AJAX-Style Mapping Using the Virtual Earth SDK
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One of the first mainstream uses of AJAX in web applications was mapping. AJAX-enhanced maps are significantly more user friendly because they enable the user to have a much richer, smoother, and interactive experience with the maps. Mapping functionality based on Virtual Earth packaged in script files was shipped with some of the earlier beta bits of ASP.NET AJAX (also known as Atlas) but was removed from the final release of the product. Microsoft Virtual Earth, which is now part of the Windows Live family of products, provides a comprehensive SDK (available at http://dev.live.com/ virtualearth/sdk/) for developers to integrate AJAX style maps right into their web applications. This includes support for all the cool features, including 3D maps and bird’s eye view (where available). In this chapter, we will examine the Virtual Earth SDK along with some of its basic functionality and discuss how you can leverage it in your own applications.
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