Bing blogs

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Maps Blog — Aug 2010

  • August
    31

    Intermingle Location Data with Geo Fact...

    Those guys at Urban Mapping, famous in our industry for some of the best neighborhood boundary data, are doing more than just polygons these days. They’ve created Geo Fact Finder which had the original intention of illustrating the capabilities of their platform Mapfluence . Mapfluence is a web-based geoservices engine designed to push geo-intelligence to the browser. Mapfluence also maintains a data catalog, providing immediate and query-able access to geographic data. The Geo Fact Finder application is intended to visualize and explore geographic data; they’ve selected a subset of our 10,000+ variables and included them in different topic areas. You can select up to three topics at any one time. Built on the Bing Maps Platform, Urban Mapping created an application to visually explore a boatload of geographic data. Behind it, Mapfluence allows developers to make queries to support visualization (thematic mapping, heat mapping, etc.) and data queries (spatial joins, sorts and other number-crunching activities). What's great is that it also comes pre-configured with data on-demand: the application includes over fifteen distinct data themes that includes several dozen specific variables... Read More Those guys at Urban Mapping, famous in our industry for some of the best neighborhood boundary data, are doing more than just polygons these days. They’ve created Geo Fact Finder which had the original intention of illustrating the capabilities of their platform Mapfluence . Mapfluence is a web-based geoservices engine designed to push geo-intelligence to the browser. Mapfluence also maintains a data catalog, providing immediate and query-able access to geographic data. The Geo Fact Finder application is intended to visualize and explore geographic data; they’ve selected a subset of our 10,000+ variables and included them in different topic areas. You can select up to three topics at any one time. Built on the Bing Maps Platform, Urban Mapping created an application to visually explore a boatload of geographic data. Behind it, Mapfluence allows developers to make queries to support visualization (thematic mapping, heat mapping, etc.) and data queries (spatial joins, sorts and other number-crunching activities). What's great is that it also comes pre-configured with data on-demand: the application includes over fifteen distinct data themes that includes several dozen specific variables... Read More
  • August
    31

    Batch Geocoding and Batch Reverse-Geocoding...

    Introduction Geocoding and reverse geocoding are services that Bing Maps provides in the AJAX Control as well as in the SOAP and REST web services but what if you are about to start a project and you have to geocode thousands of addresses or what if you have a requirement to batch-process data updates as a recurring task? Of course you could just call the geocoder again and again but that doesn’t seem to be a very efficient approach. With our June release we also launched a new batch-geocoder and batch reverse-geocoder as part of the Bing Spatial Data API in order to address just these scenarios. Chris Pendleton briefly touched on it in his blog post here . Today I would like to go in a bit more detail and build a little application that leverages the Bing Spatial Data Services. During this walkthrough we will follow the process as pictured below. As a prerequisite you will need a Bing Maps Key which you can create yourself at the Bing Maps Portal . Format Data Your data can be either in XML- or text-files. In text files you can separate values with comma, tab or pipe (|). The data can be latitudes and longitudes which would be reverse geocoded query... Read More Introduction Geocoding and reverse geocoding are services that Bing Maps provides in the AJAX Control as well as in the SOAP and REST web services but what if you are about to start a project and you have to geocode thousands of addresses or what if you have a requirement to batch-process data updates as a recurring task? Of course you could just call the geocoder again and again but that doesn’t seem to be a very efficient approach. With our June release we also launched a new batch-geocoder and batch reverse-geocoder as part of the Bing Spatial Data API in order to address just these scenarios. Chris Pendleton briefly touched on it in his blog post here . Today I would like to go in a bit more detail and build a little application that leverages the Bing Spatial Data Services. During this walkthrough we will follow the process as pictured below. As a prerequisite you will need a Bing Maps Key which you can create yourself at the Bing Maps Portal . Format Data Your data can be either in XML- or text-files. In text files you can separate values with comma, tab or pipe (|). The data can be latitudes and longitudes which would be reverse geocoded query... Read More
  • August
    30

    Bing Maps on Your Verizon Android

    Bing Maps was previously available as a mobile device application for multiple platforms: Windows Phone Blackberry iPhone Today Bing Maps as part of the Bing Mobile Platform was also launched on the Verizon Android. Read here to find out more. Technorati Tags: Bing Maps , Android , iPhone , Blackberry , Windows Phone , Virtual Earth Bing Maps was previously available as a mobile device application for multiple platforms: Windows Phone Blackberry iPhone Today Bing Maps as part of the Bing Mobile Platform was also launched on the Verizon Android. Read here to find out more. Technorati Tags: Bing Maps , Android , iPhone , Blackberry , Windows Phone , Virtual Earth
  • August
    27

    End of an Era…and, Beginning Anew

    You may have noticed we’ve added a couple new bloggers to the Bing Maps Blog . Well, I say that loosely because Johannes Kebeck has been a blogger extraordinaire on his Windows Live Spaces blog which has done quite well, but has decided to start posting his blog material here instead of on Live Spaces. Brian Hendricks is relatively new to the Bing Maps and Microsoft world, but has a lot of promise and insight into the direction of the product group. Here’s a little something about each of them: Johannes Kebeck is a Bing Maps Technology Specialist, supporting customers and partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is currently based in Reading, UK. In October 2004 Johannes joined Microsoft in Germany working within the Enterprise & Partner Group and in 2005 he joined the Bing Maps team. Some of you may know Johannes from various postings on his private blog .   Brian Hendricks is a product manager for Bing Maps team and is responsible for launching new Bing Maps features and growing the map app platform. He recently joined Microsoft after graduating from the University of Michigan. While in school, he spent two and a half years as Microsoft's on-campus Student Partner... Read More You may have noticed we’ve added a couple new bloggers to the Bing Maps Blog . Well, I say that loosely because Johannes Kebeck has been a blogger extraordinaire on his Windows Live Spaces blog which has done quite well, but has decided to start posting his blog material here instead of on Live Spaces. Brian Hendricks is relatively new to the Bing Maps and Microsoft world, but has a lot of promise and insight into the direction of the product group. Here’s a little something about each of them: Johannes Kebeck is a Bing Maps Technology Specialist, supporting customers and partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is currently based in Reading, UK. In October 2004 Johannes joined Microsoft in Germany working within the Enterprise & Partner Group and in 2005 he joined the Bing Maps team. Some of you may know Johannes from various postings on his private blog .   Brian Hendricks is a product manager for Bing Maps team and is responsible for launching new Bing Maps features and growing the map app platform. He recently joined Microsoft after graduating from the University of Michigan. While in school, he spent two and a half years as Microsoft's on-campus Student Partner... Read More
  • August
    26

    Introducing PHP and VB .NET SDKs for Bing...

    Over the years we’ve provided developers with tons of code samples, SDKs, interactive SDKs, external SDKs, etc., etc. Today, we’re adding to an already loaded artillery of Bing Maps SDKs by providing a new SDK for PHP developers who want to use our REST, SOAP and Spatial Data APIs. In addition to the PHP SDKs, we’ve added VB .NET code samples to our SOAP API documentation which had previously only been done in C#. There are 3 new SDKs for you PHP Developers to start digging into: Accessing the Bing Maps REST Services using PHP Accessing the Bing Spatial Data Services using PHP Accessing the Bing Maps SOAP Services Using PHP Now, for you VB .NET Developers who haven’t felt the Bing Maps love, well, we’re bringing it to you. No more do you have to transcribe our C# samples into VB .NET. We have VB .NET code samples for your copy and pasting pleasure. Check out the Bing Maps SOAP API SDK for full VB .NET and C# samples. Code away boys and girls. Follow me @ BingMaps , ^CP Over the years we’ve provided developers with tons of code samples, SDKs, interactive SDKs, external SDKs, etc., etc. Today, we’re adding to an already loaded artillery of Bing Maps SDKs by providing a new SDK for PHP developers who want to use our REST, SOAP and Spatial Data APIs. In addition to the PHP SDKs, we’ve added VB .NET code samples to our SOAP API documentation which had previously only been done in C#. There are 3 new SDKs for you PHP Developers to start digging into: Accessing the Bing Maps REST Services using PHP Accessing the Bing Spatial Data Services using PHP Accessing the Bing Maps SOAP Services Using PHP Now, for you VB .NET Developers who haven’t felt the Bing Maps love, well, we’re bringing it to you. No more do you have to transcribe our C# samples into VB .NET. We have VB .NET code samples for your copy and pasting pleasure. Check out the Bing Maps SOAP API SDK for full VB .NET and C# samples. Code away boys and girls. Follow me @ BingMaps , ^CP
  • August
    26

    Bing Maps and Hotmail come together

    If you are using the web-client of Hotmail or Office Live you may already have discovered it: Hotmail integrates now with Bing Maps . When you create a new email, you can now insert various types of content from Bing, including Bing Maps : When you select “Maps and Places” a task pane opens that allows you to add new locations or interact with a set of previously defined locations. By default you will find here the address that you entered in your Windows Live profile. If you add a new place you have the option to store it for later use in a Bing Maps Collection and quick pick it from the list as shown below. Once you made a quick pick from the list or geocoded a new address you can optionally edit the details and then insert it into your email. I think that’s a great idea. If only I could have that in Outlook too Technorati Tags: Bing Maps , Virtual Earth , Hotmail If you are using the web-client of Hotmail or Office Live you may already have discovered it: Hotmail integrates now with Bing Maps . When you create a new email, you can now insert various types of content from Bing, including Bing Maps : When you select “Maps and Places” a task pane opens that allows you to add new locations or interact with a set of previously defined locations. By default you will find here the address that you entered in your Windows Live profile. If you add a new place you have the option to store it for later use in a Bing Maps Collection and quick pick it from the list as shown below. Once you made a quick pick from the list or geocoded a new address you can optionally edit the details and then insert it into your email. I think that’s a great idea. If only I could have that in Outlook too Technorati Tags: Bing Maps , Virtual Earth , Hotmail
  • August
    25

    Switch on the Light - Bing Maps and LightSwitch

    Introduction Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch has just been released as public beta and it claims to be the “SIMPLEST WAY TO BUILD BUSINESS APPLICATIONS FOR THE DESKTOP, WEB AND CLOUD”. That’s quite a bold statement and it certainly deserves a closer lock. And while we’re at it we will of course have a look at the use of Bing Maps in LightSwitch projects – both for desktop and web applications. Yes, that’s right! At the end of this you will see the Bing Maps Silverlight Control in a desktop application: Prerequisites You will find the download of LightSwitch here . On MSDN you will also find a couple of “How Do I?” videos, tutorials and a great training kit. I will come back to this training kit a little bit later. If you already have Visual Studio 2010 installed, LightSwitch will snuggle into the existing environment, otherwise it will create a new installation of Visual Studio 2010. The First Steps Once you installed LightSwitch you will find a new template for VB.NET and C# development in your Visual Studio: Let’s start our journey by creating a new project. I choose the Visual Basic template but you... Read More Introduction Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch has just been released as public beta and it claims to be the “SIMPLEST WAY TO BUILD BUSINESS APPLICATIONS FOR THE DESKTOP, WEB AND CLOUD”. That’s quite a bold statement and it certainly deserves a closer lock. And while we’re at it we will of course have a look at the use of Bing Maps in LightSwitch projects – both for desktop and web applications. Yes, that’s right! At the end of this you will see the Bing Maps Silverlight Control in a desktop application: Prerequisites You will find the download of LightSwitch here . On MSDN you will also find a couple of “How Do I?” videos, tutorials and a great training kit. I will come back to this training kit a little bit later. If you already have Visual Studio 2010 installed, LightSwitch will snuggle into the existing environment, otherwise it will create a new installation of Visual Studio 2010. The First Steps Once you installed LightSwitch you will find a new template for VB.NET and C# development in your Visual Studio: Let’s start our journey by creating a new project. I choose the Visual Basic template but you... Read More
  • August
    24

    New Map App: Bing Food Cart Finder

    If you’re hungry and in need of some quality food, then Bing has you covered with the new Food Cart Finder. The Bing Food Cart Finder helps hungry foodies locate and learn about places to eat. The app initially covers only the Portland area and tracks over 250 food carts in the area. Bing is testing the appetites of Portland foodies before expanding the app’s service nationally. For those that live in Portland, you now have an easy way to plan your lunch. For those near Portland, you now have over 250 mouthwatering reasons to visit the City of Roses. Everyone else – it’s still a great app to experience. When you first load up the app you will see the food carts plotted out, represented by sporks. You can filter food vendors by recommended picks from Portland Monthly Magazine (represented by the red sporks) , neighborhood, features, cuisine, and price. Let’s say you’re in the mood for some Mexican and pull up La Jarochita. The Food Cart Finder has each vendor's address, phone number, links to the website/direction/menu, price range, a rating, a description of the food as well as the ability to receive user ratings. And since pictures always... Read More If you’re hungry and in need of some quality food, then Bing has you covered with the new Food Cart Finder. The Bing Food Cart Finder helps hungry foodies locate and learn about places to eat. The app initially covers only the Portland area and tracks over 250 food carts in the area. Bing is testing the appetites of Portland foodies before expanding the app’s service nationally. For those that live in Portland, you now have an easy way to plan your lunch. For those near Portland, you now have over 250 mouthwatering reasons to visit the City of Roses. Everyone else – it’s still a great app to experience. When you first load up the app you will see the food carts plotted out, represented by sporks. You can filter food vendors by recommended picks from Portland Monthly Magazine (represented by the red sporks) , neighborhood, features, cuisine, and price. Let’s say you’re in the mood for some Mexican and pull up La Jarochita. The Food Cart Finder has each vendor's address, phone number, links to the website/direction/menu, price range, a rating, a description of the food as well as the ability to receive user ratings. And since pictures always... Read More
  • August
    20

    And, The King of Bing Maps is…

    After the judges deliberated the winners were selected. This was so big, we did a video on MSDN's Channel 9 . The King of Bing Maps is…Ricky Brundritt, Taxi Fare Calculator The Grand Prize-winning Map App helps locals and travelers alike by estimating the total fare and showing the quickest route. The app covers major metro areas in the United States as well as 18 more cities worldwide. Brundritt won $1,000 for his creativity. Second Place – Avalara, GeoSales Tax GeoSales Tax overlays a heat map over the United States to display tax rates Third Place – Infusion Development, Ricky’s Data Viewer Data Viewer is an easy way to see data on Bing Maps without having to build anything first. We want to thank everyone who participated in the King of Bing Maps Challenge as well as our judges – Josh Lowensohn from CNET , Greg Sterling from Search Engine Land and Joe Francica from Directions Magazine . Congrats, Ricky! Follow me @ BingMaps , ^CP After the judges deliberated the winners were selected. This was so big, we did a video on MSDN's Channel 9 . The King of Bing Maps is…Ricky Brundritt, Taxi Fare Calculator The Grand Prize-winning Map App helps locals and travelers alike by estimating the total fare and showing the quickest route. The app covers major metro areas in the United States as well as 18 more cities worldwide. Brundritt won $1,000 for his creativity. Second Place – Avalara, GeoSales Tax GeoSales Tax overlays a heat map over the United States to display tax rates Third Place – Infusion Development, Ricky’s Data Viewer Data Viewer is an easy way to see data on Bing Maps without having to build anything first. We want to thank everyone who participated in the King of Bing Maps Challenge as well as our judges – Josh Lowensohn from CNET , Greg Sterling from Search Engine Land and Joe Francica from Directions Magazine . Congrats, Ricky! Follow me @ BingMaps , ^CP
  • August
    18

    Facebook Places Launches with Bing’d Out...

    After listening to the rumor mills roar and authoring hundreds of emails with my friends at Facebook it can finally be said that Facebook has launched their location-based check-in service dubbed Facebook Places. And, while location-based services like this are certainly interesting to me I’m writing this for you because Facebook is using Bing Maps to pinpoint everyone’s location-based experiences on Facebook.com. When using Facebook Places from your mobile device, users will have the opportunity to check-in to a specific place such as a restaurant, hotel or other place of interest. No, you don’t need a reservation since this isn’t that kind of check-in. This is basically an update you provide your friends where you are. If you use Facebook today, you update your friends on how you’re feeling, what you’re doing or why you’re having a horrible day (usually related to love, right?). Well, now you can provide location context as to where you are when you are experiencing these things, as well. And, hey, these are your friends! If you're somewhere special, they'll know why you feel the way you do. So, fire up the Facebook for iPhone application... Read More After listening to the rumor mills roar and authoring hundreds of emails with my friends at Facebook it can finally be said that Facebook has launched their location-based check-in service dubbed Facebook Places. And, while location-based services like this are certainly interesting to me I’m writing this for you because Facebook is using Bing Maps to pinpoint everyone’s location-based experiences on Facebook.com. When using Facebook Places from your mobile device, users will have the opportunity to check-in to a specific place such as a restaurant, hotel or other place of interest. No, you don’t need a reservation since this isn’t that kind of check-in. This is basically an update you provide your friends where you are. If you use Facebook today, you update your friends on how you’re feeling, what you’re doing or why you’re having a horrible day (usually related to love, right?). Well, now you can provide location context as to where you are when you are experiencing these things, as well. And, hey, these are your friends! If you're somewhere special, they'll know why you feel the way you do. So, fire up the Facebook for iPhone application... Read More
  • August
    18

    XBox Live for Windows Phone 7 Will Feature...

    With the impending release of Windows Phone 7, I’ve been working with both the Windows Phone and XNA teams on creating experiences that will involve Bing Maps. As a preview, Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst is the first game to be shown and announced to use an XNA control with Bing Maps for Windows Phone 7. Hot. The game uses Bing Maps as a backdrop for an attack and tank-like game for blowing stuff up (or protecting stuff). Here are a couple screenshots used from within the game. I know the first question from the devs out there…does that means there will be a Bing Maps XNA control? Well, sort of. Let’s just say, it exists and we’re investigating the best way to go big with it. We are One Microsoft and the fact that the XBox team has invested time in building a control that uses Bing Maps is absolute greatness. With the massive adoption of GPS on mobile devices, you can imagine all the killer game titles we can get out there for location-based gaming. And, with all the killer imagery and data we have in Bing Maps? Plus, since it’s all tied into XBox Live we could potentially do some REALLY interesting things with location aggregation to your online... Read More With the impending release of Windows Phone 7, I’ve been working with both the Windows Phone and XNA teams on creating experiences that will involve Bing Maps. As a preview, Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst is the first game to be shown and announced to use an XNA control with Bing Maps for Windows Phone 7. Hot. The game uses Bing Maps as a backdrop for an attack and tank-like game for blowing stuff up (or protecting stuff). Here are a couple screenshots used from within the game. I know the first question from the devs out there…does that means there will be a Bing Maps XNA control? Well, sort of. Let’s just say, it exists and we’re investigating the best way to go big with it. We are One Microsoft and the fact that the XBox team has invested time in building a control that uses Bing Maps is absolute greatness. With the massive adoption of GPS on mobile devices, you can imagine all the killer game titles we can get out there for location-based gaming. And, with all the killer imagery and data we have in Bing Maps? Plus, since it’s all tied into XBox Live we could potentially do some REALLY interesting things with location aggregation to your online... Read More
  • August
    17

    Windows Live Essential Adds Geotagging...

    With today’s release of Windows Live Essentials Beta , one of the new features relevant to us here in the Bing Maps team is within the Windows Live Photo Gallery application in a function called geotagging. For those of you not familiar with the concept, it basically means you can add location information to a photo. This provides location context to a photo such as where the photo was taken or the ability to sort your photos by location. You can tag the photos to the fidelity of your choosing. For example, here’s of picture of me overlooking beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from under Christo Rodentor . I could specify the city or Rio, the country or Brazil or even the specific address of where the statue stands. This is important since it will enable mapping of all these photos on Bing Maps or Windows Live. I’m not committing to that, but it’s definitely something that we could enable in the future. Also, there’s a function to publish Photosynth’s (Create Menu | More Tools | Create a Photosynth). So, from within Windows Live Photo Gallery you can select a bunch of photos and create a Photosynth that you can publish to Photosynth.com. If you... Read More With today’s release of Windows Live Essentials Beta , one of the new features relevant to us here in the Bing Maps team is within the Windows Live Photo Gallery application in a function called geotagging. For those of you not familiar with the concept, it basically means you can add location information to a photo. This provides location context to a photo such as where the photo was taken or the ability to sort your photos by location. You can tag the photos to the fidelity of your choosing. For example, here’s of picture of me overlooking beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from under Christo Rodentor . I could specify the city or Rio, the country or Brazil or even the specific address of where the statue stands. This is important since it will enable mapping of all these photos on Bing Maps or Windows Live. I’m not committing to that, but it’s definitely something that we could enable in the future. Also, there’s a function to publish Photosynth’s (Create Menu | More Tools | Create a Photosynth). So, from within Windows Live Photo Gallery you can select a bunch of photos and create a Photosynth that you can publish to Photosynth.com. If you... Read More
  • August
    10

    New Bing Map App: Coin Search

    “Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck.” If you believe this to be true, you may want to go buy some Lotto tickets today. The latest Bing Map App in the gallery, Coin Search , lets us explore Bing Maps in Streetside to find random coins throughout beautiful New York City. Four areas have been marked on the map; inside each of these areas there are five randomly distributed coins. Find all of the coins in each area to win the game. Yes! It’s a Bing Maps game! And, it’s a code sample! How to play: Click the Begin button. Click an area button in the left hand panel or hover over an area on the map and then click the area’s name to enter Streetside. Navigate around the area in Streetside and click on any spinning coins you come across. Note: you can use the directional arrows on your keyboard to walk through Streetside. Sometimes that’s easier if you want to explore more carefully. Once all the coins in the area are found, you will be removed from Streetside so you may select a different area to search. I also mentioned it’s a code sample. You can now download the code for the Coin Search... Read More “Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck.” If you believe this to be true, you may want to go buy some Lotto tickets today. The latest Bing Map App in the gallery, Coin Search , lets us explore Bing Maps in Streetside to find random coins throughout beautiful New York City. Four areas have been marked on the map; inside each of these areas there are five randomly distributed coins. Find all of the coins in each area to win the game. Yes! It’s a Bing Maps game! And, it’s a code sample! How to play: Click the Begin button. Click an area button in the left hand panel or hover over an area on the map and then click the area’s name to enter Streetside. Navigate around the area in Streetside and click on any spinning coins you come across. Note: you can use the directional arrows on your keyboard to walk through Streetside. Sometimes that’s easier if you want to explore more carefully. Once all the coins in the area are found, you will be removed from Streetside so you may select a different area to search. I also mentioned it’s a code sample. You can now download the code for the Coin Search... Read More
  • August
    04

    New Bing Map App: Seattle Issues

    The latest addition to the Bing Map App Gallery helps Seattlites keep The Emerald City luster intact. The new app dubbed Seattle Issues helps Seattle residents and visitors learn about current civic issues in the city such as potholes, water main breaks, traffic signal problems, graffiti, and other issues that affect how people in Seattle experience the city. Note: This app is powered by SeeClickFix.com – a website encouraging residents to become active citizens in taking care of and improving their city by seeing a non-emergency issue in their neighborhood, opening a ticket on the SCF site, and commenting on when the issue is resolved. The Seattle Issues map app is a viewer into the current state of affairs as reported on SeeClickFix.com. Select an issue on the left or on the map to view the location and brief description of the report. You can click through the link to get additional details about the issue. To report an issue, you can click through to SeeClickFix.com’s Report an Issue page. SeeClickFix.com is not limited to Seattle. So, make it your civic responsibility to report issues! Get the pot hole fixed. Get sewers unclogged. Get those eyesores in your neighborhood removed... Read More The latest addition to the Bing Map App Gallery helps Seattlites keep The Emerald City luster intact. The new app dubbed Seattle Issues helps Seattle residents and visitors learn about current civic issues in the city such as potholes, water main breaks, traffic signal problems, graffiti, and other issues that affect how people in Seattle experience the city. Note: This app is powered by SeeClickFix.com – a website encouraging residents to become active citizens in taking care of and improving their city by seeing a non-emergency issue in their neighborhood, opening a ticket on the SCF site, and commenting on when the issue is resolved. The Seattle Issues map app is a viewer into the current state of affairs as reported on SeeClickFix.com. Select an issue on the left or on the map to view the location and brief description of the report. You can click through the link to get additional details about the issue. To report an issue, you can click through to SeeClickFix.com’s Report an Issue page. SeeClickFix.com is not limited to Seattle. So, make it your civic responsibility to report issues! Get the pot hole fixed. Get sewers unclogged. Get those eyesores in your neighborhood removed... Read More
  • August
    03

    Bing’s Bringing Sexy Maps

    Over the last few weeks a few of you lucky ducks got to experience a new map type we were flighting. Around 10% of users were seeing our new maps in all its aesthetic glory. Today, we’re releasing it to everyone. The new map type has two experiences that differ between the AJAX version of Bing Maps and the Silverlight experience. The AJAX maps are rendered completely as a new set of map tiles and displayed through the AJAX interface as we do our current road and aerial map types. The Silverlight experience is a little different…and, this is where it gets interesting. The Silverlight experience has a combination of both raster tiles AND vector graphics rendered in the browser at run time. Uh, what? Well, yes, by default on the Silverlight site you can see the same tiles you see on the AJAX site only in Deep Zoom greatness. However, there’s a beta option to try the new base map with neighborhoods hovering over them as text, which we call dynamic labels. The dynamically labeled neighborhoods are clickable and will zoom you down to the respective region making it easier to further explore an area or neighborhood of a city. We’re just peeling away at the onion one data layer at a time. And... Read More Over the last few weeks a few of you lucky ducks got to experience a new map type we were flighting. Around 10% of users were seeing our new maps in all its aesthetic glory. Today, we’re releasing it to everyone. The new map type has two experiences that differ between the AJAX version of Bing Maps and the Silverlight experience. The AJAX maps are rendered completely as a new set of map tiles and displayed through the AJAX interface as we do our current road and aerial map types. The Silverlight experience is a little different…and, this is where it gets interesting. The Silverlight experience has a combination of both raster tiles AND vector graphics rendered in the browser at run time. Uh, what? Well, yes, by default on the Silverlight site you can see the same tiles you see on the AJAX site only in Deep Zoom greatness. However, there’s a beta option to try the new base map with neighborhoods hovering over them as text, which we call dynamic labels. The dynamically labeled neighborhoods are clickable and will zoom you down to the respective region making it easier to further explore an area or neighborhood of a city. We’re just peeling away at the onion one data layer at a time. And... Read More