May, 2008

  • <dw:daniel_walzenbach runat="server" />

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Ajax, Silverlight and Flash

    • 1 Comments

    Nikhil Kothari wrote an interesting article about SEO for Ajax and Silverlight Applications a year ago. SEO works perfectly well for static content but fails for RIAs (Rich Interactice Applications) where “the HTML page simply becomes a shell containing presentation and behavior, and doesn't contain the meaningful data that needs to be indexed”. Therefore his idea is “to serve up a page that is search engine friendly without trying to detect a search engine crawler on the server, and without maintaining a parallel static version of the page”. Since he wrote this article that long ago I was wondering whether it would still apply and here is what Nikhil replied:

    I’ve had some discussions with folks from the search team around extracting metadata from xap files… technically its possible to do this even now, but this isn’t something search engines do just yet.

    In the meantime, the thing to keep in mind is that most Silverlight app packages themselves don’t contain interesting data statically that can be indexed for meaningful results. The data they fetch/display etc. is usually more interesting for the purposes of indexing… hence the article I wrote long back still applies.

    The metadata in xap approach works usually for static fully self-contained apps. Eg. an online game … though even there you can imagine you might want something like the high scores data that is fetched dynamically by the game from its associated server is also meaningful for indexing, and won’t be embedded in the xap.

    It’a always amazing to have some of the most brilliant people in direct reach :-)

    Cheers!

       Daniel

  • <dw:daniel_walzenbach runat="server" />

    How to improve the hit rate when using Virtual Earth Platform Customer Services to geocode addresses

    • 1 Comments

    As you might know I wrote an article about Geocoding or How to transform a list of addresses into Latitude/Longitude values and display them on a map (including source code) a couple of month ago. The source code includes an Access database which holds the data to be converted. This database is later exported to an XML file which is then uploaded to the Virtual Earth Platform Customer Services to be geocoded and that’s it.

    I recently received a mail claiming that the Virtual Earth Platform Customer Services used in the article lead to poor geocoding results.
    As it turned out the problem was caused by the customers file formatting. The XML file must contain an AddressLine column which was misspelled (AdressLine).
    Additionally the batch geocoding service is not very good with understanding localized country names (it is build on our legacy platform that we are planning to replace in near future). After he changed the CountryRegion names in his input file to English names (i.e. Germany, Italy, Switzerland) the success rate increased significantly :-)

    Batch Geocoding Results:
    Entities geocoded: 478
    Entities skipped: 0
    Entities with good results: 404
    Entities with imprecise results: 53
    Entities with ambiguous results: 21
    Entities with no results: 0

    Cheers!

       Daniel
  • <dw:daniel_walzenbach runat="server" />

    Free Geotagging tool for photo enthusiasts

    • 1 Comments

    Well, am kind of tired so let’s make this short! What will this program do for you?

    • Automatic geotagging of pictures where you have GPS coordinate information
    • Interpolate geographical data to be able to tag pictures where you don’t have the exact coordinates
    • Reverse lookup allowing you to geotag pictures using a map in case you don’t have the GPS coordinate information

    A detailed article can be found here: Geotagging Goes Mainstream, the download is here: Microsoft Pro Photo Tools.

    Btw, the product group explicitly asks for your help and feedback:

    Provide feedback!

    Many of the features found in Pro Photo Tools were suggested by photographers just like you. If you have a cool feature you'd like to see added to Pro Photo Tools, or just an idea for something you'd like to see made possible for your digital photography workflow on Windows, we'd love to hear from you. You can email us at prophoto@microsoft.com.

    Have fun!

       Daniel

  • <dw:daniel_walzenbach runat="server" />

    Downloadable Virtual Earth Code Samples

    • 1 Comments

    Marc Schweigert just updated his Virtual Earth (VE) map control demos. Marc basically redid all the samples from the Virtual Earth Interactive SDK in a Visual Studio solution.

     

    You can find all the information on his blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/devkeydet/archive/2008/05/01/updated-virtual-earth-map-control-demo-code.aspx.

    Cheers!

       Daniel

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