It's official - MapCruncher is now a supported beta product by the Virtual Earth team! This is big. This means that MapCruncher has graduated out of Microsoft Research as a pet project with really cool implications to a fully supported application by our team. If you've never heard of MapCruncher I've copied/pasted the description below, but in a nutshell - if you want to overlay customize maps atop of Virtual Earth this tool will allow you to do that with a friendly user interface or programmable batch command line prompt. MapCruncher can rasterize parcel maps, community maps, bus routes, hiking trails - whatever you want so you get a robust user interface to navigate your information.

Here's the official description: MapCruncher Beta for Microsoft Virtual Earth makes it easy to publish maps overlaid in an application using the Virtual Earth map control. Once you are familiar with the tool, it will take you about ten minutes to generate a new tile layer. Just find 5 to 10 corresponding landmarks on your map and on the Virtual Earth map view, and MapCruncher will register your map to the global coordinate system, warp it to fit a Mercator projection, and generate a set of image tiles that can be seamlessly layered on top of Virtual Earth map control's standard road, hybrid, or aerial imagery. It even makes a sample HTML page for reference. MapCruncher accepts a variety of vector formats (PDF, WMF, EMF) and raster formats (JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, BMP).

Download MapCruncher now from Microsoft.com.

CP