Bing Maps Silverlight Control 1.0 Released

After months of residing online as a community technology preview (CTP), the Bing Maps Silverlight Control (Version 1.0) has arrived and the .dlls are ready for your grubby, coding hands and vividly, creative minds to start bringing to life the next generation of location-based applications. The Bing Maps Silverlight Control adds stunning aesthetic, unmatched performance and an innovative revolution to an already strong arsenal contained under the Bing Maps Platform’s umbrella. Let’s skip the marketing jazz and go straight for the gusto – what’s in the Bing Maps Silverlight Control v. 1? Enter bullet list…

 

Bing Maps Silverlight Control

 

  • Built on Silverlight 3: We’ve upgraded to the latest bits of Silverlight to keep your application development efforts bleeding edge.
  • Support for Expression Blend: Add the Bing Maps Silverlight .dlls to your Expression Blend project and modify fields instead of code. Also, your map will appear and modify right before your eyes. The preview also works in Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2…at least it does for me.
  • Bing Maps Keys – bye, bye tokens; hello, AppID (or, Keys, as we’re calling it). Request a Bing Maps Key via the Bing Maps Portal and you can embed a single line of code into your application to be authenticated. This means no more round trips for expiring tokens or additional requests for more tokens.
  • Out of Browser: Bing Maps Silverlight Control supports Silverlight 3’s popular out of browser feature which allows users to right click an application and save a shortcut on their desktop directly to the Silverlight components of your application.
  • Map Mode Extensibility: We added some new classes for extending the map types that are available from with the Bing Maps Silverlight control.
  • Pushpin Class: A native pushpin class for adding vector graphics to the Bing Maps Silverlight Control without using the Silverlight native drawing tools. You can still use the Silverlight tools, but now you don’t have to.
  • Data Binding (YAY!): Bind your data to a list for easy access and pinning data to the map.
  • International Support: The Bing Maps Platform has a number of different languages supported across the Bing Maps AJAX Control and Web Service. Now, you can access those localized map tiles via our Silverlight Control.
  • Bing Maps Web Service Property Type Safety: We synched the classes, methods and properties with those coming from the Bing Maps Web Service. This means that if you use the Bing Map Web Service you don’t have to convert the results to a different class – you just pass them over to the Bing Maps Silverlight Control and they will be natively handled.

 

 

  • Fading Labels: A transparent overlay of road data over aerial maps that will fade away when the mouse isn’t being used.
  • Scriptable API: For those of you who don’t have (or don’t want to have) the requirements for using the Bing Maps Silverlight Control (Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP 1, Microsoft Silverlight 3 Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP 1), we’re introducing a JavaScript interface into many of the classes available in the Bing Maps Silverlight Control. This deserves it’s own bullet list:
    • Microsoft will host a .xap file that you will point your application to via a OBJECT PARAM tag (very much like the Bing Maps AJAX Control). Your code would look something like this:

      • <object id=’slCtl’ data=”data:application/x-silverlight,”type=”application/x-silverlight-2″ width=”800″ height=”500″>

        • <param name=”source” value=”http://dev.virtualearth.net/silverlight/mapcontrol/v1/Microsoft.Maps.MapControl.xap” />
        • <param name=”enableHtmlAccess” value=”true” />
        • <param name=”initParams” value=”ApplicationId=Your Key”/>
      • </object> 
    • A whole list of scriptable features are available in the Bing Maps Silverlight SDK, but to give you a taste:
      • Set Animation
      • Set Map View (rectangle, center point, map mode)
      • Set Culture (localized maps)
      • Set Visibility of the scale bar
      • Capture user targets (rectangle, center point, zoom level)
      • Location (coordinates)
      • Add Pushpins
      • Capturing Events (mouse, keyboard, Bing Maps)
      • Drawing
  • Embeddable Maps: A simple URL string for embedding AJAX or Silverlight maps into your applications. Don’t really know how to program? Kind of understand how a URI parameterization works? This might be for you. Take this URI string and place it into an IFRAME SRC tag and you’ll just have a map appear! 
    • (Silverlight) http://dev.virtualearth.net/embeddedMap/v1/silverlight/aerial?zoomLevel=10&center=47.5_-122.5&pushpins=47.5_-122.5
    • (AJAX) http://dev.virtualearth.net/embeddedMap/v1/AJAX/aerial?zoomLevel=10&center=47.5_-122.5&pushpins=47.5_-122.5
    • Embeddable maps supports the following features:
      • Map Mode: Set the map mode. mapMode={Road, Aerial, AerialWithLabels, Birdseye, BirdseyeWithLabels}
      • Zoom Level: Set the map zoom level: zoomLevel={1-21}
      • Center: Set the map center point: center={latitude_longitude}
      • Heading: Set the map heading: heading:{North, South, East, West}
      • Pushpins: Places pushpins on the map: pushpins={latitude_longitude}
      • Culture: Set the map localization: culture={en-us}

Holy smokes! This is a lot to digest. Take it all in…. Now, take a breather because we’ve changed the Terms of Use that should put smiles on a lot of faces out there. The changes to the Terms of Use are so big, I’ve decided to write an entire blog entry dedicated just for that, “Bing Maps Terms of Use Changes; Benefit Educators, Not-for-Profits and Developers.”

Here are some helpful links:

 In the mean time, download the .dlls for the Bing Maps Silverlight Map Control. Also, watch the video about what the Bing Maps Silverlight Control means to Microsoft, it’s partners and customers and developers. And, this is only the beginning…

CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton

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