Virtual Earth ASP.NET control released

Angus and have just announced that the July 2008 refresh of the Windows Live Tools was released today and includes some updates and bug fixes to the existing controls and importantly the release of the much anticipated Virtual Earth ASP.NET control.


Other major changes are:

  • SilverlightStreamingMediaPlayer control upgraded to Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 
  • SilverlightStreamingMediaPlayer Control supports Videos in Silverlight Streaming
  • IDLoginStatus control supports transparent background

But the main attraction is the Virtual Earth ASP.NET control. It is a .Net 3.5 control designed for Visual Studio 2008 and does require a script manager (ASP.NET AJAX) to be added to the page to begin.

The control is a complete drag and drop experience, drag the map from your toolbox onto your design surface and resize to suit. As you would expect all V6 properties can be set as properties of the control, there is a full set of client side events to map to any JavaScript you require and a set of server events for server suitable events, like mouse ‘onclick’ but not ‘onmouseover’. (the later would fire too many events to be handled server side)


It is important to note the control is a wrapper on top of the official JavaScript VE control. All the naming and the coding structure follows the JavaScript API documentation. So for example you need to add a shape layer to the map before adding shapes to it. There is no need for additional documentation, you can get started today using the current VE JavaScript documentation. There are a couple of additional properties that we will cover later here.

The real power of the control is for server centric operations, getting data from your database and displaying on the map is now trivial, no GeoRSS, no AJAX web services, no JavaScript. The control itself using AJAX to communicate to the server and causes no full post backs itself. However because the control maintains full state even if your page posts back, the current map view and its data will survive. A complex feature to implement on your own Virtual Earth applications is now built in.

Developers, stay tuned to LiveSide for a more in depth look at the control and some real world examples that demonstrate how Virtual Earth can now be included in your next web application with a few clicks and some snippets of C# or VB.NET code.