image If you're an art lover, a technology junkie, Virtual Earth fan and you'll be in Philly this October you'll love this. The Philadelphia Open Studio Tours is using Microsoft Virtual Earth to highlight open studio artist tours with their POST Interactive Map application. I never thought I'd find a way to connect true art with online mapping, but the folks at POST did.

The application is fairly straightforward, but has uniqueness to it - the data. They have different zones (neighborhoods) for touring the galleries and the studios themselves are highlighted with a "P" pushpin. You can see Zone G highlighted (below) with a bit of shading to the map - using the VEShapeType.Polygon Enumeration. For those areas where there are multiple studios in the same location, they pull the array of locations apart in the enhanced roll over. There are also options for sizing the map to fit your screen. But, the most critical and unique element of this app is the data! Never before would you have seen an artists list of locations viewed in a map-based application until a simple platform came about to allow them to render the information in a simple user interface.

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A little about the event: POST, in its ninth year, is an annual city-wide event where more than 290 professional visual artists in 16 Philadelphia neighborhoods open their studios to the public to show and sell artwork. POST is a program of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, a nonprofit career development organization that creates opportunities for artists to reach their professional goals. Studio West of Broad Street runs October 4-5 and Studio East of Broad Street runs October 11-12. Kudos to Malcolm Sheppard for putting the site together.

CP