Jerry Skaw from The Virtual Earth Public Sector Marketing Team posted a blog entry highlighting how some Local News Stations are Leveraging Virtual Earth. Roger Mall and I work closely on media outlets for Virtual Earth, so what you see in the Seattle News area is large in part to our efforts (mostly Roger).:)

in any case, I thought it would be prudent to discuss how some of these are coming about. Weather Central as become a value Microsoft partner. They have software which many of the news stations use and after some incredible integration efforts from their dev team, local stations around the US are leveraging Virtual Earth for their news broadcasts!

I worked closely with Weather Central during their evaluation and integration, so I reached out to Victor Marsh, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, to get a better understanding. "On the Broadcast side of things we are pulling in VE tiles directly from the VE tile server and integrating them into our internal mapping tile database. This allows a blended map experience where a TV station can transition from their map “look” that they use in news and weather to the VE tiles in a seamless cross-fade transition. This is important when the map databases change and the look of the map coloration changes significantly. Our software application then allows the user to script flies from one location to another in either 2D or 3D depending on the product. On top of the map we can display almost any type of data and allow interaction via a touch screen or our patented MagicTrack technology in the key wall. The user can “launch” video from a point on the map as well. On the WMAQ interactive radar web application, we are pulling in VE tiles into a Flash map application that we wrote. We then overlay our composite radar and cloud data on top."image

Check out the Spokane and Charlotte broadcasts respectively.

Ok, so from a technical point of view you're probably saying, "HEY! Pulling tiles directly from the tile server is against the Virtual Earth terms of use! Yes, yes it is; however, for our licensed customers we can make exceptions. We can negotiate how the tiles are used and how to allow for just this scenario, Send mail to maplic@microsoft.com if you would like to learn more about licensing.

CP