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Thanks to everyone who attended my "Momentum Webcast: See More and Do More with Microsoft Virtual Earth (Level 100)" this morning. If you missed the webcast (shame on you), you can view the recording online at the Live Meeting Website. For additional information about the Virtual Earth AJAX Control 6.2 or the Virtual Earth Web Service, check out my post titled, "Announcing The Virtual Earth Web Service and Virtual Earth Map Control 6.2" for a full run down of the feature set.

During the web cast, I mentioned a few "less than highly advertised features." I wouldn't call them Easter Eggs, they just pertain more to developers than higher level decision makers. The features are as follows:

  1. Override the 200 entity limit for KML/GeoRSS file imports. You can now import over 200 points and polys using the VEShapeSourceSpecification.MaxImportedShapes Property. You can set the import limit to whatever you want....you'll just have to assume the performance hit for it.
  2. Caching for performance. The map control (now weighing in at 216 kb compressed, 916 kb compressed) is no longer cached for a mere 24 hours. It is now cached until we update it. This will occur AT MOST once a month because of the Bird's Eye polygons for the IsBirdsEyeAvailable method. How's that for a performance benefit?
  3. Import 3D models outside of Live Search Maps Collections. If you wanted to import a 3D model prior to this release you had to upload it into a Live Search Maps collection (either using 3DVia or trueSpace 7.6) then call the collection to import the model(s) into your Virtual Earth application. Now, using the VEMap.Import3DModel Method, you can just make an HTTP reference directly to a .OBJ file hosted anywhere and pull models in from any server.
  4. OnScriptLoad parameter. You can now fire an event when the entire control is completely downloaded to the client. To use OnScriptLoad you'll pass the parameter into the URL string for the VE AJAX Control link. You're control link would look something like this: http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.2&onScriptLoad=FunctionABC where FunctionABC is a function in your JavaScript.
  5. Setting Bird's Eye Orientation on load. Prior to this release, in order to specify the orientation of a Bird's Eye image you had to load the map, then turn the image to the respective cardinal direction you wanted to face (2 requests). Well, now, you can load the map with the correct Bird's Eye orientation when the map loads using the VEMapOptions.BirdseyeOrientation Property.

For those of you who were wondering about the mysterious white paper that was mentioned in the email, we've posted a MSDN Technical Article explaining how to integrate the Virtual Earth Web Service into a Silverlight user experience - "Developing a Silverlight Application Using Virtual Earth Web Services." It's a long one, so get some diesel in you before you sit down with it. Also, don't forget about Mark Brown's 6.2 Technical Webcast Friday morning.

CP