The Virtual Earth v6.2 Map Control API was released today! It is reverse compatible with the v6.1 version of the API. Here’s a list of some of the new enhancements in the v6.2 API:
- Pushpin Clustering – This feature adds the ability to group pushpins into clusters so you can reduce the number of pushpins and clutter on the map at high altitudes. A new SetClusteringConfiguration method was added to VEShapeLayer which allows you to control how pushpins are grouped together into clusters. A default grid clustering algorithm is provided with the control, however you can also override the default clustering algorithm and provide your own custom algorithm. There are also APIs to access the pushpins that are in a cluster.
- Hints for Route Instructions – This feature adds the ability to help users find route turns with hints about nearby landmarks and route intersections. A new VERouteHint class was added and a Hint property was added to the VERouteItineraryItem.
- Imagery Metadata – A new GetImageryMetadata method was added to VEMap which returns imagery date/time information. This method requires an authentication token.
- Ability to Hide the default Map Tiles – A new LoadBaseTiles option was added to the VEMapOptions which allows you to turn off the default Base map tiles. This is useful for users that want to use their own imagery or tiles generated from MapCruncher as the base map tiles.
- Localized Map Tiles – The map tiles have been updated to support localized tiles in some markets depending on the specified culture parameter provided by the mkt parameter to the map control at init.
- Import 3D Models – A new Import3Dmodel method was added to VEMap which allows you to import 3D Models directly from a Wavefront OBJ format file.
- Improved Shape Layer Import – A new MaxImportedShapes option was added to the VEShapeSourceSpecification so you can now specify how many shapes you want to import from your GeoRSS, KML, XML data feed or Live Search Maps Collection when using the ImportShapeLayerData method with VEDataType.ImportXML. The default is 200 shapes, however you can now import more than that by setting the MaxImportedShapes property.
- New Script Load callback – A new onscriptload parameter was added to the mapcontrol handler to specify a callback to load when the Map control script completes loading. For example, this parameter is useful for users that load the map control script from an UpdatePanel in ASP.NET Ajax. Users can call Sys.Application.notifyScriptLoaded from their callback to tell ASP.NET Ajax the script has loaded.
- Performance Improvements – This release includes improved browser caching support where the browser will not re-download the control when the browser cache expires if the content has not changed.
- 3D Weather – 3D now supports near real-time weather patterns and cloud formations
(Note: I have also posted this post on the Virtual Earth Platform Team Blog)