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Maps Blog — Jun 2009

  • June
    29

    Imagine Cup 2009 – Team Croatia Builds...

    The Imagine Cup 2009 finals is in full swing. On July 3, 2009 in Cairo the winner will be announced for the most innovative project. The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft is encouraging young people to apply their imagination, their passion, and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world – today. Now in its seventh year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a global event. In 2008, more than 200,000 students from 100 countries entered the Imagine Cup competition. The Croatian Team consisting of Tomislav Fotak, Ivan Lozić, Marko Škvorc, Ivan Švogor integrated Deep Earth (which uses Bing Maps) into their GeoScout.net project . Check out the videos of GeoScout to better understand how they’re leveraging Bing Maps. GeoScout.Net is a platform which main purpose is emphasizing information flows, bringing experts, organizations, societies and people together. The fundamental assumption of this platform began with e-Governance. To visualize it, you can picture a pyramid. The idea that guides us is to use strong basis, and very general system... Read More The Imagine Cup 2009 finals is in full swing. On July 3, 2009 in Cairo the winner will be announced for the most innovative project. The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft is encouraging young people to apply their imagination, their passion, and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world – today. Now in its seventh year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a global event. In 2008, more than 200,000 students from 100 countries entered the Imagine Cup competition. The Croatian Team consisting of Tomislav Fotak, Ivan Lozić, Marko Škvorc, Ivan Švogor integrated Deep Earth (which uses Bing Maps) into their GeoScout.net project . Check out the videos of GeoScout to better understand how they’re leveraging Bing Maps. GeoScout.Net is a platform which main purpose is emphasizing information flows, bringing experts, organizations, societies and people together. The fundamental assumption of this platform began with e-Governance. To visualize it, you can picture a pyramid. The idea that guides us is to use strong basis, and very general system... Read More
  • June
    25

    Rendering Historic Maps on Bing

    One feature of the Bing Maps APIs that has gained a lot of traction is the ability to overlay custom tiles atop the Bing Maps tiles to illustrate tons of data in a raster format. The ability to draw data on the map using vector graphics is all fine and dandy, but when you want to render census data, weather illustrations or even historic maps of what an area used to look like, well, browser-supported drawing techniques would pretty much crap out. So, what you’ll do is render that information prior to putting in on the map (using the Tile Pyramid Schema or Map Cruncher ) and overlay it onto the map (using map.AddTileLayer() in AJAX; or, MapTileLayer.TileSource.Add(tileSource) in Silverlight) and set the opacity ( VETileSourceSpecification.Opacity in AJAX; or, MapTileLayer.Opacity in Silverlight). You can put as many raster layers atop the map as you want. I found a couple applications that do just this – one using the Bing Maps AJAX Control; the other using the Bing Maps Silverlight Control. There are quite a few out there, but these just hit the web so I figured I’d call them out... Time Map – This ShootHill application contains historic maps of the... Read More One feature of the Bing Maps APIs that has gained a lot of traction is the ability to overlay custom tiles atop the Bing Maps tiles to illustrate tons of data in a raster format. The ability to draw data on the map using vector graphics is all fine and dandy, but when you want to render census data, weather illustrations or even historic maps of what an area used to look like, well, browser-supported drawing techniques would pretty much crap out. So, what you’ll do is render that information prior to putting in on the map (using the Tile Pyramid Schema or Map Cruncher ) and overlay it onto the map (using map.AddTileLayer() in AJAX; or, MapTileLayer.TileSource.Add(tileSource) in Silverlight) and set the opacity ( VETileSourceSpecification.Opacity in AJAX; or, MapTileLayer.Opacity in Silverlight). You can put as many raster layers atop the map as you want. I found a couple applications that do just this – one using the Bing Maps AJAX Control; the other using the Bing Maps Silverlight Control. There are quite a few out there, but these just hit the web so I figured I’d call them out... Time Map – This ShootHill application contains historic maps of the... Read More
  • June
    23

    BBC Goes Big on Bing Maps

    BBC has been quite the busy bees publishing some innovative applications on Bing Maps . Check out this list of applications: Save Our Sounds – BBC wants you to help build an interactive map of the world. So get involved and send in recordings of sounds from where you live. Listen to the sounds of the world - and then send us your audio. Cannes 2009 Map - Use this map to explore 2009's Cannes Film Festival in video, audio, pictures and text. Updates will appear on this map throughout the festival, which began on 13 May. Our entertainment reporter Victoria Lindrea will be sending reports by email and Twitter from Cannes, and you can also read extracts from Arts Correspondent Razia Iqbal's blog. G20 Summit Map - Use this map to explore 2009's London G20 summit in video, audio, pictures and text. Updates appeared on this map throughout the summit, tracking both the G20 itself and the protests which accompanied it. Olympic and Paralympic Heroes Parade - BBC Sport's interactive map of the Heroes Parade for Olympians and Paralympians, taking place in London on Thursday, 16 October 2008. The red line on the map marks the route the parade will take, from Mansion... Read More BBC has been quite the busy bees publishing some innovative applications on Bing Maps . Check out this list of applications: Save Our Sounds – BBC wants you to help build an interactive map of the world. So get involved and send in recordings of sounds from where you live. Listen to the sounds of the world - and then send us your audio. Cannes 2009 Map - Use this map to explore 2009's Cannes Film Festival in video, audio, pictures and text. Updates will appear on this map throughout the festival, which began on 13 May. Our entertainment reporter Victoria Lindrea will be sending reports by email and Twitter from Cannes, and you can also read extracts from Arts Correspondent Razia Iqbal's blog. G20 Summit Map - Use this map to explore 2009's London G20 summit in video, audio, pictures and text. Updates appeared on this map throughout the summit, tracking both the G20 itself and the protests which accompanied it. Olympic and Paralympic Heroes Parade - BBC Sport's interactive map of the Heroes Parade for Olympians and Paralympians, taking place in London on Thursday, 16 October 2008. The red line on the map marks the route the parade will take, from Mansion... Read More
  • June
    22

    Boston Pizza on Bing Maps

    A dear friend of mine just moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia (dontcha know). Luckily, she’ll be able to find some good pizza to keep her warm through those freezing winters. And, she can do so using Bing Maps and Boston Pizza’s restaurant locator . Just enter a city and province and click “Go.” An auto-complete script is in place while you type your city – I love being lazy. Alternatively, you can enter a postal code and radius – 10, 25 or 50 KM. Note the custom numbering pushpins, Boston Pizza logo in the popup, contact information and links to driving directions and a fully detailed restaurant page complete with a menu, restaurant hours and even an RSS feed of the latest happenings. So, Canadian Bacon in Canada....is that bacon or sausage or ham or what??? I'll need to investigate. CP A dear friend of mine just moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia (dontcha know). Luckily, she’ll be able to find some good pizza to keep her warm through those freezing winters. And, she can do so using Bing Maps and Boston Pizza’s restaurant locator . Just enter a city and province and click “Go.” An auto-complete script is in place while you type your city – I love being lazy. Alternatively, you can enter a postal code and radius – 10, 25 or 50 KM. Note the custom numbering pushpins, Boston Pizza logo in the popup, contact information and links to driving directions and a fully detailed restaurant page complete with a menu, restaurant hours and even an RSS feed of the latest happenings. So, Canadian Bacon in Canada....is that bacon or sausage or ham or what??? I'll need to investigate. CP
  • June
    18

    Bing Maps Evolution: Insightful Interview...

    Gur Kimchi (Bing Maps infrastructure Architect and Development Manager) sat down in an episode of Expert to Expert on Channel 9 to discuss the evolution of Bing Maps (formerly Microsoft Virtual Earth). The interview goes pretty deep in discussing how the original Virtual Earth was built based on a Bill Gates approved Think Week Paper and a production-based prototype was done in 100 days; the comparison to Google's investment in maps and data centers versus Microsoft's and how Bing Maps was architectured from the onset to scale to a massive proportion. Worth the hour of your time required to understand Bing Maps from the inside-out. Short: Erik Meijer and I paid a visit to Bing Maps infrastructure architect and Partner Development Manager Gur Kimchi for an Expert to Expert conversation about the design and architecture of Bing Maps. It takes some rocket science to process and coerce data into accurate information representative of points of interest on planet Earth. How does Bing Maps work, at the deepest levels, in the cloud? Gur and team have created a very efficient back end system that computes and returns the information you seek when using Bing Maps. Tune in. This is... Read More Gur Kimchi (Bing Maps infrastructure Architect and Development Manager) sat down in an episode of Expert to Expert on Channel 9 to discuss the evolution of Bing Maps (formerly Microsoft Virtual Earth). The interview goes pretty deep in discussing how the original Virtual Earth was built based on a Bill Gates approved Think Week Paper and a production-based prototype was done in 100 days; the comparison to Google's investment in maps and data centers versus Microsoft's and how Bing Maps was architectured from the onset to scale to a massive proportion. Worth the hour of your time required to understand Bing Maps from the inside-out. Short: Erik Meijer and I paid a visit to Bing Maps infrastructure architect and Partner Development Manager Gur Kimchi for an Expert to Expert conversation about the design and architecture of Bing Maps. It takes some rocket science to process and coerce data into accurate information representative of points of interest on planet Earth. How does Bing Maps work, at the deepest levels, in the cloud? Gur and team have created a very efficient back end system that computes and returns the information you seek when using Bing Maps. Tune in. This is... Read More
  • June
    16

    Starwood Hotels Launches On Bing Maps

    My hotel customers may grit their teeth when they read this; however, while I have memberships at almost every hotel I am partial to Starwood Hotels . Ok, there, I said it. I do stay at all the others because I’m side by side with my licensing guys and they have their preferences; but, my lonely nights on the road are spent in a Starwood Hotels. Mostly because of the W Hotels brand. Pimp. Well, Starwood just launched 11 of their web sites using Bing Maps for Enterprise and the sites are as pimped out as I feel when I stay at one of their W Hotels. When searching for hotels from their home page, just enter a city, state and or country name plus optionally dates and you’ll be sent to a hotel listing page. Atop the listing page you’ll see a link for “View hotels on a Map".” This grabs all the results from the list and drops them onto a Bing Map. Each hotel is pinned to the map with a custom rollover providing additional information about the hotel including the name (with link to additional details page), address, and “Book Now” – a great idea since if you’re looking at the hotel you might want to just go ahead and finish... Read More My hotel customers may grit their teeth when they read this; however, while I have memberships at almost every hotel I am partial to Starwood Hotels . Ok, there, I said it. I do stay at all the others because I’m side by side with my licensing guys and they have their preferences; but, my lonely nights on the road are spent in a Starwood Hotels. Mostly because of the W Hotels brand. Pimp. Well, Starwood just launched 11 of their web sites using Bing Maps for Enterprise and the sites are as pimped out as I feel when I stay at one of their W Hotels. When searching for hotels from their home page, just enter a city, state and or country name plus optionally dates and you’ll be sent to a hotel listing page. Atop the listing page you’ll see a link for “View hotels on a Map".” This grabs all the results from the list and drops them onto a Bing Map. Each hotel is pinned to the map with a custom rollover providing additional information about the hotel including the name (with link to additional details page), address, and “Book Now” – a great idea since if you’re looking at the hotel you might want to just go ahead and finish... Read More
  • June
    09

    Eddie Bauer – Now on Bing Maps

    Eddie Bauer is the latest brand to refresh their web site look by using Bing Maps for Enterprise . Directly from their home page, you can put in a postal code and get a map of the stores with a 50 mile radius of that postal code. You’ll notice a few customized touches when it comes to the results: Custom pushpins to pinpoint the locations on the map. Custom colors per pin type – green meaning retail location; orange meaning an outlet. A popup for each location providing the store type, store name, address, phone number and lat/lon (in case you’re hiking there and using your GPS to get there). A list below the map with store location information including hours (VERY HELPFUL!). Also, notice the navigation bar. This is normally blue, but with the help of a little CSS hacking, *BOOM* it’s green! You can refine your search by inputting a city/state or changing the search radius to 10, 25 or 100 miles. By clicking the link in the list you’ll be taken to their Driving Directions page where you can input an address to get step directions and an overview map with the route drawn right on the map (all of this native to the... Read More Eddie Bauer is the latest brand to refresh their web site look by using Bing Maps for Enterprise . Directly from their home page, you can put in a postal code and get a map of the stores with a 50 mile radius of that postal code. You’ll notice a few customized touches when it comes to the results: Custom pushpins to pinpoint the locations on the map. Custom colors per pin type – green meaning retail location; orange meaning an outlet. A popup for each location providing the store type, store name, address, phone number and lat/lon (in case you’re hiking there and using your GPS to get there). A list below the map with store location information including hours (VERY HELPFUL!). Also, notice the navigation bar. This is normally blue, but with the help of a little CSS hacking, *BOOM* it’s green! You can refine your search by inputting a city/state or changing the search radius to 10, 25 or 100 miles. By clicking the link in the list you’ll be taken to their Driving Directions page where you can input an address to get step directions and an overview map with the route drawn right on the map (all of this native to the... Read More
  • June
    05

    Bing Maps Imagery Release – May 2009 (Introducing...

    May’s imagery update comes with a shiny, new toy to play with (in addition to the 248,000+ sq. kilometers of new imagery). We’ve decided that instead of providing you with some ginormous list of locations and a few snapshots, we’ll provide you with an experience. Check out the new Bing Maps World Tour (hosted on Windows Azure. no less). The Bing Maps World Tour is a rich new way of viewing our imagery updates every month by navigating the respective pins or just watching the slide show take you around the world to explore the new imagery. I’ve provided a detailed description of the application’s features below so you can fully appreciate the experience of exploring our imagery, photography and road data updates. Bing Maps World Tour We’ve gone out of our way to further showcase our investments in imagery and photography by building out the Bing Maps World Tour – an application meant to allow for full exploration and appreciation of the data we’re publishing every month on Bing Maps . Here’s a blow by blow of the features in the new application. Silverlight Interface – Bing Maps World Tour is built with... Read More May’s imagery update comes with a shiny, new toy to play with (in addition to the 248,000+ sq. kilometers of new imagery). We’ve decided that instead of providing you with some ginormous list of locations and a few snapshots, we’ll provide you with an experience. Check out the new Bing Maps World Tour (hosted on Windows Azure. no less). The Bing Maps World Tour is a rich new way of viewing our imagery updates every month by navigating the respective pins or just watching the slide show take you around the world to explore the new imagery. I’ve provided a detailed description of the application’s features below so you can fully appreciate the experience of exploring our imagery, photography and road data updates. Bing Maps World Tour We’ve gone out of our way to further showcase our investments in imagery and photography by building out the Bing Maps World Tour – an application meant to allow for full exploration and appreciation of the data we’re publishing every month on Bing Maps . Here’s a blow by blow of the features in the new application. Silverlight Interface – Bing Maps World Tour is built with... Read More
  • June
    04

    Bing Maps Australian Road Show

    As you may or may not know, I'm coming down under next week to present at REMIX and I'm super excited! However, I don't just show up for REMIX and party...although, I do enjoy that aspect of the MIX circuit. In coordination with my local Bing Maps Solution Specialist Peter Ulm, I'm doing a customer and partner road show. We're hitting Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney next week. And, hey, John O'Brien from Soul Solutions will be with us for the Brisbane and Sydney legs of the trip. Should be fun and educational, plus we can talk face to face about Bing Maps. Registration information below. The Microsoft mapping team are holding a series of presentations in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this June to provide you with all the information you require to integrate maps in to your business offering. Never before has it been so easy for companies to track assets, find customers, manage a mobile sales force or to make sure customers find you before they find a competitor! Gain real insight into how map-enabling business applications can help create customer satisfaction and an optimised organisation. Gain real insight into how map-enabling business applications can be part of your... Read More As you may or may not know, I'm coming down under next week to present at REMIX and I'm super excited! However, I don't just show up for REMIX and party...although, I do enjoy that aspect of the MIX circuit. In coordination with my local Bing Maps Solution Specialist Peter Ulm, I'm doing a customer and partner road show. We're hitting Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney next week. And, hey, John O'Brien from Soul Solutions will be with us for the Brisbane and Sydney legs of the trip. Should be fun and educational, plus we can talk face to face about Bing Maps. Registration information below. The Microsoft mapping team are holding a series of presentations in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this June to provide you with all the information you require to integrate maps in to your business offering. Never before has it been so easy for companies to track assets, find customers, manage a mobile sales force or to make sure customers find you before they find a competitor! Gain real insight into how map-enabling business applications can help create customer satisfaction and an optimised organisation. Gain real insight into how map-enabling business applications can be part of your... Read More
  • June
    03

    Is Bing Maps Just a New Name?

    Not the case. Well, Bing Maps is pretty much the same, but we did get the new logo and image captions of what's on Bing.com's home page. Oh, and the URL is now bing.com/maps ; however, more importantly, there are other Bing properties that are implementing Bing Maps in a variety of ways. A search for Rubio's near San Diego, CA provides the 10 closest locations with a nice little inset map pinpointing where they are. In fact, if you just search for San Diego, you can use the list of topics down the left-hand side to continue to narrow in on the information you need for San Diego - Attractions, Weather, Map, Hotels, Events, or Images. Clicking "Map" link will provide you with a small overview map of San Diego . And, Image results are really cool since you can get images of San Diego; but, by clicking the "show map" link, you also get an overview map of where images have been geotagged and a Bird's Eye image right in the search results. If you get into the Local Search results, you'll see a larger map with the ability to select "1-click directions" which is just that - 1-click and you get directions from the 4 cardinal directions to the place in which you're interested. Something... Read More Not the case. Well, Bing Maps is pretty much the same, but we did get the new logo and image captions of what's on Bing.com's home page. Oh, and the URL is now bing.com/maps ; however, more importantly, there are other Bing properties that are implementing Bing Maps in a variety of ways. A search for Rubio's near San Diego, CA provides the 10 closest locations with a nice little inset map pinpointing where they are. In fact, if you just search for San Diego, you can use the list of topics down the left-hand side to continue to narrow in on the information you need for San Diego - Attractions, Weather, Map, Hotels, Events, or Images. Clicking "Map" link will provide you with a small overview map of San Diego . And, Image results are really cool since you can get images of San Diego; but, by clicking the "show map" link, you also get an overview map of where images have been geotagged and a Bird's Eye image right in the search results. If you get into the Local Search results, you'll see a larger map with the ability to select "1-click directions" which is just that - 1-click and you get directions from the 4 cardinal directions to the place in which you're interested. Something... Read More
  • June
    01

    Welcome to the Bing Maps Blog

    I’m moving on.... No, not from Microsoft or even Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth), but from MSDN. My blog is moving to the new Bing Community site . In fact, if you’re reading this you’re getting the entry from the new site, so “Hello, World!” Yeah, I’m the only person that can say it and mean it! Now, what to call my readers since we changed to Bing? I used to refer to you as “Virtual Earthlings,” so maybe “Bingalings” or “Bing Bongs?” “Earthbings?” Oye, this will take some marinating. The new communities site will aggregate all of the greatest Bing Bloggers around Microsoft into a single portal. Now, my old Virtual Earth Blog will be designated as the Bing Maps Blog under the Bing Community. You can check out my new blog at Bing.com/maps . I’ll cover both consumer (Bing Maps) and enterprise (Bing Maps for Enterprise) as a part of my blog. Don’t be surprised when you get redirected to the new site and don’t see my personal Photosynth or some placard of a conference at which I’m presenting (currently, ReMIX Australia, btw). It’s just the new community site and I’ll... Read More I’m moving on.... No, not from Microsoft or even Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth), but from MSDN. My blog is moving to the new Bing Community site . In fact, if you’re reading this you’re getting the entry from the new site, so “Hello, World!” Yeah, I’m the only person that can say it and mean it! Now, what to call my readers since we changed to Bing? I used to refer to you as “Virtual Earthlings,” so maybe “Bingalings” or “Bing Bongs?” “Earthbings?” Oye, this will take some marinating. The new communities site will aggregate all of the greatest Bing Bloggers around Microsoft into a single portal. Now, my old Virtual Earth Blog will be designated as the Bing Maps Blog under the Bing Community. You can check out my new blog at Bing.com/maps . I’ll cover both consumer (Bing Maps) and enterprise (Bing Maps for Enterprise) as a part of my blog. Don’t be surprised when you get redirected to the new site and don’t see my personal Photosynth or some placard of a conference at which I’m presenting (currently, ReMIX Australia, btw). It’s just the new community site and I’ll... Read More