Virtual Earth News for Developers at PDC

The VE team made two exciting announcements for developers at this weeks PDC – one practical, the other just pure fun. Let’s get practical out of the way first.

When VE was first released in July, it was accompanied by a Javascript library that developers could use to build Virtual Earth maps into their own applications. A license restriction only allowed for the use of the library in non-commercial applications.  But now at PDC we have released a version of the control for use in commercial applications. You can read details of the new licensing terms at our developer site, ViaVirtualEarth, then try out the new map control in action for PDC2005. In January, we’ll be announcing additional licensing choices for applications that integrate VE, including advertising revenue shares and pay-per-use options.

The other big news was the announcement of a contest for Virtual Earth developers. Build a Virtual Earth powered application before October 14th for a chance to win the 1000 dollar grand prize. There will also be 25 bundles of Streets and Trips with a GPS device awarded to the first 25 entries received. Get all of the details ViaVirtualEarth.

In non-developer news this week, many members of the Virtual Earth and MSNBC teams volunteered a lot of hours to get a flyover application together to assist families displaced by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It allows them to get a low altitude aerial view of their homes and neighborhoods. I received an email this morning from a father who was able to use the site to help his daughter in a claim against her car insurance company who wanted to see proof of her loss – not easy to do if your home is still under 8 feet of water and you can’t get to it. Using the bird’s eye imagery, they were able to convince the insurance agent that indeed her car was completely lost. I can only hope that in some small way this application can help others trying to get their lives back to normal in the region. If you want to assist, a donation to the Red Cross is always needed.

Thank you,

Steve Lombardi and the Virtual Earth Team