The following is a guest post from Steve Milroy of OnTerra Systems, the developer for the Bing Education Map App, on the architecture and design of map app using Azure and Bing Maps. He also recently developed the DonorsChoose.org and Teach Here map apps. – Brian
Recently the Bing Education Map was launched in the Bing Maps app gallery in conjunction with the Waiting for “Superman” movie from Participant Media. This map app integrates data from DonorsChoose.org, Mentor, GreatSchools and All For Good. It allows you to quickly evaluate US schools in your area and donate your money to school projects or time to mentoring and volunteering opportunities. Embed features via the “Embed this map” option in the map app allow integration of a simple map with the same data into other websites via an iFrame etc.
This map app features cutting edge architecture and technologies. Bing automatically detects user location (Reverse IP) and the map app loads locations based on bounding box. After the default load, as you pan or zoom around the data is refreshed in near real time based on the updated bounding box. To provide a scalable architecture we used Windows Azure and an Azure worker roll to query/load datasets on a daily basis, which gets populated into a spatial DB running on SQL Azure. The map app and embedded map then query this spatial data using an easily adjustable number of Azure web roles running an ASP.NET MVC service for data access. The ASP.NET MVC app also contains the embedded map created using the Bing Map AJAX API v6.3. Here is an architecture diagram showing components.
There has been tremendous interest in this Map App due to the recent movie release and media coverage. The embed map is directly linked to waitingforsuperman.com city pages. Also, Oprah.com linked to the embed map directly.
Bing Map Apps represents a new channel for promoting your initiative, community or even an enterprise offering/campaign. Learn more about the Map App SDK and Map App Development Resources. I hope to see your app in the gallery soon.