One of the most common themes I hear about Bing Maps is that we don’t make it easy to render “GIS Stuff” via our APIs. In fact, one of the first features I spec’d when I moved to the Bing Maps team as a Lead PM was the ability to render holes in our polygons. I’d seen many attempts to make this easy and find workarounds via the community; however, at the end of the day, developers are reliant on us for this. Well, today I’m happy to announce the availability of the Bing Maps Advanced Shapes Module – a module to add to your Bing Maps AJAX v7 Control implementation for rendering complex shapes on our maps.
In this initial release, the idea is fairly straightforward: if you want to render holes in your polygons, now you can by simply passing in an array of lat, lons and, holy maps it’s done! There are many scenarios that are applicable for a polygon with holes: polygons for land, holes for lakes; polygons for areas of importance, holes for those without importance; or, polygons for retails space; holes for areas not available (or vice versa). The code is simple and the documents provide full examples allowing you to cut, paste and run to get you started.
In addition to the rendering of polygons and holes, the Advanced Shapes Module supports a few aesthetic features such as fill color, fill opacity, border color, border style (dash), border thickness, visibility (for showing and hiding) and infoboxes for annotation. I’ll be looking for some cool community implementations of this, so don’t let me down!