What’s new in Virtual Earth version 6.1?

We just released version 6.1. of the Virtual Earth API. Steve Lombardi and Chris Pendleton have blogged about the new Features so I will cut it short and concentrate on those features which surface through the API.

Bird’s Eye Hybrid

We can now overlay the roads on the Bird’s Eye images: Use VEMapStyle.Birdseye or ‘o’ if you want to see Bird’s Eye images without labels and VEMapStyle.BirdseyeHybrid or short ‘b’ for the Bird’s Eye hybrid.

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Vegetation in 3D

Yep, our 3D team is great. They have brought the automated process to generate our 3D-model close to perfection. The density of the models is higher than before and the quality of the process is so accurate that we could really count the trees in a city. The first fruits are visible now in Virtual Earth. There is also an improved version of the 3D-modelling client ‘Virtual Earth 3dvia’ available.

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Walking Directions

This is a simplified version of walking directions using the same road-networks as for vehicles but with different rule-set, i.e. you may not use motorways but you may walk in the opposite along one-way streets. To use walking directions set ‘VERouteOptions.RouteMode = VERouteMode.Walking’.

In the screenshot below you see the fastest route from Munich Main-Station to the Karlsplatz in Munich for cars in green and for pedestrians in blue.

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Localized Dashboard

Is available by setting the mkt-parameter when loading the VEMapControl http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.1&mkt=XX-YY. Currently only the markets

  • fr-fr
  • it-it
  • ja-jp

have a localized dashboard so far.

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Localized Driving Directions

Localized driving directions have been available since version 6. So far you needed to set ‘VERoutoptions.UseMWS = true’ to fall back to the MapPoint Web Service routing engine. With version 6.1 you can use the Virtual Earth routing engine for localized driving directions by just setting the mkt-parameter when loading the map.

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Precision-property for VEPlace-object

The geocoder returned already flags for the MatchCode and the MatchConfidence. Now it also returns the precision which basically tells you if the geocode was interpolated or accurate to the rooftop. Rooftop-geocoding is only available in the US.

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Other New Features and Enhancements

  • Switch to disable Bird’s Eye imagery
  • Enhanced support for the Safari browser
  • Staging environment for Customer Identification (transaction counting). See also http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb924353.aspx
  • Better printing support
  • Traffic based routing (only in the US)
  • Reverse geocoding (only in the US). Please note: enterprise customers can also use MapPoint Web Service which is part of the Virtual Earth Platform. In MapPoint Web Service we have reverse geocoding for all countries where we support geocoding.
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