The control supports both HTML5/CSS3 and HTML4/CSS2. It will automatically detect if the browser is capable of supporting HTML5/CSS3 and leverage HTML5/CSS3 features to enhance performance if possible. However, even in HTML4/CSS2 the performance is significantly improved. The below graph shows rendering times for an increasing number of points in various Bing Maps controls using the Internet Explorer 8.
Version 7 is much slimmer than it’s predecessors. In version 6.3 we had already introduced a core-mode which stripped out a lot of features from the AJAX control to speed up the initial loading. In version 7 we have improved on this concept by having a richer core set of features with better performance and yet smaller size.
On the Desktop v7 supports now officially the latest versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome as well as Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9. Internet Explorer 6 is not officially supported anymore but it should still work. Additionally the iPhone 3GS/4G browser is now supported as well.
Zooming in the map is now animated in a similar way as the DeepZoom-effect in Silverlight.
Panning over the International Date Line
Panning over the international date line was previously available in the Silverlight control but not in the AJAX control and that led to quite nasty side-effects if you wanted to visualize for example a flight path from Sydney to Los Angeles. v7 now also supports panning over the international date line in the AJAX control.
Enhanced Bird’s Eye View
In previous releases of the AJAX control Bird’s Eye imagery were rendered as scenes and when you panned over the edges from one scene to the next you saw black areas before the next scene as loaded. The enhanced Bird’s Eye View allows a seamless panning over these edges just like it is in Silverlight.
Additionally the enhanced Bid’s Eye View synthesizes oblique aerial images at lower zoom-levels which allows you to zoom further out. In the screenshot below you see for example that with the chosen map size in version 6.3 you could not zoom out far enough to see the entire area of the Tower of London. In version 7 the synthesized view is available everywhere and also on lower zoom-levels – just as it is in Silverlight.
The new style for roadmaps was already available on an opt-in basis for the AJAX control version 6.3 (see previous blog post here). This style is now the only style for roadmaps in version 7 with the exception of the UK and Japan.
In addition you can display Ordnance Survey and Collins Bartholomew maps in the UK if you set the market parameter to en-GB, e.g.
Besides the new styles mentioned above there is now also a Map Type automatic which automatically chooses a style for you based on the zoom-level.
More New Features
- New Navigation Control
- Version 7 now requires a Bing Maps Key. If you haven’t done so yet, sign-up for a free developer key at the Bing Map Account Centre.
- Geocoding and Routing are not part of the AJAX control anymore and we suggest using the Bing Maps REST Web Service to implement these capabilities.
As mentioned before I will post several articles over the coming days to walk you through some of the most frequently used features but if you can’t wait you will find the SDK online here. A downloadable version is also available as CHM and PDF.