Last night, the most recent version of Live Local launched.  Improvements include the ability to draw on top of the maps, highlighting favorite dog parks, cool bike trails, neighborhoods, etc.; white pages/people search, a great compliment to the business search functionality; some UI enhancements, like the ability to widen the search results pane, showing off-map results by default, and much more.  You can find more details on the team's Live Space.

In addition to the consumer site launch, we have added some additional functionality to the map control.  You can now add new ortho tile sets, like those you can generate using Microsoft Research's Map Cruncher, as an overlay on the map.  This can be useful for a number of activities from overlaying building floorplans to showing illustrative maps like subway tunnels and campus guides.  We also added support for drawing more complex shapes on the map, such as filled polygons. For full details, see the updated SDK.

The release brings the map control to version 3.1 and is code compatible with the 3.0 release, so if you are using v3 APIs you should already have the new control loaded.  If you need assistance with the new features, be sure to check out the Virtual Earth MSDN forum.

Update:  Caleb, our documentation writer, has posted some additional details on the released functionality in this forum post.  I have copied it here for reference:

Hi all-

I'm happy to announce that the latest VE map control went live last night! You'll notice we rolled up some of your suggestions and bug reports into this latest release, and added a couple of really nice new features. Here's a quick summary:

1. Custom tile layers: use MapCruncher or some other tool to create map tiles, and now you can easily add them to your mashup! I've got an example on the interactive SDK that adds a LIDAR image over the map; it took me 10 minutes in MapCruncher and 5 minutes with the APIs.

2. Polygons. We added a VEPolygon object that's a lot like the VEPolyline object except that it also supports polygon filling.

3. Address disabmiguation. We've added a VESearchResult object that returns when you do a Find() call for "where-only" style searches. You still get the default disambiguation box in the UI, but now you also get an array of returned results.

4. Set the map scale bar units with VEMap.SetScaleBarDistanceUnit().

5. Misc: you should notice a nice performance increase, especially with polylines/polygons. You will also note things like pushpins rendering on top of polylines, rather than under them.

6. SDK updates: new examples for the above-mentioned features, descriptions of what each event actually returns and how to use them, minor UI improvements, etc.

As always, I look forward to your feedback on the SDK and we always appreciate the suggestions, comments, etc on the API itself.

Happy Coding!
Caleb