Yesterday I attended a lunchtime session on the new Bing Maps Silverlight Control. I went to this session for fun. It was pretty cool, even if I won’t get a chance to use it anytime soon. There is a lot of functionality out of the box. The biggest piece of functionality is the Deep Zoom. This provides smooth zooming and panning of maps.
One of the nicest features is that you don’t have to host this control in a Silverlight Application. With one line of HTML you can have a Silverlight Map on the page. There are a few attributes that allow you some customization. Using the control in this manner does not require a key to access the map servers. If you want access to the full functionality, you have to host the control within a Silverlight application.
The first thing that you have to do is go out an get an access key. It is free to use the service for development, non-profit, and educational purposes. There is a pricing model based upon bandwidth used. Bing has made it easy to get and manage keys from its website. Pass this key to the map control and you have access to the full functionality of the mapping service.
Now that you have a key you can develop rich mapping applications. Here is a list of functionality:
- Push Pins (standards look and custom looks)
- Polygon plotting
- Control map type (Arial, Road and others)
- Geodata (access to search)
- Map Layering
- and others
You can access this functionality both in XAML and in the code behind.
There are a lot of cool possibilities with this If you applications requires mapping I would highly recommend using Bing. BTW they also have an AJAX control if you don’t to create a Silverlight application.