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Maps Blog — Jan 2009

  • January
    28

    Developing Virtual Earth Applications with...

    My good friend Mark Riches from VizRT / Curious recently integrated Microsoft Virtual Earth into the Viz Curious Maps software for television production. They use Virtual Earth maps in broadcast scenarios all over the world. “ Viz Curious Maps is the broadcast industry’s de facto standard for the creation of branded maps and geographic animations. By extending Viz Curious Maps to a server edition, it can provide real-time, branded map imagery to several clients embedded within Vizrt’s control applications. Templates created within Viz Curious Maps can be dynamically accessed through the Viz Trio character generator and Viz Content Pilot, as well as Viz Weather, Viz Traffic, and Viz Artist. Users can seamlessly create branded, animated maps and add them to graphic templates or insert them directly into a 3D scene. ” Well, as a result of his work to get Virtual Earth integrated into Viz Curious Maps Mark switched from hitting our tile server directly to using the Virtual Earth Web Service (the supported way of getting tiles). Since Viz Curious Maps is built with C++ and Virtual Earth Web Service uses a SOAP protocol Mark used gSOAP to open communications between the two. Mark was nice... Read More My good friend Mark Riches from VizRT / Curious recently integrated Microsoft Virtual Earth into the Viz Curious Maps software for television production. They use Virtual Earth maps in broadcast scenarios all over the world. “ Viz Curious Maps is the broadcast industry’s de facto standard for the creation of branded maps and geographic animations. By extending Viz Curious Maps to a server edition, it can provide real-time, branded map imagery to several clients embedded within Vizrt’s control applications. Templates created within Viz Curious Maps can be dynamically accessed through the Viz Trio character generator and Viz Content Pilot, as well as Viz Weather, Viz Traffic, and Viz Artist. Users can seamlessly create branded, animated maps and add them to graphic templates or insert them directly into a 3D scene. ” Well, as a result of his work to get Virtual Earth integrated into Viz Curious Maps Mark switched from hitting our tile server directly to using the Virtual Earth Web Service (the supported way of getting tiles). Since Viz Curious Maps is built with C++ and Virtual Earth Web Service uses a SOAP protocol Mark used gSOAP to open communications between the two. Mark was nice... Read More
  • January
    28

    geekSpeak Webcast: Virtual Earth for Developers...

    Wanted to ensure you folks saw this and got it on your calendars (Wednesday, February 11 @ 12 noon PST)…. register for the web cast on MSDN . In this episode of geekSpeak, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Geoffrey Emery shows us how developers can use Microsoft Virtual Earth to provide mapping and location features in their applications. Geoffrey highlights how to use Virtual Earth Web Services as well as the new server-side control for virtual earth. Be sure to bring your Virtual Earth questions for Geoffrey. Your hosts for this geekSpeak are Lynn Langit and Glen Gordon. The geekSpeak webcast series brings you industry experts in a "talk-radio" format hosted by developer evangelists from Microsoft. These experts share their knowledge and experience about a particular developer technology and are ready to answer your questions in real time during the webcast. To ask a question in advance of the live webcast, or for post-show resources, be sure to visit the geekSpeak blog. CP Wanted to ensure you folks saw this and got it on your calendars (Wednesday, February 11 @ 12 noon PST)…. register for the web cast on MSDN . In this episode of geekSpeak, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Geoffrey Emery shows us how developers can use Microsoft Virtual Earth to provide mapping and location features in their applications. Geoffrey highlights how to use Virtual Earth Web Services as well as the new server-side control for virtual earth. Be sure to bring your Virtual Earth questions for Geoffrey. Your hosts for this geekSpeak are Lynn Langit and Glen Gordon. The geekSpeak webcast series brings you industry experts in a "talk-radio" format hosted by developer evangelists from Microsoft. These experts share their knowledge and experience about a particular developer technology and are ready to answer your questions in real time during the webcast. To ask a question in advance of the live webcast, or for post-show resources, be sure to visit the geekSpeak blog. CP
  • January
    21

    Routing in Virtual Earth Web Service

    I’ve been working on this one for a while and it kind of completes the basics for getting started with the Virtual Earth Web Service . The Routing Service in VEWS allows for route calculation and itinerary creation.  The following will get you started using the routing service. In this sample I’ll instantiate the service request, pass the points into an array, set options for the route object, get the route object back and parse the information into a table for viewing. First things first, add a web reference to the route service. Next, the following code will provide you with the route itinerary starting at lat/lon (40, –120) then stopping for some Starbucks coffee at lat/lon (40.5, –120.5) and ending at lat/lon (41, –121). The inline documentation should help explain what’s happening. The ASPX and Code-behind are available below. ////////////////////// //Route.ASPX.CS ////////////////////// using System; using System.Web; using System.Web.UI.WebControls; using VEWSX.TokenService; using VEWSX.RouteService; namespace VEWSX {     public partial class Route : System.Web.UI.Page     {         protected void Page_Load... Read More I’ve been working on this one for a while and it kind of completes the basics for getting started with the Virtual Earth Web Service . The Routing Service in VEWS allows for route calculation and itinerary creation.  The following will get you started using the routing service. In this sample I’ll instantiate the service request, pass the points into an array, set options for the route object, get the route object back and parse the information into a table for viewing. First things first, add a web reference to the route service. Next, the following code will provide you with the route itinerary starting at lat/lon (40, –120) then stopping for some Starbucks coffee at lat/lon (40.5, –120.5) and ending at lat/lon (41, –121). The inline documentation should help explain what’s happening. The ASPX and Code-behind are available below. ////////////////////// //Route.ASPX.CS ////////////////////// using System; using System.Web; using System.Web.UI.WebControls; using VEWSX.TokenService; using VEWSX.RouteService; namespace VEWSX {     public partial class Route : System.Web.UI.Page     {         protected void Page_Load... Read More
  • January
    20

    Virtual Earth 3D Install Issue with Windows...

    If you’ve tried installing Virtual Earth 3D on Windows 7 you may have see a little problem with the installer crashing during setup stating, “Virtual Earth 3D Install has stopped working.” CP to the rescue! As it turns out there’s an issue with the Software Quality Metrics (SQM) in Windows 7 that it doesn’t like VE 3D. If you want to get it working, you’ll need to make a manual registry change. The fix is actually quite simple – just rename (or delete) the following key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SQMClient\Windows\DisabledSessions Once you’ve done that, run the install again and it should work without issue. CP If you’ve tried installing Virtual Earth 3D on Windows 7 you may have see a little problem with the installer crashing during setup stating, “Virtual Earth 3D Install has stopped working.” CP to the rescue! As it turns out there’s an issue with the Software Quality Metrics (SQM) in Windows 7 that it doesn’t like VE 3D. If you want to get it working, you’ll need to make a manual registry change. The fix is actually quite simple – just rename (or delete) the following key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SQMClient\Windows\DisabledSessions Once you’ve done that, run the install again and it should work without issue. CP
  • January
    20

    Live Search for Mobile Updated

    The Live Search team has published a significant update to their Live Search Mobile client application which leverages Microsoft Virtual Earth quite heavily. The new release has some exciting features including Walking Directions, Collection import and Bird’s Eye photography! Location is so critical for mobile applications and Virtual Earth being a core piece of our mobile product only further justifies that it should be a core piece of yours. Check out deep list of content:  Feature                            Detail Availability Local Search Find local businesses, restaurants, and shops that are nearby.  Quickly see ratings and reviews to see what others have said.  Click to see additional info such as storefront photos and detail reviews.  US, UK, France, Italy Movie Showtime Find opening movies and showtimes in your area.  Read movie description including cast, plot summary, critic ratings and genre US Share Locale with SMS Send place of interest (business, restaurant, movie theater) with address to friend via SMS.  Clicking... Read More The Live Search team has published a significant update to their Live Search Mobile client application which leverages Microsoft Virtual Earth quite heavily. The new release has some exciting features including Walking Directions, Collection import and Bird’s Eye photography! Location is so critical for mobile applications and Virtual Earth being a core piece of our mobile product only further justifies that it should be a core piece of yours. Check out deep list of content:  Feature                            Detail Availability Local Search Find local businesses, restaurants, and shops that are nearby.  Quickly see ratings and reviews to see what others have said.  Click to see additional info such as storefront photos and detail reviews.  US, UK, France, Italy Movie Showtime Find opening movies and showtimes in your area.  Read movie description including cast, plot summary, critic ratings and genre US Share Locale with SMS Send place of interest (business, restaurant, movie theater) with address to friend via SMS.  Clicking... Read More
  • January
    20

    Map Data Release – January, 2009

    Just a quick note to mention that we updated the road data for North America, Europe and Asia in Microsoft Virtual Earth . You probably wouldn’t notice since this was just an update, unless, of course, your street wasn’t there and, well, it might be there now. No expansion in this release - just updates. We also updated the postal codes for North America, Europe and Asia in the countries we have coverage. For a list of countries where coverage for Virtual Earth data exists you can check it out in the MapPoint Web Service Geographic Coverage page in the SDK and add Japan to it. You see, MapPoint Web Service and Virtual Earth use the same data, but VE has Japan, MWS does not. CP Just a quick note to mention that we updated the road data for North America, Europe and Asia in Microsoft Virtual Earth . You probably wouldn’t notice since this was just an update, unless, of course, your street wasn’t there and, well, it might be there now. No expansion in this release - just updates. We also updated the postal codes for North America, Europe and Asia in the countries we have coverage. For a list of countries where coverage for Virtual Earth data exists you can check it out in the MapPoint Web Service Geographic Coverage page in the SDK and add Japan to it. You see, MapPoint Web Service and Virtual Earth use the same data, but VE has Japan, MWS does not. CP
  • January
    19

    EUCI GIS 2.0 Conference

    I’ll be presenting at the EUCI GIS Conference in San Antonio, TX on January 27, 2009. The conference subtitle being, “Technical and Programming Developments for Electric and Gas Utilities” means I get to show off some code so I AM AMPED! Microsoft Virtual Earth has many applications across utilities, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to talk about them. A little something about the conference: Geographic Information Systems for utilities are advancing with new mobile, server, and network capabilities. The functionality of new application programming interfaces (APIs) for use with mobile GIS along with the integration of revere proxy servers, web-based portals, increased asset inventory, and lowering costs all mean GIS is ready for the next generation. Data that was once difficult to sort, append, deliver, and update is now being updated real-time by a utilities mobile fleet, while increasing on-the-job work hours an average of 12%. This means the efficiency of utilities should be increasing with the support of advanced GIS. However, some roadblocks remain. Until lately, costs for mobile GIS solutions have been high, while the technology was somewhat untested in emergency or high... Read More I’ll be presenting at the EUCI GIS Conference in San Antonio, TX on January 27, 2009. The conference subtitle being, “Technical and Programming Developments for Electric and Gas Utilities” means I get to show off some code so I AM AMPED! Microsoft Virtual Earth has many applications across utilities, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to talk about them. A little something about the conference: Geographic Information Systems for utilities are advancing with new mobile, server, and network capabilities. The functionality of new application programming interfaces (APIs) for use with mobile GIS along with the integration of revere proxy servers, web-based portals, increased asset inventory, and lowering costs all mean GIS is ready for the next generation. Data that was once difficult to sort, append, deliver, and update is now being updated real-time by a utilities mobile fleet, while increasing on-the-job work hours an average of 12%. This means the efficiency of utilities should be increasing with the support of advanced GIS. However, some roadblocks remain. Until lately, costs for mobile GIS solutions have been high, while the technology was somewhat untested in emergency or high... Read More
  • January
    19

    Photosynth Featured on CSI: Miami

    Photosynth was featured on the season 12, episode 7 of CSI: Miami titled, “ Head Case ” on CBS. As described on the web site, “ The CSIs use radical technology to unlock the secrets of a man's mind when he shows up covered in blood with no memory of where he's been. ” Microsoft teamed up with the production crew to make this happen. In order to develop the content for the episode we spent a few days on set during the filming taking pictures of the intersection for the Photosynth and working with the team to create a high quality synth they could use. Since the person in question backtracks through several different locations Microsoft Virtual Earth is used to show the movement between points. If you just want to see the Photosynth, fast forward to 12:30 in the episode; although, I'd recommend watching it. It's pretty twisted. Photosynth was moved into the Virtual Earth team in August, 2008. If you have no idea what Photosynth is go to the Photosynth web site or search Live.com . If you’d like to use Photosynth for your show, contact me – we’ll make it happen. CP Photosynth was featured on the season 12, episode 7 of CSI: Miami titled, “ Head Case ” on CBS. As described on the web site, “ The CSIs use radical technology to unlock the secrets of a man's mind when he shows up covered in blood with no memory of where he's been. ” Microsoft teamed up with the production crew to make this happen. In order to develop the content for the episode we spent a few days on set during the filming taking pictures of the intersection for the Photosynth and working with the team to create a high quality synth they could use. Since the person in question backtracks through several different locations Microsoft Virtual Earth is used to show the movement between points. If you just want to see the Photosynth, fast forward to 12:30 in the episode; although, I'd recommend watching it. It's pretty twisted. Photosynth was moved into the Virtual Earth team in August, 2008. If you have no idea what Photosynth is go to the Photosynth web site or search Live.com . If you’d like to use Photosynth for your show, contact me – we’ll make it happen. CP
  • January
    19

    MSNBC’s Interactive Inauguration Map

    MSNBC has posted an interactive map featuring Microsoft Virtual Earth for the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama. The map highlights a few points of interest plus the path of the parade the president will take en route to The White House where he will take his oath of office. The application features a checkbox style dashboard for easy clicking to turn on / off layers of information. The layers include points for “inauguration related,” “in the news,” “celebrations,” “points of interest,” and the “parade route.” Each of the points comes with a customer pin and pop-ups containing additional information and some include pictures. Overall, a sweet and simple application for those who will be in Washington D.C. the week of the inauguration or just want to know what’s going on around town. CP MSNBC has posted an interactive map featuring Microsoft Virtual Earth for the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama. The map highlights a few points of interest plus the path of the parade the president will take en route to The White House where he will take his oath of office. The application features a checkbox style dashboard for easy clicking to turn on / off layers of information. The layers include points for “inauguration related,” “in the news,” “celebrations,” “points of interest,” and the “parade route.” Each of the points comes with a customer pin and pop-ups containing additional information and some include pictures. Overall, a sweet and simple application for those who will be in Washington D.C. the week of the inauguration or just want to know what’s going on around town. CP
  • January
    16

    Inaugurating President Barack Obama in...

    In partnership with Microsoft, CNN has published “ The Moment ” a Photosynth experience that allows users to upload photos during the inauguration of President Barack Obama which will then automagically be stitched into the potentially largest and “most detailed experience of a single moment ever.” Don’t know about Photosynth, check out the web site . “The Moment” will use a combination of crowd sourcing and professional photographers to freeze those amazing 20 seconds when President Elect Obama will take the Oath of Office and become President Obama. How do you contribute photos to have a hand in creating “ The Moment? ” Take one photo of the moment when Obama takes the oath. If you have a digital camera with a zoom lens, take three photos (wide-angle, mid-zoom, full-zoom). E-mail each photo as soon as possible to themoment@cnn.com (one photo per message, 10MB size limit). Don't forget to include your name in the message if you'd like to appear in the list of the contributors. Please only send in photos you took yourself. Go to cnn.com/themoment to see all of the photos in our Photosynth. If you want to use Photosynth to create a synth of anything – real estate listings, hotel amenities... Read More In partnership with Microsoft, CNN has published “ The Moment ” a Photosynth experience that allows users to upload photos during the inauguration of President Barack Obama which will then automagically be stitched into the potentially largest and “most detailed experience of a single moment ever.” Don’t know about Photosynth, check out the web site . “The Moment” will use a combination of crowd sourcing and professional photographers to freeze those amazing 20 seconds when President Elect Obama will take the Oath of Office and become President Obama. How do you contribute photos to have a hand in creating “ The Moment? ” Take one photo of the moment when Obama takes the oath. If you have a digital camera with a zoom lens, take three photos (wide-angle, mid-zoom, full-zoom). E-mail each photo as soon as possible to themoment@cnn.com (one photo per message, 10MB size limit). Don't forget to include your name in the message if you'd like to appear in the list of the contributors. Please only send in photos you took yourself. Go to cnn.com/themoment to see all of the photos in our Photosynth. If you want to use Photosynth to create a synth of anything – real estate listings, hotel amenities... Read More
  • January
    15

    Live Search Maps Netherlands…Geboren

    In the footsteps of the Live Search Maps Finland site launch, Live Search Maps Netherlands is now live on the web. Explore The Netherlands like never before with a localized experience including business search powered by our partner De Telefoongids, 43 cities in Birds-Eye view, 3D, Collections and directions (both driving and walking). I received a lot of positive feedback for my translation of the Finland site, so here you go in Dutch for The Netherlands. Straat (Road {Maps}) The route coverage for The Netherlands is excellent in Virtual Earth, so you’ll see tons of roads throughout the country. Lucht (Aerial {Maps}) We have everything from low resolution satellite imagery to high resolution aerial photography. Vogelvlucht-weergave (Bird’s Eye View) – 43 Dutch cities in Bird’s Eye. 3D Live Maps Netherlands now has the 3D view activated. This allows viewing the world in all dimensions, gives access to near-real-time weather and a growing number of 3D cities around the globe. Bird’s Eye overlay allows overlying the 3D view with our real bird’s eye photography. Check out this video on Virtual Earth in 3D. Bedrijven (Search {Yellow Pages}) Put in the Wat (what) and put in the Warr (where... Read More In the footsteps of the Live Search Maps Finland site launch, Live Search Maps Netherlands is now live on the web. Explore The Netherlands like never before with a localized experience including business search powered by our partner De Telefoongids, 43 cities in Birds-Eye view, 3D, Collections and directions (both driving and walking). I received a lot of positive feedback for my translation of the Finland site, so here you go in Dutch for The Netherlands. Straat (Road {Maps}) The route coverage for The Netherlands is excellent in Virtual Earth, so you’ll see tons of roads throughout the country. Lucht (Aerial {Maps}) We have everything from low resolution satellite imagery to high resolution aerial photography. Vogelvlucht-weergave (Bird’s Eye View) – 43 Dutch cities in Bird’s Eye. 3D Live Maps Netherlands now has the 3D view activated. This allows viewing the world in all dimensions, gives access to near-real-time weather and a growing number of 3D cities around the globe. Bird’s Eye overlay allows overlying the 3D view with our real bird’s eye photography. Check out this video on Virtual Earth in 3D. Bedrijven (Search {Yellow Pages}) Put in the Wat (what) and put in the Warr (where... Read More
  • January
    13

    MSDN Article: Use GPS & Web Maps For...

    Christopher Mitchell authored the article “ Use GPS And Web Maps For Location-Aware Apps ” for MSDN Magazine and it’s now published on the site. The focus of the application is for Windows Mobile devices, their onboard GPS and mapping out location information using MapPoint Web Service . I wanted to ensure Virtual Earth readers were alerted to the article (a great read), but also realized that what is being discussed in this article can also be done using Virtual Earth Web Service (plus you get aerial photography). The opportunities are obvious now that mobile carriers and manufacturers are opening up GPS APIs for us to leverage and Virtual Earth is ready when you are with geocoding, reverse geocoding, maps, aerial photos, driving directions and yellow page listings just to name a few features. CP Christopher Mitchell authored the article “ Use GPS And Web Maps For Location-Aware Apps ” for MSDN Magazine and it’s now published on the site. The focus of the application is for Windows Mobile devices, their onboard GPS and mapping out location information using MapPoint Web Service . I wanted to ensure Virtual Earth readers were alerted to the article (a great read), but also realized that what is being discussed in this article can also be done using Virtual Earth Web Service (plus you get aerial photography). The opportunities are obvious now that mobile carriers and manufacturers are opening up GPS APIs for us to leverage and Virtual Earth is ready when you are with geocoding, reverse geocoding, maps, aerial photos, driving directions and yellow page listings just to name a few features. CP
  • January
    13

    Web 2.0 GIS with eSpatial

    eSpatial built a demonstration of their iSmart application leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth to allow GIS Developers the ability to render, modify and save GIS information into a server-based database. The demonstration has a super simple user interface based completely on JavaScript and simple HTML. There are two sets of controls one for displaying information and the other for editing. The obvious requirements for maneuvering maps are included with such as Dragpan which will move you layers around, then move the map underneath so it remains aligned with your date. The layer control allows you to see available layers that you can then overlay – a simple check box turns the layers on and off. Withing the layers, you can turn each respective layer on/off, make the shapes editable and/or allow for the display of the labels. The arrows allow users to select a specific feature unselect that feature. And, clicking the ‘I’ icon displays the textual metadata tied to a specific feature. Now, for the fun stuff…the editing controls. Their controls allow for me to edit my data right here on the web page. SUPER EASY and almost no overhead! Here are the full instructions I pasted... Read More eSpatial built a demonstration of their iSmart application leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth to allow GIS Developers the ability to render, modify and save GIS information into a server-based database. The demonstration has a super simple user interface based completely on JavaScript and simple HTML. There are two sets of controls one for displaying information and the other for editing. The obvious requirements for maneuvering maps are included with such as Dragpan which will move you layers around, then move the map underneath so it remains aligned with your date. The layer control allows you to see available layers that you can then overlay – a simple check box turns the layers on and off. Withing the layers, you can turn each respective layer on/off, make the shapes editable and/or allow for the display of the labels. The arrows allow users to select a specific feature unselect that feature. And, clicking the ‘I’ icon displays the textual metadata tied to a specific feature. Now, for the fun stuff…the editing controls. Their controls allow for me to edit my data right here on the web page. SUPER EASY and almost no overhead! Here are the full instructions I pasted... Read More
  • January
    10

    Live Maps Finland Hits the Web

    The team in Finland has take advantage of recent improvements Virtual Earth and to create Live Maps Finland . How about an Finnish language lesson while we go over features, hmm? Katu (Road {Maps}) The route coverage for Finland is excellent in Virtual Earth, so you’ll see tons of roads throughout the country. Ilmakuva (Aerial) We have everything from low resolution satellite imagery to high resolution aerial photography. Lintuperspektiivi (Bird’s Eye) We’ve published gigabytes of photography for different areas in Finland in Virtual Earth and now the Live Search team in Finland is leveraging it for their local site. 3D Live Maps Finland now has the 3D view activated. This allows viewing the world in all dimensions, gives access to near-real-time weather and a growing number of 3D cities around the globe. Bird’s Eye overlay allows overlying the 3D view with our real bird’s eye photography. Check out this video on Virtual Earth in 3D. Merkit (Labels) You can turn the labels on and off in the different aerial modes. Yritys (Search {Yellow Pages}) Put in the Mikä (what) and put in the Missä (where) and start exploring a local yellow page listing result set provided by Fonecta. Kokoelman... Read More The team in Finland has take advantage of recent improvements Virtual Earth and to create Live Maps Finland . How about an Finnish language lesson while we go over features, hmm? Katu (Road {Maps}) The route coverage for Finland is excellent in Virtual Earth, so you’ll see tons of roads throughout the country. Ilmakuva (Aerial) We have everything from low resolution satellite imagery to high resolution aerial photography. Lintuperspektiivi (Bird’s Eye) We’ve published gigabytes of photography for different areas in Finland in Virtual Earth and now the Live Search team in Finland is leveraging it for their local site. 3D Live Maps Finland now has the 3D view activated. This allows viewing the world in all dimensions, gives access to near-real-time weather and a growing number of 3D cities around the globe. Bird’s Eye overlay allows overlying the 3D view with our real bird’s eye photography. Check out this video on Virtual Earth in 3D. Merkit (Labels) You can turn the labels on and off in the different aerial modes. Yritys (Search {Yellow Pages}) Put in the Mikä (what) and put in the Missä (where) and start exploring a local yellow page listing result set provided by Fonecta. Kokoelman... Read More
  • January
    09

    Wii Integrate with Virtual Earth. Do you...

    I just read about how a Google Engineer apparently integrated Google Earth with Wii and "was able to get the Balance Board to talk to the program after decoding the Bluetooth packets being sent from the board .” Um, thankfully Brian Peek has done a write up for a supported a not “decoded” version of a similar interface using the Wiimote and Nunchuck with Microsoft Virtual Earth . Read the article (and have at the code) on Brian’s blog . Oh, and he wrote this 2 months ago. What? :) In this article , Brian Peek will demonstrate how to use a Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote), a Wii Fit Balance Board, and Vuzix VR920 glasses as input devices for Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D, providing a fully immersive, 3D experience. This is an excellent article articulating the Virtual Earth 3D control and the APIs used to integrated the Wii controls with it. Also, full code samples are provided to get you up and running. Amazing! CP I just read about how a Google Engineer apparently integrated Google Earth with Wii and "was able to get the Balance Board to talk to the program after decoding the Bluetooth packets being sent from the board .” Um, thankfully Brian Peek has done a write up for a supported a not “decoded” version of a similar interface using the Wiimote and Nunchuck with Microsoft Virtual Earth . Read the article (and have at the code) on Brian’s blog . Oh, and he wrote this 2 months ago. What? :) In this article , Brian Peek will demonstrate how to use a Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote), a Wii Fit Balance Board, and Vuzix VR920 glasses as input devices for Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D, providing a fully immersive, 3D experience. This is an excellent article articulating the Virtual Earth 3D control and the APIs used to integrated the Wii controls with it. Also, full code samples are provided to get you up and running. Amazing! CP