This new SDK now gives Android developers a choice in terms of map controls and provides greater flexibility as a result of having direct access to the code base. Read more here. Get the SDK.
Earthware updates performance tests to include AJAX 7.0
Microsoft partner Earthware recently tested the performance of AJAX Control 7.0 against the version 6.3 “core” control and version 6.3. The results found that version 7.0 performed up to three times faster than version 6.3.
When it comes to web page load times, it’s hard to have too much performance. In addition, with the growth of mobile applications that use slower connections, tools like the AJAX Control 7.0 can help solve real-world problems.
For the tests, Earthware examined two key performance criteria: speed of download and speed of displaying information. For the first test, Earthware compared the time required to download those files needed to display a basic map. Download time is primarily affected by the size of the file downloaded to the client’s browser. Therefore, the smaller the file size, the quicker the map displays.
The second test compared the time required for each version to load and display different numbers of pushpins on a map. Because the results are greatly affected by the browser, Earthware tested three major released browsers.* These tests again show the speed of version 7.0, especially under heavier loads. For example, here are the results when using Windows® Internet Explorer® 8:
*Please note that when this analysis was done Internet Explorer 9 had not been fully released. Internet Explorer 9 has now been released and the AJAX 7.0 performance is excellent. We encourage you to download Internet Explorer 9 and try it for yourself.
For more detail on these results, see the Bing Community Blog or go directly to Earthware’s blog posts.
Real-time transit routing now available for more mobile users in more cities
Bing is the first search engine to offer real-time transit information. With this feature, now available on m.bing.com and through our iPhone app, commuters can access up-to-the-minute transit data.
We’ve just added coverage for Chicago and Los Angeles, to go with our existing coverage in Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco. To see a video on real-time transit in action, and to study all the features and screenshots, check out the Bing Mobile launch announcement.
Simplify pushpin groupings with client side clustering
Learn more about using client side clustering with the redesigned Bing Maps AJAX Control 7.0. The updated algorithms, both of which use grid-based clustering, have been optimized for performance and reuse. In fact, once a modular plug-in is created, it can be used again and again. Learn how to implement the modular plug-ins here.
Data hosting now available with Bing Maps
For maps customers building a locator and in need of data hosting, the Bing Maps developer portal now allows you to load locations, geocode, and publish for use with the Bing Maps API. Log on at the Bing Maps portal to get started.
Recorded webcast showcases what’s new with Bing Maps
Bing Maps developers from Microsoft partners Earthware, OnTerra, and Infusion recently discussed the latest AJAX 7.0 development tips and tricks. During this fast-paced, 40-minute overview, Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) panelists described how to evaluate and improve the performance of Bing-powered apps, how to work with large sets of pushpins, and also introduced a new tool for working with Microsoft® SQL Server® databases. The webcast aired on March 1, and is now available as a recording here.
BING MAPS APPS
Japan’s road to recovery illustrated by three new Map Apps
Three new Map Apps have gone live since the tragic events in Japan.
Bing Maps technology specialist Johannes Kebeck put together the “Road Status Japan” Map App that shows which roads in the area have been verified as being open to traffic, using data provided by Honda Motor Company. Go to bing.com/maps, click on “explore map apps,” sort by newest, and click on the Road Status Japan tile.
The Bing Maps team has published the “2011 Japan Earthquake” Map App that allows you to easily see aerial images of what the area looked like before the earthquake, and with one click compare it to imagery taken after the tragic events.
Lastly, Chris Pietschmann created the “Earthquakes in Last 7 Days” Map App that shows the location and strength of the week’s earthquakes around the globe. The app collects data from the USGS feed of magnitude 2.5+ earthquakes during the past seven days.
Zimbio uses high-resolution Bing Maps to geotag where celebrities have visited
Zimbio is an interactive magazine publisher with a focus on entertainment, style, current events, and a bevy of other pop culture topics. The Zimbio team has done an amazing job integrating its high-quality content (more than 4 million photos) with version 7 of the Bing Maps AJAX API.
Zimbio’s latest feature, Celebrity Places, combines the accuracy and richness of Bing Maps with Zimbio’s high-resolution photography. Zimbio has a catalog of more than 10,000 geotagged celebrity photos in more than 1,000 cities. Fans can follow favorite celebrities as they travel from hot spot to hot spot. (To protect celebrity privacy, new photos are held for roughly 24 hours.) Zimbio readers can also follow the latest news and photos from other pop-culture events, like the San Diego Comic Convention or next World of Warcraft convention.
The visually interesting juxtaposition of Zimbio’s photography with Bing Maps Bird’s eye view was one the reasons Zimbio chose Bing Maps; another important reason was the load and display speed of AJAX Control 7.0.
Update to Bing venue maps: coverage of top malls
Bing Maps introduced mall directory maps in December, making it easier for shoppers to navigate shopping malls and retail stores. The mapping tool provides time-saving information on where to park and how best to plan a shopping excursion. We’ve increased coverage and usability. We now offer visitors the chance to access mall maps of nine of the ten largest malls (in square feet) in the United States. As of now we have completed 143 malls in more than 20 states and the list is growing all the time!
We’ve also made locating mall maps an easier venture. Now, when searching on Bing Maps for a mall or any business within that mall, visitors will immediately see either the clickable footprint of the mall or the fully detailed mall map. For most of our mall maps, visitors can locate parking, ATMs, entrances, as well as many other mall services.
Until Next Month
On behalf of everyone on the Bing Maps team, thank you for being a valued subscriber. We invite you to explore everything that’s new with Bing Maps this month. Learn more and start building your own map experiences today! For regular updates and information visit www.microsoft.com/maps, the Bing Maps Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.