One of the areas that is seeing huge growth lately is geo-coded information. Applications that take location information and other data to create useful maps is a big deal. Clint Rutkas has written a demo application and a rather complete explanation of how do do this using Microsoft’s Virtual Earth over on his blog. The post is called Developing with Virtual Earth Web Services and it comes with sample code in both C# and Visual Basic. I suspect that most students who only know Java will not have much trouble understanding the C#. That makes this approachable for students who want to do something interesting with live/real data even if they are not C# programmers.
Of course since this is a demo program it is ripe for the sort of “look at existing code and tweak it to see what it does” sort of project I talked about in my last post.