Earlier today at TechEd Europe in Berlin, Germany we announced the launch of the Bing Maps Silverlight Control, the newest addition to the Bing Maps Platform. The Bing Maps Silverlight Control uses the power of Silverlight to provide a powerful and rich platform for building mapping and location-based applications. The control provides a new level of performance in terms of interactive visual experience with Silverlight Deep Zoom when panning and zooming and rendering large amounts of data on the map. The control makes it even easier to develop mapping applications using Silverlight’s development environment with Expression Blend, Visual Studio, and managed code. We want to thank you, the community, for all the great feedback from the Silverlight map control CTP release last March. We were able to incorporate a lot of your feedback into the control, and today it is production ready!

Here is a list of some of the features in the Bing Maps Silverlight Control:

· Silverlight 3 including support for Out of Browser

· Road and Aerial (with/without Labels) Map Modes featuring Deep Zoom with the Silverlight MultiScaleImage control

· Position Silverlight UIElements on the Map including images, video, pushpins, polylines, and polygons with a few lines of XAML

· Data Binding with the MapItemsControl

· Use Bing Maps Web Services with the control for advanced Search, Geocoding, and Routing functionality

· Design-time integration with Expression Blend

· Scripting interface for coding with JavaScript

· Embed Silverlight Maps with a single URL in a web page

· Online Interactive SDK with demos and sample code showing how to use the control

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Along with the Bing Maps Silverlight Control we are also launching enhanced performance across the Bing Maps Platform with improvements to our distributed data center infrastructure. We also have made it easier than ever before to get started with the Bing Maps platform where you can sign up for an account at the Bing Maps Account Center (https://www.bingmapsportal.com/) and get a Bing Maps Key and try out the control and services for free! All users get a free trial for the control and services and it remains free for non-profit, education, and small websites.

For more details, see the Bing Maps Platform website at: http://www.microsoft.com/maps or visit the Bing Maps Community Blog at: http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/maps/.

Try out the Bing Maps Silverlight Control today!