So I sat down today to hack out a little mashup using Windows Azure and the great data that is provided by San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Now, most Azure developers would be pretty familiar with the Web Role by now, and most mashup developers may be familiar with Microsoft Virtual Earth.

But what I was most impressed with today was the little gem which is the Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio. This is a must if you want to use Virtual Earth in an Azure Web Role.

Two most excellent parts of the toolkit are the:

  • Windows Live Web Role for Windows Azure
  • ASP.NET VE Map Control!

For a great intro into how to leverage the toolkit, check out Vikas' post, it's a great overview.

So I'm on the way in a very short period of time thanks to the toolkit, so will start trying to mashup the BART data soon.

Drop me a line if you're planning a mashup on Windows Azure too and end up using the Windows Live Tools stuff, I'd be keen to find out what others think.