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Maps Blog — Feb 2009

  • February
    27

    Virtual Earth Web Casts – Virtual Earth...

    I just wrapped up the first Virtual Earth web casts as a part of our new ongoing series to keep people informed about opportunities for leveraging Virtual Earth and to keep you abreast of what’s new in the Virtual Earth product group and what’s storming in my brain that just needs to get out. In February, I focused on the Retail industry and how location plays well with many of the things you do whether it be a store locator, a line of business application, fleet management applications or business intelligence applications. The web cast recordings are now available for those who missed the web casts. You can click on the respective links below: Show Your Retail Customers the Big Picture with Virtual Earth (Business Level 100) Virtual Earth Empowers Developers to See and Show the Big Picture (Technical Level 200) As a context for the web casts, I explain that given the current economic state it is critical to retain as many customers as you can. Ensure that YOUR brand is the brand they remember and you can do that on your commercial web site. EVERY retail customer, and I mean EVERY customer, tells me that given the course of a year their store locator is THE most hit upon section of... Read More I just wrapped up the first Virtual Earth web casts as a part of our new ongoing series to keep people informed about opportunities for leveraging Virtual Earth and to keep you abreast of what’s new in the Virtual Earth product group and what’s storming in my brain that just needs to get out. In February, I focused on the Retail industry and how location plays well with many of the things you do whether it be a store locator, a line of business application, fleet management applications or business intelligence applications. The web cast recordings are now available for those who missed the web casts. You can click on the respective links below: Show Your Retail Customers the Big Picture with Virtual Earth (Business Level 100) Virtual Earth Empowers Developers to See and Show the Big Picture (Technical Level 200) As a context for the web casts, I explain that given the current economic state it is critical to retain as many customers as you can. Ensure that YOUR brand is the brand they remember and you can do that on your commercial web site. EVERY retail customer, and I mean EVERY customer, tells me that given the course of a year their store locator is THE most hit upon section of... Read More
  • February
    27

    AGI Visualizes Geo-Physics on Virtual Earth

    I may have to quit my job. I want to go out on top like John Elway. Once I’ve seen everything, I don’t know what else will light a fire under me to get up in the morning. Analytical Graphics, Inc. ( AGI ) has just changed my world by demonstrating how Microsoft Virtual Earth can be used to visualize data like I’ve never seen before. Read the official press release on the AGI web site - AGI Software Incorporates Microsoft Virtual Earth Platform . AGI offers a physics-based software geometry engine that accurately displays and analyzes dynamic objects in real or simulated time. AGI integrated Virtual Earth into their software by (a) incorporating core analysis into the Virtual Earth platform and (b) integrating Microsoft Virtual Earth imagery in to their 3D software products. Analytical Graphics, Inc. develops commercial off-the-shelf analysis software for land, sea, air and space that is relied upon by the space, defense and intelligence communities in more than 35,000 worldwide installations. AGI’s software includes desktop applications, an application engine and lightweight component libraries. They’ve integrated Virtual Earth and the result is mind-blowing – helmets strapped on? I... Read More I may have to quit my job. I want to go out on top like John Elway. Once I’ve seen everything, I don’t know what else will light a fire under me to get up in the morning. Analytical Graphics, Inc. ( AGI ) has just changed my world by demonstrating how Microsoft Virtual Earth can be used to visualize data like I’ve never seen before. Read the official press release on the AGI web site - AGI Software Incorporates Microsoft Virtual Earth Platform . AGI offers a physics-based software geometry engine that accurately displays and analyzes dynamic objects in real or simulated time. AGI integrated Virtual Earth into their software by (a) incorporating core analysis into the Virtual Earth platform and (b) integrating Microsoft Virtual Earth imagery in to their 3D software products. Analytical Graphics, Inc. develops commercial off-the-shelf analysis software for land, sea, air and space that is relied upon by the space, defense and intelligence communities in more than 35,000 worldwide installations. AGI’s software includes desktop applications, an application engine and lightweight component libraries. They’ve integrated Virtual Earth and the result is mind-blowing – helmets strapped on? I... Read More
  • February
    26

    Virtual Earth + SharePoint = Business ...

    In many of my discussions with customers I talk about the value Virtual Earth plays in data visualization, especially around business intelligence and visualizing that information on maps for analysis. Now, even the iPhone is making its way into enterprise applications hosted by SharePoint with IDV Solution’s new Visual Fusion Contribute application (see below). We have a whole partner ecosystem that can help our customers build out this kind of functionality, but I found quite a few instances where development shops (both partner and non) are building out web parts that feature Microsoft Virtual Earth as a canvas for painting all kinds of crazy data. This crazy data is the data that is sitting in your data warehouses collecting dust or being uselessly wasted in Excel spreadsheets or charts for PowerPoint presentations. I’m not disrespecting Excel or PowerPoint; however, I’ve seen the power of moving the presentation layer of data to maps and the impact it makes on businesses. Business intelligence alone will change when you add the “Where” element to all of your data and view it on a map. These types of questions can finally be answered: Where are my Sales taking off? Where are they... Read More In many of my discussions with customers I talk about the value Virtual Earth plays in data visualization, especially around business intelligence and visualizing that information on maps for analysis. Now, even the iPhone is making its way into enterprise applications hosted by SharePoint with IDV Solution’s new Visual Fusion Contribute application (see below). We have a whole partner ecosystem that can help our customers build out this kind of functionality, but I found quite a few instances where development shops (both partner and non) are building out web parts that feature Microsoft Virtual Earth as a canvas for painting all kinds of crazy data. This crazy data is the data that is sitting in your data warehouses collecting dust or being uselessly wasted in Excel spreadsheets or charts for PowerPoint presentations. I’m not disrespecting Excel or PowerPoint; however, I’ve seen the power of moving the presentation layer of data to maps and the impact it makes on businesses. Business intelligence alone will change when you add the “Where” element to all of your data and view it on a map. These types of questions can finally be answered: Where are my Sales taking off? Where are they... Read More
  • February
    25

    MapPoint 2010, 2011 or 2012?

    Do you want to see a new version of MapPoint? If so, do you want to determine what features go in and what features get out? Do you love MapPoint and just want more, more, more? Do you post threads on Channel 9 spitting on MapPoint because you think “it sucks,” but don’t really provide details so your ranting turns out to be worth nothing but a good chuckle? Well, here’s your chance! The MapPoint Team is conducting a short survey to learn more about your organization’s use of Microsoft MapPoint to support your mapping, routing and data analysis needs. In exchange for your valuable time and feedback, we will include your name in a drawing for a chance to win one of 50 Amazon.com gift certificates valued at $25 each . To start the survey, just click on the “ Begin Survey ” link below or paste the following link into your browser’s address field: http://www.infosolutionsgroup.com/Surveys/MapPoint_2/ . Please complete the survey by midnight EST, March 17, 2009. Begin Survey If there is another individual within your organization who is more qualified to answer this survey, please send them the link so we can get their feedback. I already submitted my features and ideas and will have some... Read More Do you want to see a new version of MapPoint? If so, do you want to determine what features go in and what features get out? Do you love MapPoint and just want more, more, more? Do you post threads on Channel 9 spitting on MapPoint because you think “it sucks,” but don’t really provide details so your ranting turns out to be worth nothing but a good chuckle? Well, here’s your chance! The MapPoint Team is conducting a short survey to learn more about your organization’s use of Microsoft MapPoint to support your mapping, routing and data analysis needs. In exchange for your valuable time and feedback, we will include your name in a drawing for a chance to win one of 50 Amazon.com gift certificates valued at $25 each . To start the survey, just click on the “ Begin Survey ” link below or paste the following link into your browser’s address field: http://www.infosolutionsgroup.com/Surveys/MapPoint_2/ . Please complete the survey by midnight EST, March 17, 2009. Begin Survey If there is another individual within your organization who is more qualified to answer this survey, please send them the link so we can get their feedback. I already submitted my features and ideas and will have some... Read More
  • February
    25

    GeoLife 2.0: A Location-Based Social Network

    GeoLife was shown at TechFest in Redmond this week by Yu Zheng (Microsoft Researcher). I figured it was applicable and you might be interested. What is GeoLife? GeoLife is a GPS-data-driven social network on Microsoft Virtual Earth . It is not only a Website where individuals can manage, visualize, and understand their life experience using their own GPS trajectories; it’s also a social networking service that enables people to build connections with each other based on location histories. What’s all the hub-bub? The increasing availability of GPS-enabled devices is changing the way people interact with the Web and brings us a large number of GPS trajectories representing peoples location histories. Such real-world location histories imply, to some extent, users interests and intentions and enable us to understand people and locations. GeoLife 2.0 is a location-based social-networking service on Virtual Earth that enables people to build connections with each other using their location histories. With multiple users GPS trajectories, GeoLife helps us not only understand an individual and a location, but also explore the similarity between users and the correlation among locations. By... Read More GeoLife was shown at TechFest in Redmond this week by Yu Zheng (Microsoft Researcher). I figured it was applicable and you might be interested. What is GeoLife? GeoLife is a GPS-data-driven social network on Microsoft Virtual Earth . It is not only a Website where individuals can manage, visualize, and understand their life experience using their own GPS trajectories; it’s also a social networking service that enables people to build connections with each other based on location histories. What’s all the hub-bub? The increasing availability of GPS-enabled devices is changing the way people interact with the Web and brings us a large number of GPS trajectories representing peoples location histories. Such real-world location histories imply, to some extent, users interests and intentions and enable us to understand people and locations. GeoLife 2.0 is a location-based social-networking service on Virtual Earth that enables people to build connections with each other using their location histories. With multiple users GPS trajectories, GeoLife helps us not only understand an individual and a location, but also explore the similarity between users and the correlation among locations. By... Read More
  • February
    23

    Hyatt and Virtual Earth

    Hyatt just launched their new hotel finder application with Microsoft Virtual Earth . The application is accessible from their home page by searching for Hyatt hotel locations around the world. Now, this is in NO WAY anything but a coincidence that one of the March, 2009 Virtual Earth web casts is focused on hospitality, so now is as good a time as any to drop a shameless reference to it (more on that in a future post). So, in true Hyatt form, the user interface has some great aesthetics with their interface around and atop the map. The results from the home page are returned with Hyatt logos and colored circles identifying the center point of the hotel on the map. Those colors aren’t be accident – they correspond to the different brands Hyatt owns under their parent company. It’s fine, little touches like this that make such a difference. The results on the map correspond with a list under the map. Each of the results provide a short version of hotel information, but links off to the respective hotels’ web page (each hotel gets their own page); and, you can sort your results by distance (default), brand or city. Now, if you click on one of the icons on the map, you get an extended... Read More Hyatt just launched their new hotel finder application with Microsoft Virtual Earth . The application is accessible from their home page by searching for Hyatt hotel locations around the world. Now, this is in NO WAY anything but a coincidence that one of the March, 2009 Virtual Earth web casts is focused on hospitality, so now is as good a time as any to drop a shameless reference to it (more on that in a future post). So, in true Hyatt form, the user interface has some great aesthetics with their interface around and atop the map. The results from the home page are returned with Hyatt logos and colored circles identifying the center point of the hotel on the map. Those colors aren’t be accident – they correspond to the different brands Hyatt owns under their parent company. It’s fine, little touches like this that make such a difference. The results on the map correspond with a list under the map. Each of the results provide a short version of hotel information, but links off to the respective hotels’ web page (each hotel gets their own page); and, you can sort your results by distance (default), brand or city. Now, if you click on one of the icons on the map, you get an extended... Read More
  • February
    23

    Virtual Earth at MIX ‘09!

    It’s official – we have confirmed our Virtual Earth session for MIX 2009 and we will be there in star-studded fashion. The session is titled, “ The Next Generation of Microsoft Virtual Earth – More Experiences, More Places, and Exciting New Capabilities ” and it’s abstract is as follows, “ Come see and experience new and exciting offerings from Virtual Earth.  We cannot release specific details about this session until after the MIX keynotes, so please check this abstract again after MIX keynotes for more complete details.” I love a good secret. I can’t wait and am now counting down the days. This will be my 3rd consecutive year attending MIX and I can guarantee I will top my session from last year . If you only get one conference to attend this year, MIX has got to be it. Cutting edge web technologies, deep technical dives, shifted focus on designers and, hey, it's in VEGAS, BABY! It’s a great place to network with devs and designers ( sessions ), get intimate with Microsoft peeps ( unsessions ), and party like a rock star ( MIXtify ) because the after party events are the reason what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. What is MIX all about? Per the web site , The MIX Conference... Read More It’s official – we have confirmed our Virtual Earth session for MIX 2009 and we will be there in star-studded fashion. The session is titled, “ The Next Generation of Microsoft Virtual Earth – More Experiences, More Places, and Exciting New Capabilities ” and it’s abstract is as follows, “ Come see and experience new and exciting offerings from Virtual Earth.  We cannot release specific details about this session until after the MIX keynotes, so please check this abstract again after MIX keynotes for more complete details.” I love a good secret. I can’t wait and am now counting down the days. This will be my 3rd consecutive year attending MIX and I can guarantee I will top my session from last year . If you only get one conference to attend this year, MIX has got to be it. Cutting edge web technologies, deep technical dives, shifted focus on designers and, hey, it's in VEGAS, BABY! It’s a great place to network with devs and designers ( sessions ), get intimate with Microsoft peeps ( unsessions ), and party like a rock star ( MIXtify ) because the after party events are the reason what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. What is MIX all about? Per the web site , The MIX Conference... Read More
  • February
    18

    Microsoft Virtual Earth on Windows Azure

    I reserved a part of my day to explore Windows Azure and how it can work with the Microsoft Virtual Earth Web Service . In my investigation I found out that what I was really interested in is The Azure Services Platform (to clarify any branding issues). In fact, “ Windows® Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft® data centers. ” I’m game. Let’s build some Virtual Earth applications using the Azure Services Platforms. Why should you care? Oh, I don’t know. This maybe the easiest way to deploy an application I’ve EVER found. Microsoft handles all of the IT (scalability, throughput, bandwidth, security). You can publish directly from Visual Studio. It’s super easy to integrate geocoding, maps and routing into your applications (shameless Virtual Earth plug). Here’s a great example….I know a certain large retailer who has serious costs associated with developing and deploying ANYTHING to their .COM site. In fact a recent... Read More I reserved a part of my day to explore Windows Azure and how it can work with the Microsoft Virtual Earth Web Service . In my investigation I found out that what I was really interested in is The Azure Services Platform (to clarify any branding issues). In fact, “ Windows® Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft® data centers. ” I’m game. Let’s build some Virtual Earth applications using the Azure Services Platforms. Why should you care? Oh, I don’t know. This maybe the easiest way to deploy an application I’ve EVER found. Microsoft handles all of the IT (scalability, throughput, bandwidth, security). You can publish directly from Visual Studio. It’s super easy to integrate geocoding, maps and routing into your applications (shameless Virtual Earth plug). Here’s a great example….I know a certain large retailer who has serious costs associated with developing and deploying ANYTHING to their .COM site. In fact a recent... Read More
  • February
    17

    Developing Mobile Applications with Virtual...

    Richard Brundritt and Robert McGovern from Infusion Development just got their “ Developing a Mobile Application Using Virtual Earth Web Services ” technical article published on MSDN and it’s available for your reading and plagiarizing pleasure. Excerpt: “ The constraints of mobile device applications are very different than the traditional web or desktop applications. Unlike a desktop or web application, the screen real estate is very compact and the controls are limited in functionality. These constraints force you to rethink your user experience. Simply building a form with a bunch of buttons isn’t very useful on most mobile devices. In addition, the occasionally connected nature of the device is problematic for any application that relies on web connectivity. Because you can’t guarantee whether the device will have or maintain a connection, the standard practice is to minimize the amount of network traffic expected. Similarly, network connections to mobile devices (even 3G) are slower and more bandwidth constrained than normal broadband. This puts an even larger emphasis on reducing network traffic. Given these constraints, the first question about architecture involves how the... Read More Richard Brundritt and Robert McGovern from Infusion Development just got their “ Developing a Mobile Application Using Virtual Earth Web Services ” technical article published on MSDN and it’s available for your reading and plagiarizing pleasure. Excerpt: “ The constraints of mobile device applications are very different than the traditional web or desktop applications. Unlike a desktop or web application, the screen real estate is very compact and the controls are limited in functionality. These constraints force you to rethink your user experience. Simply building a form with a bunch of buttons isn’t very useful on most mobile devices. In addition, the occasionally connected nature of the device is problematic for any application that relies on web connectivity. Because you can’t guarantee whether the device will have or maintain a connection, the standard practice is to minimize the amount of network traffic expected. Similarly, network connections to mobile devices (even 3G) are slower and more bandwidth constrained than normal broadband. This puts an even larger emphasis on reducing network traffic. Given these constraints, the first question about architecture involves how the... Read More
  • February
    13

    Utilities Leveraging Virtual Earth for...

    A couple weeks ago I presented at the EUCI (Electrical Utility Consultants Inc.) GIS 2.0 Conference in San Antonio, TX. As a result of this conference and the work of our partners and field sales folks, we’ve seen a significant uptake in utility companies adopting Microsoft Virtual Earth for their applications. In previous posts, I’ve written about Entergy and BC Hydro which were some of the first go live using Virtual Earth in publicly facing applications. Since then, other utilities have published their applications using Virtual Earth, so I figured I’d spend some time going over them. Pepco’s Storm Center application is the latest to hit the web. The application allows users to see where outages are occurring in different postal codes. The blue line represents their service area; the green areas represent the different postal codes. The green areas are green because in the respective area there is only up to 50 customers currently experiencing an outage. Their legend describe it best in that blue = up to 500 customers are experiencing outages for a given postal code; yellow – up to 1000; orange – up to 5000; and red – over 5000. For any given area with an outage, you can drill down... Read More A couple weeks ago I presented at the EUCI (Electrical Utility Consultants Inc.) GIS 2.0 Conference in San Antonio, TX. As a result of this conference and the work of our partners and field sales folks, we’ve seen a significant uptake in utility companies adopting Microsoft Virtual Earth for their applications. In previous posts, I’ve written about Entergy and BC Hydro which were some of the first go live using Virtual Earth in publicly facing applications. Since then, other utilities have published their applications using Virtual Earth, so I figured I’d spend some time going over them. Pepco’s Storm Center application is the latest to hit the web. The application allows users to see where outages are occurring in different postal codes. The blue line represents their service area; the green areas represent the different postal codes. The green areas are green because in the respective area there is only up to 50 customers currently experiencing an outage. Their legend describe it best in that blue = up to 500 customers are experiencing outages for a given postal code; yellow – up to 1000; orange – up to 5000; and red – over 5000. For any given area with an outage, you can drill down... Read More
  • February
    13

    MetroPCS and Virtual Earth (Cell Coverage...

    Last August, I posted an entry about MetroPCS and store locator leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth to find locations for products and services. Well, MetroPCS has extended their use of Virtual Earth to their coverage map application so you can see where their cell coverage is for their services. When you have a Virtual Earth contract it is an enterprise wide contract, so its in your best interest to use it where you can across your company. Reduce your costs by eliminating unnecessary duplication of technologies! If you don’t think Virtual Earth will support your needs, you should read more of my posts. For now, check out this coverage map showing the different types of coverage available from MetroPCS. MetroPCS is using a raster overlay to highlight the different types of coverage you can expect with their service. Blue – MetroPCS Home Area; Purple – Extended Home Area; Red – Future Expansion; and Orange – Travel Talk (aka Roaming). Now, if they choose to do so, they could also add vector data to this map, as well. Tower locations, store locations, etc. They also leverage our geocoding capabilities by address, intersection and place name. All good stuff. The work was done in conjunction... Read More Last August, I posted an entry about MetroPCS and store locator leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth to find locations for products and services. Well, MetroPCS has extended their use of Virtual Earth to their coverage map application so you can see where their cell coverage is for their services. When you have a Virtual Earth contract it is an enterprise wide contract, so its in your best interest to use it where you can across your company. Reduce your costs by eliminating unnecessary duplication of technologies! If you don’t think Virtual Earth will support your needs, you should read more of my posts. For now, check out this coverage map showing the different types of coverage available from MetroPCS. MetroPCS is using a raster overlay to highlight the different types of coverage you can expect with their service. Blue – MetroPCS Home Area; Purple – Extended Home Area; Red – Future Expansion; and Orange – Travel Talk (aka Roaming). Now, if they choose to do so, they could also add vector data to this map, as well. Tower locations, store locations, etc. They also leverage our geocoding capabilities by address, intersection and place name. All good stuff. The work was done in conjunction... Read More
  • February
    12

    Subaru Canada and Virtual Earth

    Eh, Subaru Canada just launched their new dealer locator and it’s pretty great don’tcha know? The new dealer locator features a Microsoft Virtual Earth map with Subaru branded icons for highlighting their dealerships. Check out the slick navigation bar, eh? Opaque grey with all the controls needed to navigate the map and change map styles – they even kept 3D! The big red pin represents the location I searched for (Vancouver, below). For each pushpin that represents a dealer, the enhanced rollover launches with contact information, a small box for driving directions and a link to the dealer page. The dealer page has detailed information about the dealer and the models available. Wolfe Subaru has a sumo dude “modeling” a car to show how “Japanese SUVs just got a little sexier.” LMAO - greatness. For each search result you get a list of nearby locations around what the center of your entry point (up to 300KM). There’s a nifty experience here. As you scroll the result list, then hover over a particular location in the list, the map will re-center on that location so you can see where it is. Kind of jarring at first, but after playing with it – I like it! Also, my favorite feature is included... Read More Eh, Subaru Canada just launched their new dealer locator and it’s pretty great don’tcha know? The new dealer locator features a Microsoft Virtual Earth map with Subaru branded icons for highlighting their dealerships. Check out the slick navigation bar, eh? Opaque grey with all the controls needed to navigate the map and change map styles – they even kept 3D! The big red pin represents the location I searched for (Vancouver, below). For each pushpin that represents a dealer, the enhanced rollover launches with contact information, a small box for driving directions and a link to the dealer page. The dealer page has detailed information about the dealer and the models available. Wolfe Subaru has a sumo dude “modeling” a car to show how “Japanese SUVs just got a little sexier.” LMAO - greatness. For each search result you get a list of nearby locations around what the center of your entry point (up to 300KM). There’s a nifty experience here. As you scroll the result list, then hover over a particular location in the list, the map will re-center on that location so you can see where it is. Kind of jarring at first, but after playing with it – I like it! Also, my favorite feature is included... Read More
  • February
    10

    Australia on Fire

    For those of you in the know about Australia’s out of control fires burning through the bush, you may be interested in a few resources available to you to track the situation through some of the news outlets. Authorities fear more than 200 have died in the blaze, so if you’re wondering what’s going on where, this post will be of interest. ABC News (Australia) has a FANTASTIC implementation of Microsoft Virtual Earth used to report news stories. Their interactive map application has several buttons for switching between different news story types. Click on “Latest News” for a constant stream of news feeds mapped out in Virtual Earth. Click on “Human Cost” to get a map pushpinning deaths around the country. Or, click “Current Threats” and this is where you’ll find information on these out of control fires. As a side note, I’m loving this UI. Built with a Flash interface the application has great performance and leverages road, aerial and hybrid map styles. And, note the custom navigation and zoom controls. Sweet. The British Broadcast Company News rolled out a Virtual Earth application that’s interactive with their users. Users can go in and mark the map with a pushpin and add a comment... Read More For those of you in the know about Australia’s out of control fires burning through the bush, you may be interested in a few resources available to you to track the situation through some of the news outlets. Authorities fear more than 200 have died in the blaze, so if you’re wondering what’s going on where, this post will be of interest. ABC News (Australia) has a FANTASTIC implementation of Microsoft Virtual Earth used to report news stories. Their interactive map application has several buttons for switching between different news story types. Click on “Latest News” for a constant stream of news feeds mapped out in Virtual Earth. Click on “Human Cost” to get a map pushpinning deaths around the country. Or, click “Current Threats” and this is where you’ll find information on these out of control fires. As a side note, I’m loving this UI. Built with a Flash interface the application has great performance and leverages road, aerial and hybrid map styles. And, note the custom navigation and zoom controls. Sweet. The British Broadcast Company News rolled out a Virtual Earth application that’s interactive with their users. Users can go in and mark the map with a pushpin and add a comment... Read More
  • February
    06

    Importing Google SketchUp Models into Microsoft...

    With the release of trueSpace 7.6 for Virtual Earth , I’ve been pinged with questions about importing 3D objects in Microsoft Virtual Earth , developing 3D objects, supporting other platforms objects, etc., etc. Well, today, my good buddy Tom Grimes from Caligari posted a note on how to pull objects from the SketchUp Warehouse and import them into trueSpace. From trueSpace you can upload objects directly into a Live Search Maps Collection (and can be imported into a platform application using the VEMap.ImportShapeLayer Method ) and indexed on the site. Alternatively, you can host the models on your own servers and import OBJ files directly into the Virtual Earth 3D Control using the JavaScript APIs (see: VEModelFormat Enumeration and VEMap.Import3DModel Method ). This is the very same technique Tom and I used to create The North Pole – A Virtual Earth Christmas Experience and The Making of the Virtual Earth 3D Santa Tracker . Per Tom’s note , “ If you want to bring in content from other 3D applications to use in trueSpace or to export to Virtual Earth, then the OBJ format is a good way to go. Here we look at loading an OBJ, originally created in SketchUp and downloaded from TurboSquid... Read More With the release of trueSpace 7.6 for Virtual Earth , I’ve been pinged with questions about importing 3D objects in Microsoft Virtual Earth , developing 3D objects, supporting other platforms objects, etc., etc. Well, today, my good buddy Tom Grimes from Caligari posted a note on how to pull objects from the SketchUp Warehouse and import them into trueSpace. From trueSpace you can upload objects directly into a Live Search Maps Collection (and can be imported into a platform application using the VEMap.ImportShapeLayer Method ) and indexed on the site. Alternatively, you can host the models on your own servers and import OBJ files directly into the Virtual Earth 3D Control using the JavaScript APIs (see: VEModelFormat Enumeration and VEMap.Import3DModel Method ). This is the very same technique Tom and I used to create The North Pole – A Virtual Earth Christmas Experience and The Making of the Virtual Earth 3D Santa Tracker . Per Tom’s note , “ If you want to bring in content from other 3D applications to use in trueSpace or to export to Virtual Earth, then the OBJ format is a good way to go. Here we look at loading an OBJ, originally created in SketchUp and downloaded from TurboSquid... Read More
  • February
    05

    Mapping Foreclosures = $marter Home $earches

    I just heard home sales were actually up for the month of January, 2009. Hmm. Considering bank loans are tight and everyone’s budgets are supposedly tighter how can this be? Interest rates are down, prices are down, and foreclosures are up. There’s the sweet spot. Sadly, people lose their homes to foreclosure for a number of reasons, but hey, this is a capitalist economy and where there’s a bargain you’ve got to CAPATILIZE on it. Someone gets in over their head banking on future wages and it turns out they aren’t Nostradamus. Ever heard of pre-foreclosure? Me either. That is until a couple Virtual Earth customers showed me how location and mapping is a critical component of making money in the foreclosure market. And, hey, in pre-foreclosure, you could be helping a family save their credit from getting black-listed for life or longer. I’ll take a look at two foreclosure sites – RealtyTrac and Foreclosure.com and how Virtual Earth plays a critical piece in both. I’ll focus on California. I heard the state ran out of money this week. RealtyTrac uses both a list view and map-based view (the latter more interesting IMO) leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth . So, enter an address and click... Read More I just heard home sales were actually up for the month of January, 2009. Hmm. Considering bank loans are tight and everyone’s budgets are supposedly tighter how can this be? Interest rates are down, prices are down, and foreclosures are up. There’s the sweet spot. Sadly, people lose their homes to foreclosure for a number of reasons, but hey, this is a capitalist economy and where there’s a bargain you’ve got to CAPATILIZE on it. Someone gets in over their head banking on future wages and it turns out they aren’t Nostradamus. Ever heard of pre-foreclosure? Me either. That is until a couple Virtual Earth customers showed me how location and mapping is a critical component of making money in the foreclosure market. And, hey, in pre-foreclosure, you could be helping a family save their credit from getting black-listed for life or longer. I’ll take a look at two foreclosure sites – RealtyTrac and Foreclosure.com and how Virtual Earth plays a critical piece in both. I’ll focus on California. I heard the state ran out of money this week. RealtyTrac uses both a list view and map-based view (the latter more interesting IMO) leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth . So, enter an address and click... Read More