Observatory Bring European Beach Quality Into Sharp Focus ." It's a great read about how different Microsoft technologies went into the creation of the site and why the site is necessary to better serve the public. I will tell you this, the site is pretty slick in how quick the data is getting returned to the client which I'm going to attribute to SQL Server 2008 Spatial. More to come on that as we approach the official release... Read More
  • July
    29

    ESRI ArcGIS 9.3 Desktop Now Features Microsoft...

    Today, we're announcing a closer and much deeper relationship with ESRI by integrating Virtual Earth into their ArcGIS Desktop product. As a part of the version 9.3 release, Virtual Earth will natively be a premium content layer so you can simply select to view your data on our roads, high resolution aerial photography and Bird's Eye imagery. This is different from the " ESRI ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Virtual Earth " because that is working directly with the JavaScript controls. The big news today is that right in ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 you will have Virtual Earth maps to better visualize your data. Now, this doesn't give you a free pass to publish data onto Virtual Earth maps. The premium content layer is just that for ArcGIS Desktop. If you plan to publish the data you're still restricted to the Virtual Earth terms of use , so if you plan to publish it to the web you'll want to get a license (email the Virtual Earth licensing alias ). Here's the official press release, plus some FAQ's below that.... Microsoft Virtual Earth to Be Offered with ESRI’s ArcGIS Online Services Mapping platform collaboration helps improve business processes, unlock and gain insight... Read More Today, we're announcing a closer and much deeper relationship with ESRI by integrating Virtual Earth into their ArcGIS Desktop product. As a part of the version 9.3 release, Virtual Earth will natively be a premium content layer so you can simply select to view your data on our roads, high resolution aerial photography and Bird's Eye imagery. This is different from the " ESRI ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Virtual Earth " because that is working directly with the JavaScript controls. The big news today is that right in ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 you will have Virtual Earth maps to better visualize your data. Now, this doesn't give you a free pass to publish data onto Virtual Earth maps. The premium content layer is just that for ArcGIS Desktop. If you plan to publish the data you're still restricted to the Virtual Earth terms of use , so if you plan to publish it to the web you'll want to get a license (email the Virtual Earth licensing alias ). Here's the official press release, plus some FAQ's below that.... Microsoft Virtual Earth to Be Offered with ESRI’s ArcGIS Online Services Mapping platform collaboration helps improve business processes, unlock and gain insight... Read More
  • July
    28

    Overcoming Pushpin Limitations in MapPoint...

    For as long as I've worked at Microsoft I've seen this issue with a 10,000 pushpin limit in MapPoint 2002, 2004, 2006 and, yes, it still exists in 2009 . The issue is this: if you try to import more than 10,000 addresses into MapPoint you'll get the error, "Only 10000 records may be mapped at one time using street address."   The limitation is there for a couple reasons - one around performance and the other around keeping people from obtaining free geocodes from the MapPoint 2009. So, how do you you overcome this if you just want to map more than 10,000 points? The answer - you have to geocode your data source prior to importing into MapPoint 2009. Once you have your data geocoded, you'll want to add two additional columns do your data source - latitude and longitude. MapPoint 2009 (or 2006) will automatically detect the data type in the columns and set your record matching type to Latitude & Longitude. You'll notice the performance is greatly improved by doing this as well because you no longer have to wait for the address location to be found and then placed on the map. You need only wait for the software to parse the geocodes out of your data set and pin them... Read More For as long as I've worked at Microsoft I've seen this issue with a 10,000 pushpin limit in MapPoint 2002, 2004, 2006 and, yes, it still exists in 2009 . The issue is this: if you try to import more than 10,000 addresses into MapPoint you'll get the error, "Only 10000 records may be mapped at one time using street address."   The limitation is there for a couple reasons - one around performance and the other around keeping people from obtaining free geocodes from the MapPoint 2009. So, how do you you overcome this if you just want to map more than 10,000 points? The answer - you have to geocode your data source prior to importing into MapPoint 2009. Once you have your data geocoded, you'll want to add two additional columns do your data source - latitude and longitude. MapPoint 2009 (or 2006) will automatically detect the data type in the columns and set your record matching type to Latitude & Longitude. You'll notice the performance is greatly improved by doing this as well because you no longer have to wait for the address location to be found and then placed on the map. You need only wait for the software to parse the geocodes out of your data set and pin them... Read More
  • July
    28

    Announcing the Microsoft Virtual Earth...

    Don't like JavaScript? You want your managed code with the new wave of AJAX maps? Well, the long awaited Virtual Earth ASP .Net Server Control is now available for download as a part of the Windows Live Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio . Here are some of the features and benefits of the control: Toolbox – The Virtual Earth Map control is available in your Visual Studio toolbox with the rest of your controls. Just add it to your library and it will be there for you when you need a map. Drag and Drop – Like any control in Visual Studio, you can drag and drop the control from toolbox onto your application, set the respective properties you want and off you go . Server Side Events – You can now use server side events for navigating the map, geocoding and directions. Plus, you can still use client side events to capture user interaction in the map control. Display and Control – You can control how the map displays in your application with standard functions like MapMode(2D/3D), MapStyle(Road/Aerial), displaying dashboard and setting its size, setting the zoom levels, zooming in/out, panning, etc. Adding Shapes – You can add shapes to the map from ASP.NET using... Read More Don't like JavaScript? You want your managed code with the new wave of AJAX maps? Well, the long awaited Virtual Earth ASP .Net Server Control is now available for download as a part of the Windows Live Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio . Here are some of the features and benefits of the control: Toolbox – The Virtual Earth Map control is available in your Visual Studio toolbox with the rest of your controls. Just add it to your library and it will be there for you when you need a map. Drag and Drop – Like any control in Visual Studio, you can drag and drop the control from toolbox onto your application, set the respective properties you want and off you go . Server Side Events – You can now use server side events for navigating the map, geocoding and directions. Plus, you can still use client side events to capture user interaction in the map control. Display and Control – You can control how the map displays in your application with standard functions like MapMode(2D/3D), MapStyle(Road/Aerial), displaying dashboard and setting its size, setting the zoom levels, zooming in/out, panning, etc. Adding Shapes – You can add shapes to the map from ASP.NET using... Read More
  • July
    27

    Tabbed EROs in Microsoft Virtual Earth

    The mysterious Virtual Earth ERO (aka enhanced roll overs). Coded with just a little JavaScript and a lot of Cascading Style Sheets, there is so much to learn and understand about those little buggers and not much of it is documented. Well, Geoff Innis (Virtual Earth Technical Specialist out of Toronto) took the time to do a nice little write up for an application he built recently and so, I present it to you below. Info Boxes allow us to present information to users about the shapes we add to our maps. We can extend this ability to present information with the use of tabs within our info boxes, to present more content to our users, in a structured manner. With the VEShape.SetDescription Method , we have the ability to pass in any HTML we want, as noted in the VE SDK: “To customize your info box to something instead of the default plain text, you can provide your own custom HTML by using the VEShape.SetDescription method details parameter. The content of the Details parameter is wrapped in a DIV tag and, along with the content defined by VEShape.SetTitle Method (if any), forms the custom info box.” By passing in our own custom HTML for some tabs and tab content, and with... Read More The mysterious Virtual Earth ERO (aka enhanced roll overs). Coded with just a little JavaScript and a lot of Cascading Style Sheets, there is so much to learn and understand about those little buggers and not much of it is documented. Well, Geoff Innis (Virtual Earth Technical Specialist out of Toronto) took the time to do a nice little write up for an application he built recently and so, I present it to you below. Info Boxes allow us to present information to users about the shapes we add to our maps. We can extend this ability to present information with the use of tabs within our info boxes, to present more content to our users, in a structured manner. With the VEShape.SetDescription Method , we have the ability to pass in any HTML we want, as noted in the VE SDK: “To customize your info box to something instead of the default plain text, you can provide your own custom HTML by using the VEShape.SetDescription method details parameter. The content of the Details parameter is wrapped in a DIV tag and, along with the content defined by VEShape.SetTitle Method (if any), forms the custom info box.” By passing in our own custom HTML for some tabs and tab content, and with... Read More
  • July
    26

    ESRI International User Conference 2008

    Awwwwe yeah, I'm coming home San Diego! I love a free trip home. Microsoft Virtual Earth will have a significant presence at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego August 4 - 8, 2008. We've had some strategic announcements with ESRI this year and with the integration of Virtual Earth and ArcGIS Server things just got interesting. At the very least, we'll have a booth at the show and I'll be working the first 2 days (others will work all week), so if you want to chew the fat stop by and let's talk shop. Since I know at least one person will ask, yes, Roger Mall (who has spearheaded our the Microsoft / ESRI and many other partner relationships) will be there for the whole show. There's already one session (actually a pre-conference seminar) set in stone, but with the unpredictability of the future you never know what's going to happen between now and then. The current seminar is titled, " Rapid Web Development using ArcGIS Server JavaScript and REST API " and features the ArcGIS JavaScript Extender for Virtual Earth. It's $325 and it's on August 3, so you might want to get to the conference a few days early. Dude, it's in San Diego - how money is it that you can... Read More Awwwwe yeah, I'm coming home San Diego! I love a free trip home. Microsoft Virtual Earth will have a significant presence at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego August 4 - 8, 2008. We've had some strategic announcements with ESRI this year and with the integration of Virtual Earth and ArcGIS Server things just got interesting. At the very least, we'll have a booth at the show and I'll be working the first 2 days (others will work all week), so if you want to chew the fat stop by and let's talk shop. Since I know at least one person will ask, yes, Roger Mall (who has spearheaded our the Microsoft / ESRI and many other partner relationships) will be there for the whole show. There's already one session (actually a pre-conference seminar) set in stone, but with the unpredictability of the future you never know what's going to happen between now and then. The current seminar is titled, " Rapid Web Development using ArcGIS Server JavaScript and REST API " and features the ArcGIS JavaScript Extender for Virtual Earth. It's $325 and it's on August 3, so you might want to get to the conference a few days early. Dude, it's in San Diego - how money is it that you can... Read More
  • July
    24

    trueSpace & Virtual Earth Newbie Troubleshooting

    It's been a day since I announced trueSpace for Virtual Earth Development and I figured I'd post a few hiccups I had to overcome while developing my ever-so-cool Random Cubes . This won't be the end all support FAQs with trueSpace (you should go to their forums for that), but just a few tidbits that may help you since I fell into these same pitfalls. Upload Error This one took me a while to figure out. Having zero experience with 3D I felt like a real idiot when I realized what was going on. When I'd finished created my model and I was ready to upload it into Live Search Maps I would on occasion get this "Error Event - Export to VE Collection not finished successfully." This is the generic error handler for uploading to Live Search Maps, so there are lots of places this could happen. If you don't have a valid Windows Live ID. If you don't have an Internet connection. If the cloud service for Live Search Maps collections is down. Well, putting all those aside was it a memory issue? Graphics? None of the above. I simply had not selected the model. If you try to upload from trueSpace to Live Search Maps and you have not actually clicked on the model you want to upload you will see this... Read More It's been a day since I announced trueSpace for Virtual Earth Development and I figured I'd post a few hiccups I had to overcome while developing my ever-so-cool Random Cubes . This won't be the end all support FAQs with trueSpace (you should go to their forums for that), but just a few tidbits that may help you since I fell into these same pitfalls. Upload Error This one took me a while to figure out. Having zero experience with 3D I felt like a real idiot when I realized what was going on. When I'd finished created my model and I was ready to upload it into Live Search Maps I would on occasion get this "Error Event - Export to VE Collection not finished successfully." This is the generic error handler for uploading to Live Search Maps, so there are lots of places this could happen. If you don't have a valid Windows Live ID. If you don't have an Internet connection. If the cloud service for Live Search Maps collections is down. Well, putting all those aside was it a memory issue? Graphics? None of the above. I simply had not selected the model. If you try to upload from trueSpace to Live Search Maps and you have not actually clicked on the model you want to upload you will see this... Read More
  • July
    23

    Announcing trueSpace for Virtual Earth...

    Today is a big day. BIG DAY. As you'll recall, several months ago we acquired Caligari because of their advanced 3D toolset - trueSpace (among other assets). I've always felt sketchy about other 3D freeware, so starting today trueSpace 7.6 is now available for download.....FOR FREE ! And, there is a direct connection into Live Search Maps so you can create SUPER high resolution 3D models using trueSpace, then right from the environment upload the model into Live Search Maps as a collection item. Once you've created your collection, you can import your collection into your Virtual Earth application and BAM you have your own custom 3D models in your Virtual Earth application. We'll host the models right in our 3D collections cloud! This is going to be a long post - get some coffee and make it diesel. Register and Download trueSpace 7.6 for free . "Yeah, 3D is cool and all but how can I make money?" How about a Virtual Retail Experience? We'll use a Starbucks location as an example. Put on your helmet for I'm about to blow your mind. Now, THAT, my friends is HIGH RESOLUTION and can not be done by sketching. The possibilities are limited only to your imagination. Things you wish... Read More Today is a big day. BIG DAY. As you'll recall, several months ago we acquired Caligari because of their advanced 3D toolset - trueSpace (among other assets). I've always felt sketchy about other 3D freeware, so starting today trueSpace 7.6 is now available for download.....FOR FREE ! And, there is a direct connection into Live Search Maps so you can create SUPER high resolution 3D models using trueSpace, then right from the environment upload the model into Live Search Maps as a collection item. Once you've created your collection, you can import your collection into your Virtual Earth application and BAM you have your own custom 3D models in your Virtual Earth application. We'll host the models right in our 3D collections cloud! This is going to be a long post - get some coffee and make it diesel. Register and Download trueSpace 7.6 for free . "Yeah, 3D is cool and all but how can I make money?" How about a Virtual Retail Experience? We'll use a Starbucks location as an example. Put on your helmet for I'm about to blow your mind. Now, THAT, my friends is HIGH RESOLUTION and can not be done by sketching. The possibilities are limited only to your imagination. Things you wish... Read More
  • July
    22

    Virtual Earth Imagery Release - July 2008

    14.3 TB of new imagery for Microsoft Virtual Earth. Save money on gas....use Live Search Maps powered by Virtual Earth . Ortho United States (UltraCam, Microsoft Proprietary) Elizabeth, NJ West Allis, WI    Paterson, NJ Pasadena, TX Austria Entire country! Belgium Tournai, Belgium Aalst. Belgium Verviers, Belgium Sint Niklass, Belgium Hasselt, Belgium Genk, Belgium Mouscron, Belgium Mons, Belgium Oostende, Belgium Mechelen, Belgium Leuven, Belgium Kortrijk, Belgium La Louviere, Belgium Denmark Aalborgk, Denmark Kolding, Denmark Arhus, Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark Esbjerg, Denmark Fredericia, Denmark Silkeborg, Denmark Roskilde, Denmark Randers, Denmark Vejle, Denmark Odense, Denmark Horsens, Denmark Herning, Denmark Helsingor, Denmark Finland Turku, Finland Vassa, Finland Tampere, Finland Pori, Finland Oulu, Finland Lappeenranta, Finland Lahti, Finland Kuopio, Finland Kotka, Finland Jyvaskyla, Finland Joensuu, Finland Helsinki, Finland Hameenlina, Finland Germany Munich, Germany Hamburg, Germany Frankfurt, Germany Stuttgart, Germany Leipzig, Germany Potsdam, Germany Bremen, Germany Ireland Wexford, Ireland Cork, Ireland Galway, Ireland Carlow, Ireland Limerick, Ireland... Read More 14.3 TB of new imagery for Microsoft Virtual Earth. Save money on gas....use Live Search Maps powered by Virtual Earth . Ortho United States (UltraCam, Microsoft Proprietary) Elizabeth, NJ West Allis, WI    Paterson, NJ Pasadena, TX Austria Entire country! Belgium Tournai, Belgium Aalst. Belgium Verviers, Belgium Sint Niklass, Belgium Hasselt, Belgium Genk, Belgium Mouscron, Belgium Mons, Belgium Oostende, Belgium Mechelen, Belgium Leuven, Belgium Kortrijk, Belgium La Louviere, Belgium Denmark Aalborgk, Denmark Kolding, Denmark Arhus, Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark Esbjerg, Denmark Fredericia, Denmark Silkeborg, Denmark Roskilde, Denmark Randers, Denmark Vejle, Denmark Odense, Denmark Horsens, Denmark Herning, Denmark Helsingor, Denmark Finland Turku, Finland Vassa, Finland Tampere, Finland Pori, Finland Oulu, Finland Lappeenranta, Finland Lahti, Finland Kuopio, Finland Kotka, Finland Jyvaskyla, Finland Joensuu, Finland Helsinki, Finland Hameenlina, Finland Germany Munich, Germany Hamburg, Germany Frankfurt, Germany Stuttgart, Germany Leipzig, Germany Potsdam, Germany Bremen, Germany Ireland Wexford, Ireland Cork, Ireland Galway, Ireland Carlow, Ireland Limerick, Ireland... Read More
  • July
    18

    SQL Server 2008 + Virtual Earth = Simple...

    Marc Schweigert is trying to replace me as the Virtual Earth Technical Evangelist. I kid, I kid! He has bigger fish to fry, but his passion for geospatial solutions is impressive to say the least. He's just put out ANOTHER TWO how-to videos about Microsoft Virtual Earth . These videos are only the beginning of showing the power of SQL Server and Virtual Earth coming together to bring simple interfaces into geographic information systems. Not to mention extensible solutions for building interfaces into SharePoint, Silverlight (when available) and WPF (when available)! Saving Virtual Earth Polygons to SQL Server 2008 : In this screencast, I show you how to draw a polygon on a Virtual Earth map and save it using ASP.NET AJAX, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), LINQ to SQL, and the new geography data type in SQL Server 2008. Rendering Polygons from SQL Server 2008 on Virtual Earth : In this screencast, I build off of the concepts shown in my previous screencast and show you how to render a polygon on a Virtual Earth map using REST, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), LINQ to SQL, and the new geography data type in SQL Server 2008. Are you ready for it? The wave of change is coming... Read More Marc Schweigert is trying to replace me as the Virtual Earth Technical Evangelist. I kid, I kid! He has bigger fish to fry, but his passion for geospatial solutions is impressive to say the least. He's just put out ANOTHER TWO how-to videos about Microsoft Virtual Earth . These videos are only the beginning of showing the power of SQL Server and Virtual Earth coming together to bring simple interfaces into geographic information systems. Not to mention extensible solutions for building interfaces into SharePoint, Silverlight (when available) and WPF (when available)! Saving Virtual Earth Polygons to SQL Server 2008 : In this screencast, I show you how to draw a polygon on a Virtual Earth map and save it using ASP.NET AJAX, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), LINQ to SQL, and the new geography data type in SQL Server 2008. Rendering Polygons from SQL Server 2008 on Virtual Earth : In this screencast, I build off of the concepts shown in my previous screencast and show you how to render a polygon on a Virtual Earth map using REST, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), LINQ to SQL, and the new geography data type in SQL Server 2008. Are you ready for it? The wave of change is coming... Read More
  • July
    18

    Introduction to Spatial Coordinate Systems

    Isaac Kunen from the SQL Server team published an outstanding MSDN article entitled, " Introduction to Spatial Coordinate Systems: Flat Maps for a Round Planet ." This is a great article for those of you who are just getting started in GIS, are curious about GIS but intimidated by math and coordinate systems or just plain geeky and like maps. The article will help you get a grasp on different map projections, coordinate systems, why we flatten maps, and how to model maps when transform the data from just data to an actual image. These are just a few of the concepts Isaac covers in the article - there is much more to it! You really will have a new appreciation for what we do to create Microsoft Virtual Earth after you read this! And, next time you hear some kid say they'll never use math (usually, that guy in high school that's now servicing your car), you can just bust out this article and show him Math really does make the world go round...or, in this case, flat. :) CP Isaac Kunen from the SQL Server team published an outstanding MSDN article entitled, " Introduction to Spatial Coordinate Systems: Flat Maps for a Round Planet ." This is a great article for those of you who are just getting started in GIS, are curious about GIS but intimidated by math and coordinate systems or just plain geeky and like maps. The article will help you get a grasp on different map projections, coordinate systems, why we flatten maps, and how to model maps when transform the data from just data to an actual image. These are just a few of the concepts Isaac covers in the article - there is much more to it! You really will have a new appreciation for what we do to create Microsoft Virtual Earth after you read this! And, next time you hear some kid say they'll never use math (usually, that guy in high school that's now servicing your car), you can just bust out this article and show him Math really does make the world go round...or, in this case, flat. :) CP
  • July
    17

    WorldMaps and Microsoft Virtual Earth

    Perhaps you've noticed that I've added a little (non-Virtual Earth) map to my blog. Well, as the story goes...I'm always crawling the web for maps. Obviously, I have some kind of passion (read as obsession) with online mapping. So, I come across this little map with dots on it that is appearing on a lot of the blogs. Yes, I'm aware of ClustrMaps. What was most interesting is that as I was discovering this whole WorldMaps/ClustrMaps thing this guy from inside Microsoft was talking about WorldMaps on one of the internal aliases. So, I emailed him and said, "DUDE! You're Microsoft. Why don't you use Virtual Earth maps?!?" Well, that was a good idea so he did it. And, now WorldMaps is available in both his static map and Virtual Earth map views. Money. That "he" is Brian Hitney , a Microsoft Developer Evangelist out of North Carolina who runs the Structure Too Big site . The service is free to sign up and all you need to do is drop a little map image (some HTML) on your page and his service will track all of the IPs requesting the image and produce a report for you. You can see this report by clicking on the map image itself (go ahead, click the map image). The map image... Read More Perhaps you've noticed that I've added a little (non-Virtual Earth) map to my blog. Well, as the story goes...I'm always crawling the web for maps. Obviously, I have some kind of passion (read as obsession) with online mapping. So, I come across this little map with dots on it that is appearing on a lot of the blogs. Yes, I'm aware of ClustrMaps. What was most interesting is that as I was discovering this whole WorldMaps/ClustrMaps thing this guy from inside Microsoft was talking about WorldMaps on one of the internal aliases. So, I emailed him and said, "DUDE! You're Microsoft. Why don't you use Virtual Earth maps?!?" Well, that was a good idea so he did it. And, now WorldMaps is available in both his static map and Virtual Earth map views. Money. That "he" is Brian Hitney , a Microsoft Developer Evangelist out of North Carolina who runs the Structure Too Big site . The service is free to sign up and all you need to do is drop a little map image (some HTML) on your page and his service will track all of the IPs requesting the image and produce a report for you. You can see this report by clicking on the map image itself (go ahead, click the map image). The map image... Read More
  • July
    16

    Limiting Microsoft Virtual Earth Tile Downloads...

    There are a couple ways to improve performance in when using Microsoft Virtual Earth. One is to limit the number of tiles requested to the client from the control, but when do you want to do this? If you're considering limiting the number of tiles downloaded to the client, the best way is to limit the number of rings of tiles being downloaded to the client by using the map.SetTileBuffer() method . When the map control is downloaded to your machine a set of tiles will be sent to the user to create the map interface. By default, the initial Virtual Earth map load will download only the tiles inside the view port of your DIV; however, once the user pans the SetTileBuffer method kicks in and depending on the number of rings you've set to be downloaded you could see some performance issues. If you don't really care about tile loading asynchronously as the user pans, you can limit the rings downloaded. If you'd rather see better performance for the user (for panning) you can enable additional rings. I tried this with a 200 x 200 map. All results below had 4 tiles on the initial load, but 'X' kicked in after panning/zooming the map. With zero rings (default) 4 tiles downloaded to the client... Read More There are a couple ways to improve performance in when using Microsoft Virtual Earth. One is to limit the number of tiles requested to the client from the control, but when do you want to do this? If you're considering limiting the number of tiles downloaded to the client, the best way is to limit the number of rings of tiles being downloaded to the client by using the map.SetTileBuffer() method . When the map control is downloaded to your machine a set of tiles will be sent to the user to create the map interface. By default, the initial Virtual Earth map load will download only the tiles inside the view port of your DIV; however, once the user pans the SetTileBuffer method kicks in and depending on the number of rings you've set to be downloaded you could see some performance issues. If you don't really care about tile loading asynchronously as the user pans, you can limit the rings downloaded. If you'd rather see better performance for the user (for panning) you can enable additional rings. I tried this with a 200 x 200 map. All results below had 4 tiles on the initial load, but 'X' kicked in after panning/zooming the map. With zero rings (default) 4 tiles downloaded to the client... Read More