The Bing Map App SDK
Attention developers! Want to develop Bing Map Apps? You can starting today, with the Bing Map App SDK!
To access the Bing Map App SDK, login to Microsoft Connect at http://connect.microsoft.com/bingmapapps. Download the SDK which comes with a Bing Map App template and start cranking away on your project in Visual Studio (note: the Bing Maps site was upgraded to Silverlight 4). Once you’ve created your application, you can test it on the site itself. That’s right! The developer sandbox is the actual site. You simply need to go to http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?developer=1&preview=1, click the map apps button and you’ll unlock our secret map app test tool.
The Bing Map App Test Tool is what you need to test your applications prior to submission to Bing Maps for display and use in the Map Apps Gallery. To use the Bing Map App Test Tool you’ll need to append “?Developer=1” to the Bing Maps URL which will load a specific catalog of Bing Map Apps. Click the Map Apps button and select the tool. To test your application, you’ll need to load all of your plug-in by clicking the “Choose Plug-in Assemblies” button. Then, click the “Add Supporting Assemblies” button to and load your supporting assemblies. When complete, select Next and Bing Maps will verify the build. Provide a name, description and a set of optional parameters describing your map app. To submit your application, login into The Bing Maps Portal at http://www.bingmapsportal.com/. Click the “Submit a map app” link. Complete the form with map app name, description, publisher, select custom map app, choose an icon for your map app and attached your assemblies all zipped up. Agree to the Bing map app submission addendum, then click submit. Your application will be reviewed, so check the status on the portal until it’s published.
The first 2 Map Apps by external developers have been published today too:
- Weather Map App from WeatherBug
- EveryScape Eats for Bing by EveryScape, Inc.
There are 4 main APIs:
- Locations API (geocoding on the fly)
- Imagery API (getting maps and aerial photos)
- Routes API (calculating driving directions)
- Spatial Dat API (batch geocoding)
The Bing Maps AJAX Control had also been enhanced. The new AJAX Control is version 6.3 and contains new search and geocoding methods and drag-able pushpins. It is available in both full and core functionality versions.
The Bing Maps Silverlight site is now build on Silverlight 4: check out the Bing Maps Preview site.
Here’s a list of new features you can check out in Bing Maps:
- Bing Map App Ratings
To rate a map app just run the app then hover over the stars on the map app card or flyout and click to rate. Note: you can only rate an app once. You can also sort Bing Map Apps by rating now.
- Photosynth Panoramas
ICE panoramas can now be viewed in the Photosynth Map App. Full list of ICE panoramas available on Photosynth site.
- Map Overlays
- Action Bar
The Action Bar is the set of buttons along the lower left corner of Bing Maps which provide shortcuts to functionality native within Bing Maps.
- Reverse Address Lookup
For U.S. business listings, you can now search for an address and we’ll tell you the business at that address. Just enter an address in the search box and the businesses at that address will appear in the search results.
- Right-Click Menu
Silverlight 4 provides a right-click support. Now, you get a full menu of options when you right-click on a location in Bing Maps.
- Full Screen Maps
Also new because of Silverlight 4 are full screen maps! Just click the four arrows symbol in the upper right corner.
The Breadcrumb lets you see the highest zoom level geographic boundary you’re looking at. For example, if you’re zoomed into the above picture of Petco Park, the Breadcrumb will show you that you’re in San Diego, San Diego (county), California, United States, World.
Are you a business and want your branded icons on the map? You can now! Brandfinder is taking new customers. More info about this and the other new features can be found in this post on the Maps Blog.