Microsoft Bing Maps Silverlight Features Give Users More Control

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Microsoft Bing Maps Silverlight Features Give Users More Control

Microsoft Bing Maps Silverlight Features Give Users More ControlBy Nicholas Kolakowski

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The Silverlight version of Bing Maps was taken out of beta mode on Jan. 19. The removal of that beta tag coincided with the introduction of new features.

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One of the two new Bing Maps applications, Local Events, studs a map with pins showing the day's happenings.

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Each of those Local Events pins contains clickable information about the venue, its address, the time of the event and directions.

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The second of the two new Bing Maps applications, Destination Maps, lets users select a location and have it rendered in a variety of styles.

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With Destination Maps, once the location has been selected, users need to "frame" the area of the map they want to render stylistically.

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Microsoft intends Destination Maps to be used for invitations and the like, and thus asks you to title your map.

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Once you've completed the process of selecting and naming your map, you'll need to choose a "look" for it: Sketchy, European, American or Treasure Map.

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"Sketchy" map style.

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"European" map style.

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"American" map style.

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"Treasure" map style. Arrr, matey.

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The Silverlight version of Bing Maps allows for more extensive animations, such as this "zoom down" to street level.

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The Silverlight version of Bing Maps also allows Microsoft to build in a variety of flashy features, including Streetside, which gives users an eye-level view of terrain.

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An attempt to use the Bing Maps AJAX site (referred to as "Bing Maps Classic") leads to users being asked to install Silverlight.

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Another Silverlight-centric feature, What's Nearby, allows you to see nearby businesses and other points of interest near any particular location.

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