Hey, Virtual Earth is finally aimed at Developers!

If it weren’t for Neil Roodyn’s ViaVirtualEarth site, anyone doing development against Virtual Earth would have been at a huge loss last summer. Eventually Microsoft started doing some webcasts, but still, there was a dearth of help out there directly from Microsoft. I just got a download notification from Microsoft and it points to the Virtual Earth SDK.

Personally, I have stopped fiddling with VE since the API was overhauled a while ago. I know I have a learning curve (and my Virtual Earth on Ink app… using the old API broke with the release of the new – uggh) but am busy with so many other things. One of the things I had done in my app was discover and reuse the tiles from whatever map was in current view. Apparently you are not allowed to do that now [no comment], though there are some interesting articles (1, 2) on ViaVirtualEarth about using the VE Tile Servers (with caveats about the future availability of the tile servers).

I would love to see the local.live.com use ink. However my app has been out there for over a year and I haven’t heard a peep from Microsoft about it. Oh well, it was still a really fun challenge that Neil put in front of me. 🙂

In the meantime, Virtual Earth on local.live.com has become an amazing tool! I’m a big fan of it, but now define myself as end-user rather than as a developer of VE.

Here’s the SDK.

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