MIX 2008 Wrap Up (Virtual Earth)

I'm leaving MIX today. No, I didn't blog as much as I thought I would. My presentation was yesterday and I've been told it will be posted to the MIX sessions site sometime today - I'll post a link when I get it.

Overall, I feel the show was a huge success for Microsoft. For the people who were there, the message is loud and clear - Silverlight is the future. In fact, with the release of Silverlight 2.0 it is the present. But, hey, this is the Virtual Earth blog, right? I saw many applications built on Virtual Earth being used in demonstrations during presentation. Most notably, Virtual Earth was the centerpiece of Dean Hachamovitch's Internet Explorer 8 demonstration during the Ray Ozzie's Keynote. And it was hot. Dean highlight the ability to capture AJAX events as a part of the IE hash to control back and forward button control. For example, today, if you get to web page with a Virtual Earth map and zoom in, then hit the browser back button you would leave the page. With the new hash you would instead of leaving the page, you would zoom out of the map. Effectively, IE 8 captures AJAX requests and can keep them as back and forward user movements. You can see Ray Ozzie's keynote on the MIX session site.

As for my session, I provided a high level overview of Virtual Earth. I demoed Live Search Maps. WAYN.com (Where Are You Now), iFly.com, and Harley-Davidson's Ride Planner Application on Harley-Davidson.com. I built out some custom applications which I'll provide the code for in a separate post, so you can just copy, paste and run them.

I announced the Virtual Earth JavaScript Helper which is available on CodePlex.com/VEJS today: Creating Microsoft Virtual Earth mashups and applications just got a whole lot easier thanks to Marc Schweigert. Marc organized a group of 11 developers in the CodePlex community who in just 4 days produced a JavaScript library that generates Intellisense for the Microsoft Virtual Earth 6.0 AJAX control. This new library is being made available through the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) out on CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting web site and comes complete with a sample project to host it so you can give it a test drive yourself. Also be sure to stay tuned to the project site itself for updates to this project. This works with the new JavaScript Intellisense capabilities built into VS 2008.

I tried to take on the question about licensing. This deserves it's own post too, but for now I'll copy past what was on my slides. There are two ways to look at Virtual Earth Licensing - free and licensed. Here's the difference:

Free API Access

  • Pricing
    • Free
  • Benefits
    • Same API as licensed version
  • Restrictions
    • Non-commercial apps
    • No reverse engineering
    • 50,000 geocodes per 24 hours
    • More terms: dev.live.com/terms


  • Pricing
    • Per User, Per Transaction or Unlimited
    • Waterfall Schedule
      1, 2, 3 or 4 year commitment
  • Benefits
    • SLA, Support, Betas, Communications, TAP, Advanced Features and more.
  • Restrictions
    • Limited

Like I said, this deserves it's own post, but for now those are the high level differences.

I also showed a preview of the new Virtual Earth Map Control built with Silverlight 2.0 and SeaDragon (aka Deep Zoom) technology. The application had media incorporated into the map control such as pictures and video - both of which scaled as I zoomed the map in and out. They also allowed for Deep Zoom into the photos. The new map control will be available soon.


I got to talk with a lot of people after my session about specifics about Virtual Earth, but for those of you who didn't get to talk with me I also provided contact information and resources, so I've pasted those below.

I wrote the Hands On Lab which I'll post separately as well. Thanks to Mark Brown (VE Partner Ecosystem) for mentoring folks with that).

I mentioned that i had the key piece of schwag for MIX conference, the one everyone would be asking, "WOW, where did you get that??" Well, I printed out 75 posters of the Venetian Hotel from our aerial photo library with MIX decorations to help you decorate your working space. I hope you got one. If not, here's what it looks like.


If you attended MIX - thanks. If you attended my session - THANK YOU!


Comments (5)

  1. I'm leaving MIX today. No, I didn't blog as much as I thought I would. My presentation was yesterday

  2. SoulSolutions says:

    Great Session Chris! I didn’t make it to Vegas but watched the recording from here in Australia.

    Very cool news about Silverlight, I have been playing with Deep Zoom all weekend.

    Thanks for your comments on my Code Focus Article also, I haven’t yet seen it but glad you liked it.


  3. zar says:


    any idea of a alpha/beta release of the VE Map Silverlight 2.0 Control ?

    it could be a killer app 😉

  4. Chris Pendleton says:

    Silverlight is a very interesting UX for Virtual Earth. I can’t discuss plans for a release, but it’s definately something we’re looking in to.


  5. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is an incredible new visualization technology from Microsoft and

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