Bing blogs

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Maps Blog

  • April
    14

    Bing Spatial Data Services Meets 3D

    At //build 2014 there were many exciting announcements. It would have been easy to miss one of the implications of the moment of glory for Internet Explorer 11 during the keynote on day 1. The demo of the new FishGL website gave a hint about the enhanced support for WebGL in IE11 and, while I find fish quite yummy, I was more intrigued about what it means for mapping. After installing the Windows 8.1 Update, I quickly checked on Cesium, a free and open source map control that uses by default Bing Maps imagery and the Bing Maps geocoder. With this release of IE11 you can now take advantage of the latest and greatest in the Cesium control. In this quick tutorial we will visualize data stored in the Bing Spatial Data Services (SDS) through the Cesium map control in 3D… READ MORE At //build 2014 there were many exciting announcements. It would have been easy to miss one of the implications of the moment of glory for Internet Explorer 11 during the keynote on day 1. The demo of the new FishGL website gave a hint about the enhanced support for WebGL in IE11 and, while I find fish quite yummy, I was more intrigued about what it means for mapping. After installing the Windows 8.1 Update, I quickly checked on Cesium, a free and open source map control that uses by default Bing Maps imagery and the Bing Maps geocoder. With this release of IE11 you can now take advantage of the latest and greatest in the Cesium control. In this quick tutorial we will visualize data stored in the Bing Spatial Data Services (SDS) through the Cesium map control in 3D… READ MORE
  • April
    07

    Staying Fit with Bing Maps

    I just feel better when I have a certain level of fitness. So, I came up with the idea of the ‘Donkey Bike’. The idea was to create a virtual trip to visit my parents in Germany and track the progress with every rotation of my wheel and every stroke of the rower. I’d rather choose a scenic route than the direct one, so the first part of the journey is a 6,886 km ride from Redmond, WA to Nova Scotia, Canada. With 1,081 km down, a flat tire (yes, that can happen even in the basement), a few interesting scenes discovered on the imagery and a few pounds lighter than when I started the journey, I thought it’s time to share some details on the somewhat unusual ‘Donkey Bike’… READ MORE I just feel better when I have a certain level of fitness. So, I came up with the idea of the ‘Donkey Bike’. The idea was to create a virtual trip to visit my parents in Germany and track the progress with every rotation of my wheel and every stroke of the rower. I’d rather choose a scenic route than the direct one, so the first part of the journey is a 6,886 km ride from Redmond, WA to Nova Scotia, Canada. With 1,081 km down, a flat tire (yes, that can happen even in the basement), a few interesting scenes discovered on the imagery and a few pounds lighter than when I started the journey, I thought it’s time to share some details on the somewhat unusual ‘Donkey Bike’… READ MORE
  • April
    04

    Image Overlays with Bing Maps (Native)

    A while back I wrote a blog posts called Image Overlays with Bing Maps (JavaScript). In this blog post we saw a couple of different ways to overlay an image on the map and bind it to a bounding box such that it stays correctly positioned when panned and scales as you zoom the map. In this blog post we are going to look at two different methods for doing this in the Native Bing Maps SDK for Window Store Apps. The first method will consist of creating a custom control that stretches and positions an image as the map is zoomed and panned. The second method will make use of the Custom Polygon control from a recent blog post . We will overlay the image on the custom polygon using an image brush… READ MORE A while back I wrote a blog posts called Image Overlays with Bing Maps (JavaScript). In this blog post we saw a couple of different ways to overlay an image on the map and bind it to a bounding box such that it stays correctly positioned when panned and scales as you zoom the map. In this blog post we are going to look at two different methods for doing this in the Native Bing Maps SDK for Window Store Apps. The first method will consist of creating a custom control that stretches and positions an image as the map is zoomed and panned. The second method will make use of the Custom Polygon control from a recent blog post . We will overlay the image on the custom polygon using an image brush… READ MORE
  • April
    03

    Geo-fencing with Bing Spatial Data Services...

    Triggering certain actions such as sending notifications or alerts when a device enters or leaves an area is often referred to as geo-fencing. The geo-fence, the boundary of the area of interest, can be dynamic like a radius around a school or around your own device, it can be pre-defined such as a neighborhood, city or county, or it can be an area defined and digitized for a specific purpose. In this post, we will walk through an end-to-end scenario that will look at the Bing SDS to store and query geo-fences, the tracked device, the Azure Mobile Services as the hub to process the tracked locations and send notifications as well as a Windows Store app to catch and display tile and toast notifications… READ MORE Triggering certain actions such as sending notifications or alerts when a device enters or leaves an area is often referred to as geo-fencing. The geo-fence, the boundary of the area of interest, can be dynamic like a radius around a school or around your own device, it can be pre-defined such as a neighborhood, city or county, or it can be an area defined and digitized for a specific purpose. In this post, we will walk through an end-to-end scenario that will look at the Bing SDS to store and query geo-fences, the tracked device, the Azure Mobile Services as the hub to process the tracked locations and send notifications as well as a Windows Store app to catch and display tile and toast notifications… READ MORE
  • March
    31

    How to Create a Customer Ranked Auto Suggest...

    From time to time I come across developers who want to have an auto suggest search box to use with their map. Your first thought might be to simply use the Bing Maps geocoding services to do this, however this often ends up generating a large number of transactions. If you are using Bing Maps under the free terms of use this can result in your application quickly exceeding the free usage limits. If you have an enterprise license for Bing Maps these additional transactions could potential increase the cost of your license significantly… READ MORE From time to time I come across developers who want to have an auto suggest search box to use with their map. Your first thought might be to simply use the Bing Maps geocoding services to do this, however this often ends up generating a large number of transactions. If you are using Bing Maps under the free terms of use this can result in your application quickly exceeding the free usage limits. If you have an enterprise license for Bing Maps these additional transactions could potential increase the cost of your license significantly… READ MORE
  • March
    25

    How to Create Custom Shapes in Windows...

    In the Bing Maps SDK for Windows Store Apps there are five main types of data that you can add to the map: Pushpin, MapPolyline, MapPolygon, MapTileLayer, and UIElements. UIElements can be added to the map just like pushpins and are a great way to create custom shapes to the map. In this blog post we will see how we can make use of the ability to add a UIElement to the map to create custom shapes that have a lot more customization options. The main shapes we will focus on are the MapPolyline and MapPolygon classes. The MapPolyline class lets you set the width and color of the line, the MapPolygon class only lets you set the fill color. If you have used any of the other Bing Maps SDK’s you may remember that there were a lot more options in other versions, such as being able to create dashed lines, and apply brushes to shapes instead of just colors. READ MORE In the Bing Maps SDK for Windows Store Apps there are five main types of data that you can add to the map: Pushpin, MapPolyline, MapPolygon, MapTileLayer, and UIElements. UIElements can be added to the map just like pushpins and are a great way to create custom shapes to the map. In this blog post we will see how we can make use of the ability to add a UIElement to the map to create custom shapes that have a lot more customization options. The main shapes we will focus on are the MapPolyline and MapPolygon classes. The MapPolyline class lets you set the width and color of the line, the MapPolygon class only lets you set the fill color. If you have used any of the other Bing Maps SDK’s you may remember that there were a lot more options in other versions, such as being able to create dashed lines, and apply brushes to shapes instead of just colors. READ MORE
  • March
    18

    Learn How to Create a Location-aware Windows...

    Are you developing a location-based Windows Store app using web or managed programming languages? Do you need help with how to get started? A new eBook entitled, Location Intelligence for Windows Store Apps , is now available for free download. Written by Ricky Brundritt (EMEA Bing Maps TSP at Microsoft), the eBook delves into location intelligence and the different options for creating location-aware apps in Windows 8.1. The first half of the book focuses on the inner workings of Window Store apps and the various location-related tools available (e.g. sensors and the Bing Maps SDK). The second half walks you through the process of creating several useful location-intelligent apps. READ MORE Are you developing a location-based Windows Store app using web or managed programming languages? Do you need help with how to get started? A new eBook entitled, Location Intelligence for Windows Store Apps , is now available for free download. Written by Ricky Brundritt (EMEA Bing Maps TSP at Microsoft), the eBook delves into location intelligence and the different options for creating location-aware apps in Windows 8.1. The first half of the book focuses on the inner workings of Window Store apps and the various location-related tools available (e.g. sensors and the Bing Maps SDK). The second half walks you through the process of creating several useful location-intelligent apps. READ MORE
  • March
    11

    Learn How to Create Heat Maps in Native...

    Find out how I came up with a solution for creating heat maps in native Windows Store apps and document the reusable library that I created. Heat maps, also known as density maps, are a type of overlay on a map used to represent data using different colors. They are often used to show the data hot spots on a map. If you are working in JavaScript there is a client-side heat map module available in the Bing Maps V7 Modules project , which can be used in Windows Store apps. Using this module is fairly easy and only takes a few lines of code to setup. Creating heat maps in native Windows Store apps is a bit harder to do... READ MORE Find out how I came up with a solution for creating heat maps in native Windows Store apps and document the reusable library that I created. Heat maps, also known as density maps, are a type of overlay on a map used to represent data using different colors. They are often used to show the data hot spots on a map. If you are working in JavaScript there is a client-side heat map module available in the Bing Maps V7 Modules project , which can be used in Windows Store apps. Using this module is fairly easy and only takes a few lines of code to setup. Creating heat maps in native Windows Store apps is a bit harder to do... READ MORE
  • February
    28

    A New Route for Bing Maps Developers

    About 9 years ago, I started a little MapPoint Web Service blog targeted at helping Enterprise customers and developers build geospatial applications. Having run the consulting arm of Vicinity Corporation, overseeing the customer migration from Vicinity web services to Microsoft web services and spinning up an Evangelist role, I’d see the same questions over and over again. The premise of my blogging started as a result of trying to eliminate writing the same email to different people multiple times over. After all, if one person had a question, it made sense that someone else was going to eventually ask the same question. So, I started publishing the info and allowing the search engines to index my content. My life was finally scalable! I took over consumer blogging for the Bing Maps (then Virtual Earth) website and content updates. I wrote with fleeing glory as I brought my coding efforts to the then Virtual Earth blog. I was stoked to see my coding entries in-line with imagery acquisition announcements, features releases and 3D updates. Then I started working with an amazing PR Manager who taught me the value of timing “big” blog posts for outlet syndication. Okay, so I wouldn’t... Read More About 9 years ago, I started a little MapPoint Web Service blog targeted at helping Enterprise customers and developers build geospatial applications. Having run the consulting arm of Vicinity Corporation, overseeing the customer migration from Vicinity web services to Microsoft web services and spinning up an Evangelist role, I’d see the same questions over and over again. The premise of my blogging started as a result of trying to eliminate writing the same email to different people multiple times over. After all, if one person had a question, it made sense that someone else was going to eventually ask the same question. So, I started publishing the info and allowing the search engines to index my content. My life was finally scalable! I took over consumer blogging for the Bing Maps (then Virtual Earth) website and content updates. I wrote with fleeing glory as I brought my coding efforts to the then Virtual Earth blog. I was stoked to see my coding entries in-line with imagery acquisition announcements, features releases and 3D updates. Then I started working with an amazing PR Manager who taught me the value of timing “big” blog posts for outlet syndication. Okay, so I wouldn’t... Read More
  • February
    26

    Teaching Bing Maps Some New (Language)...

    We are excited to announce the preview release of dual labeling, ‘neutral ground truth’ (ngt) and additional language support. This new update to the AJAX Version 7.0 control allows you to create maps with labels in two different languages. This release also includes the ‘ngt’ language value that shows map labels in the native language of each country respectively. We have also added support for additional languages. Now you can create a map that shows labels in two languages: primary language and secondary language. The primary language is used for map labels, the navigation control and directions when supported. To create a map with dual labels using AJAX Version 7.0, you must specify two languages in the mkt parameter. For example, mkt=pl-pl,en-us will show map labels in Polish and English. You can also use a new custom culture ‘ngt’ to show map labels in the local language of the region. For example mkt=ngt will show Russian map labels within Russia, Polish labels within Poland, and so on. The example below displays map labels in both English-United States (en-us) and the local language: <script type="text/javascript" src=" http... Read More We are excited to announce the preview release of dual labeling, ‘neutral ground truth’ (ngt) and additional language support. This new update to the AJAX Version 7.0 control allows you to create maps with labels in two different languages. This release also includes the ‘ngt’ language value that shows map labels in the native language of each country respectively. We have also added support for additional languages. Now you can create a map that shows labels in two languages: primary language and secondary language. The primary language is used for map labels, the navigation control and directions when supported. To create a map with dual labels using AJAX Version 7.0, you must specify two languages in the mkt parameter. For example, mkt=pl-pl,en-us will show map labels in Polish and English. You can also use a new custom culture ‘ngt’ to show map labels in the local language of the region. For example mkt=ngt will show Russian map labels within Russia, Polish labels within Poland, and so on. The example below displays map labels in both English-United States (en-us) and the local language: <script type="text/javascript" src=" http... Read More
  • February
    21

    15 New 3D Cities Available in the Bing...

    In December, we launched the Bing Maps Preview app on Windows 8.1, introducing a new way to explore the world in a touch-friendly way. We’ve been flying, driving and processing since then and have just added 15 more 3D cities to the list we launched with. With the help of world builders from the video game industry, expert photogrammetrists, high definition aerial cameras and a massive data pipeline crunching petabytes of imagery, we are delivering a more natural way to experience our planet. Touch it, tilt it, tap it or turn it to immerse yourself and experience maps in new ways. Taking advantage of our advanced geometry engine, street labels and markers dynamically adapt to your vantage point. So as you traverse the landscape the map adapts to how your eye sees the 3D space. You can now explore 360-degree views of these new cities: Germany Duisburg Dresden Spain Marbella Murcia United States Montgomery, AL Bakersfield, CA Sacramento, CA San Francisco, CA Gainesville, FL Tallahassee, FL Columbus, GA Baton Rouge, LA Shreveport, LA Gulport, MS Seattle, WA Image of San Francisco... Read More In December, we launched the Bing Maps Preview app on Windows 8.1, introducing a new way to explore the world in a touch-friendly way. We’ve been flying, driving and processing since then and have just added 15 more 3D cities to the list we launched with. With the help of world builders from the video game industry, expert photogrammetrists, high definition aerial cameras and a massive data pipeline crunching petabytes of imagery, we are delivering a more natural way to experience our planet. Touch it, tilt it, tap it or turn it to immerse yourself and experience maps in new ways. Taking advantage of our advanced geometry engine, street labels and markers dynamically adapt to your vantage point. So as you traverse the landscape the map adapts to how your eye sees the 3D space. You can now explore 360-degree views of these new cities: Germany Duisburg Dresden Spain Marbella Murcia United States Montgomery, AL Bakersfield, CA Sacramento, CA San Francisco, CA Gainesville, FL Tallahassee, FL Columbus, GA Baton Rouge, LA Shreveport, LA Gulport, MS Seattle, WA Image of San Francisco... Read More
  • January
    23

    Make Clickable Shapes in the Native Bing...

    The native Bing Maps Windows Store control has two types of shapes: polygons and polylines. These shapes are great for representing areas and paths on the map. Often it is useful to be able to associate some information or metadata with these shapes. In past versions of Bing Maps we could easily store this information in the Tag property of the shape. This makes it easy to retrieve this data when a shape is clicked or tapped. Unfortunately,the MapPolygon and MapPolyline shapes in the native Bing Maps Windows Store control do not have a Tag property. Recently on the Bing Maps forums, one of our Bing Maps engineers pointed out that the MapPolygon and MapPolyline classes are both DependancyObjects . This means that we could create a DependencyProperty which adds a “Tag” property to these shapes. In this blog post we are going to see just how easy this is to do. To get started, open up Visual Studio and create a new project in either C# or Visual Basic. Select the Blank App template, call the application ClickableShapes, and press OK . Add a reference to the Bing Maps SDK. To do this, right click on the References folder and press Add Reference . Select Windows → Extensions , and then select... Read More The native Bing Maps Windows Store control has two types of shapes: polygons and polylines. These shapes are great for representing areas and paths on the map. Often it is useful to be able to associate some information or metadata with these shapes. In past versions of Bing Maps we could easily store this information in the Tag property of the shape. This makes it easy to retrieve this data when a shape is clicked or tapped. Unfortunately,the MapPolygon and MapPolyline shapes in the native Bing Maps Windows Store control do not have a Tag property. Recently on the Bing Maps forums, one of our Bing Maps engineers pointed out that the MapPolygon and MapPolyline classes are both DependancyObjects . This means that we could create a DependencyProperty which adds a “Tag” property to these shapes. In this blog post we are going to see just how easy this is to do. To get started, open up Visual Studio and create a new project in either C# or Visual Basic. Select the Blank App template, call the application ClickableShapes, and press OK . Add a reference to the Bing Maps SDK. To do this, right click on the References folder and press Add Reference . Select Windows → Extensions , and then select... Read More
  • January
    15

    Map-Driven Search in Windows Store Apps

    The Bing Search API gives developers the ability to incorporate search results powered by Bing into applications and websites. In addition to web search results, we can also retrieve images, videos and news results, and embed them in apps based on query terms, location information and other filter criteria. Traditional search experiences involve capturing user search intent via typed text input, but in this post, we will build an app in which the user can retrieve search results based on their navigation and interaction with a dynamic Bing Map. We will build a Windows Store App (C# and XAML) using Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps and the Bing Search API . App Concept The purpose of our application is to enable our users to explore location-centric search content through an intuitive map-based UI. To do this, we leverage the rich event model exposed by the Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps control to signal location-based search intent as the user interacts with the dynamic map. The specific events that we will use to trigger a search will be: Double-tap - When the user double-taps the map at any time, we will override the default zooming behavior, and instead will retrieve contextual... Read More The Bing Search API gives developers the ability to incorporate search results powered by Bing into applications and websites. In addition to web search results, we can also retrieve images, videos and news results, and embed them in apps based on query terms, location information and other filter criteria. Traditional search experiences involve capturing user search intent via typed text input, but in this post, we will build an app in which the user can retrieve search results based on their navigation and interaction with a dynamic Bing Map. We will build a Windows Store App (C# and XAML) using Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps and the Bing Search API . App Concept The purpose of our application is to enable our users to explore location-centric search content through an intuitive map-based UI. To do this, we leverage the rich event model exposed by the Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps control to signal location-based search intent as the user interacts with the dynamic map. The specific events that we will use to trigger a search will be: Double-tap - When the user double-taps the map at any time, we will override the default zooming behavior, and instead will retrieve contextual... Read More
  • January
    08

    Capture Addresses from Artifacts Using...

    One of the most intriguing capabilities that Bing offers for empowering always-connected devices is the ability to visually recognize and understand artifacts in the real world. This is made available to developers via the Bing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) control for Windows 8.1 store apps. This control enables text from the outside world to be read by taking a picture from an on-device camera and analyzing the picture via a web service, with text and position information returned for interpretation. In this post, we will leverage the Bing OCR control to capture addresses from real-world artifacts, and will geocode the addresses with Bing Maps REST Locations API to enable us to obtain accurate coordinates and other metadata, as well as visualize the locations using Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps . The prerequisites for building and successfully testing our application include: Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 A Windows 8.x certified device with a built in rear facing camera that supports 1280x720 or 640x480 resolution in photo mode The Bing Maps SDK for Windows Store Apps The Bing OCR Control A subscription to the Bing OCR Control in the Windows Azure Marketplace Registration... Read More One of the most intriguing capabilities that Bing offers for empowering always-connected devices is the ability to visually recognize and understand artifacts in the real world. This is made available to developers via the Bing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) control for Windows 8.1 store apps. This control enables text from the outside world to be read by taking a picture from an on-device camera and analyzing the picture via a web service, with text and position information returned for interpretation. In this post, we will leverage the Bing OCR control to capture addresses from real-world artifacts, and will geocode the addresses with Bing Maps REST Locations API to enable us to obtain accurate coordinates and other metadata, as well as visualize the locations using Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps . The prerequisites for building and successfully testing our application include: Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 A Windows 8.x certified device with a built in rear facing camera that supports 1280x720 or 640x480 resolution in photo mode The Bing Maps SDK for Windows Store Apps The Bing OCR Control A subscription to the Bing OCR Control in the Windows Azure Marketplace Registration... Read More
  • December
    17

    How to Fine-tune Location Coordinates with...

    When presenting custom location data in Bing Maps applications, a frequent requirement is to geocode the addresses of your location data prior to presenting them on the map, ensuring that you have latitude and longitude coordinates that accurately reflect the real-world locations. Bing Maps offers batch geocoding capabilities via the Bing Spatial Data Services Geocode Dataflow API , and also via the Bing Maps Account Center , enabling data sources containing addresses to be geocoded en masse. Occasionally, however, some addresses may not get geocoded as precisely as desired. Reasons for this can include incomplete or inaccurately captured address data, the use of ‘vanity’ addresses, and more. In these instances, being able to specify the precise location of addresses via a map-based utility can be very beneficial. Administrators can leverage the accurate base maps and rich imagery available in Bing Maps to identify the correct location, and capture the corresponding latitude and longitude. For data sources that are managed via the Bing Maps Account Center, this ability is built into the Entity Data Editing interface. Many implementations take an alternate architectural approach, however... Read More When presenting custom location data in Bing Maps applications, a frequent requirement is to geocode the addresses of your location data prior to presenting them on the map, ensuring that you have latitude and longitude coordinates that accurately reflect the real-world locations. Bing Maps offers batch geocoding capabilities via the Bing Spatial Data Services Geocode Dataflow API , and also via the Bing Maps Account Center , enabling data sources containing addresses to be geocoded en masse. Occasionally, however, some addresses may not get geocoded as precisely as desired. Reasons for this can include incomplete or inaccurately captured address data, the use of ‘vanity’ addresses, and more. In these instances, being able to specify the precise location of addresses via a map-based utility can be very beneficial. Administrators can leverage the accurate base maps and rich imagery available in Bing Maps to identify the correct location, and capture the corresponding latitude and longitude. For data sources that are managed via the Bing Maps Account Center, this ability is built into the Entity Data Editing interface. Many implementations take an alternate architectural approach, however... Read More