Microsoft's Virtual Earth has released the Virtual Earth Silverlight Map Control community technology preview (CTP) which supports video, animation, and vector graphics.
Platforms now include Silverlight, AJAX, Virtual Earth Web Services (SOAP) or MapPoint Web Service (SOAP).
Watch an introductory video of Microsoft's Virtual Earth here.
Below is a list of the features and functionality of the service:
Maps for Mobile Devices
Develop mobile applications with imagery optimized for mobile devices (including the iPhone). The new features are supported in the new Virtual Earth Web Services.
Expanded Number of Rooftop Views
Virtual Earth now offers 85 million unique addresses—more than 70% of all rooftops in the U.S.
Bird's Eye1 Views and Bird's Eye Hybrid
Exclusive to Microsoft, these unique views of real-world locations provide insight into “what it's like there.”
Create more realistic 3D views of buildings and landscapes.
Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding
Get the most accurate locations through integration of multiple geocoders and to provide the most relevant and accurate results.
Your customers can find international addresses with more precision.
Localized Maps and Directions
Get localized driving or walking directions in 15 languages, and localized maps in Western Europe in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Italian.
Extended International Parsing
Users will experience better match rates for addresses in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Your customers can find locations using alternate and similar spellings.
New Virtual Earth Web Services
Developers can take advantage of the new Virtual Earth Web Services API, which offers static map images, direct map tile access, one-box search functionality, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and routing.
Provide customers the ability to zoom in to visualize a cluster of points.
Provide customers in the U.S. and Canada with directions using such familiar landmarks as gas stations and fast-food restaurants.
Help your users avoid traffic jams by using traffic reports that overlay the Virtual Earth map with color-coded traffic flow visuals above the roads.
Import shapes, pushpins, and polylines, with GeoRSS feeds.
With 3D view, get near real-time weather and cloud formation data.