So, you’re stuck using ActionScript in Flex so you can produce Flash applications. You’re all excited about the Bing Maps Silverlight Control, but are getting some directive that requires you to use Flash; but, man, you really love Bing Maps. No problemo. The Bing Maps Platform team has partnered with AFComponents (AFC) to provide a Flash-based interface for building robust map applications. AFC has created a very robust SDK for creating your Flash-based Bing Maps applications. Supported through AFC, their Flash controls access Bing Maps in a supported fashion and fall inline with the Bing Maps TOUs. If you’re a commercial customer, you still require a commercial license; however, now you no longer have to wrap your own Flash control by accessing our tiles via the Bing Maps Web Service or reverse engineer our tiles schema and URI definitions directly to create your Flash control (a TOU violation!). AFC has you covered – you just need to access their SDK for overlaying data. And, yes, their service get’s Bird’s Eye images so if you love Bird’s Eye and need them in Flash you can get them! And to be clear, if you’re using Flash I really feel your pain with Silverlight just sitting there all ripe and shiny; but, hey, I’m just trying to make your life a little easier until you can convince those directive-pushers that Silverlight is the better option. All in due time.
Also, within the AFC APIs you can access Bing Maps geocoding, routing, POI Search, road maps, aerial maps, hybrid maps, traffic layers and Bird’s Eye photos. You pretty much get everything that’s in the Bing Maps Platform only it’s all made just for Flash developers.
AFComponents has their own showcase of enterprise customers including Air Services Australia which uses the Bing Maps Flash API for tracking flights in and out of Sydney International Airport. The application places multiple flights around Sydney International Airport along with a trail of where they’re coming from an information bubble with flight information when you hover over the airplane icon (or you can check on all flight info boxes in the Display tab. You can also see noise levels around the airport displayed in little gray circles on the map. A very cool, somewhat addictive application definitely worth a looksee.
Well, that covers using Flash/Flex/ActionScript for the Bing Maps Platform. You’re seriously running out of excuses to not use Bing Maps for your application. Let’s see if I can take down some additional issues you may think you have.
CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton