Well here it is everybody. The next version of Virtual Earth is out. Not only that but we now have our 1.0 version of the Virtual Earth Web Services here live as well. Let’s dig in to some of the features in this release.

  • Maps for Mobile Devices. Develop mobile applications with rich imagery optimized specifically for mobile devices, including the iPhone. The new mobile-optimized features are supported in the new Virtual Earth Web Services.
  • Bird’s Eye Views and Bird’s Eye Hybrid. Exclusive to Microsoft, these unique views of real-world locations provide insight into “what it’s like there.” Bird’s eye hybrid adds street names to the bird’s eye maps to provide end users better visual context and orientation.
  • Aerial Imagery. Leverage the impact of high-resolution aerial images from leading imagery providers.
  • 3D Imagery. Create more realistic 3D views of buildings and landscapes, featuring denser city models.
  • Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding. Get the most accurate locations around the world through integration of multiple geocoders and datasets with MapView, Reverse IP, and Culture to provide the most relevant and accurate results. And find the closest street address based only on latitude and longitude coordinates from a GPS or other geospatial device.
  • International Geocoding. Your customers can now find international addresses with reverse geocoding, available anywhere Virtual Earth has routing.
  • Localized Directions. Get localized driving or walking directions in 15 languages.
  • Localized Maps. Create better connections with your global customers. Provide localized maps in U.S. English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian in Western Europe.
  • Extended International Parsing Capabilities. Users will experience better match rates for addresses in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
  • Expanded Number of Rooftop Views. Provide more detailed maps to help users find locations with rooftop accuracy. Virtual Earth now offers 85 million unique addresses—more than 70 percent of all rooftops in the U.S.
  • Near-Matching Capabilities. using alternate and similar spellings, resulting in a more relevant search experience.
  • Imagery Metadata. Users can now find out the relative age of a given aerial image. This level of detail will help them assess if the imagery is relevant to their needs.
  • New Virtual Earth Web Services. Developers can now take advantage of the new Virtual Earth Web Services API, which offers static map images (.gif, .jpeg, and .png), direct map tile access, one-box search functionality, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and routing.
  • One-Click Directions. From your Virtual Earth Web application, allow your customers to get directions in one click, choosing from route options by shortest time, shortest distance, or traffic flow. With one-click directions, users instantly get directions without having to enter a starting address.
  • Shapes and Shape Layers. Customize and modify pushpins, polylines and polygons, line colors and widths, and transparencies of shapes, as well as add custom icons.
  • Pushpin Clustering. Provide customers the ability to zoom in on a map to better visualize a cluster of points. When many locations exist in a dense area, the pushpins can be clustered or hidden from view at smaller zoom levels.
  • Landmark-Based Routing. Provide customers in the U.S. and Canada with turn-by-turn maps that feature such familiar landmarks as gas stations and fast-food restaurants by name.
  • Driving Directions with Traffic-Based Routing. Provide optimized driving directions with step-by-step instructions.
  • Walking Directions. When traveling on foot, users can now find the most direct route to walk to their destination, ignoring one-way streets, medians, and other detours that pertain to motor vehicles.
  • Multipoint Routing. Optimize travel schedules and improve driver efficiency by implementing the Virtual Earth trip planner and multipoint routing.
  • Traffic Reports. Avoid time-consuming traffic jams by using traffic reports that overlay the Virtual Earth map with color-coded traffic flow visuals above the roads that they correspond to. NOTE: These traffic overlays are available to licensed customers that implement the client token authentication infrastructure.
  • GeoRSS Feeds. Import shapes, pushpins, and polylines, with GeoRSS feeds, the de facto standard for geographically encoded objects.
  • Weather Integration. With 3D view, get near real-time weather and cloud formation data.

Get more information:

We have two webcasts coming up next week for you to learn more and get started.

Finally, if you haven’t already get out to http://dev.live.com/virtualearth and check out our updated Interactive SDK and Virtual Earth Web Services SDK. Plus we’re also going to be publishing a bunch more content out on this portal including a whole new round of white papers and other community created content. There’s tons of more options now for building your applications with Virtual Earth so this site should be your one-stop shop for everything Virtual Earth related.

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