Articles from May 2009

Comparing Virtual Earth and MapPoint Web Service

By Michael Flanakin @ 11:04 AM :: 1628 Views :: Development, Tools/Utilities :: Digg it!

When I need to create a geospatial visualization, Virtual Earth is my default answer. When talking to someone who's been in this space for a while, he mentioned the MapPoint Web Service. I initially assumed this was a legacy offering that Virtual Earth replaced. Apparently not. Tatham Oddie has a very nice high level comparison to at least help you determine which makes the most sense in a given situation.

  Virtual Earth MapPoint Web Service
Map Styles Road, Aerial, Birds eye Over 30 different styles (optimised schemes for night viewing, etc) however no aerial imagery
Integration style JS control (best for embedding in web pages) SOAP web service (usable anywhere)
Interface style Drag and drop positioning, scroll wheel support, interactive pushpins, AJAX based. Roll your own (it returns an image and you have to work out what to do with it).
Pushpin support You create them all yourself on the fly using API calls – any clustering / filtering optimizations have to be done manually. Can upload pushpin sets to their databases and they will handle plotting / clustering and filtering.
Routes Specify a start point and an end point and they’ll give you a route in text. End of story. Specify the waypoints, preferred road styles (back roads, highways, toll roads, non-toll roads) and it will return a machine readable result set.
Cost Free (commercial use has some minor restrictions) Per transaction
SDK documentation and support Basic MSDN docs, active community (www.viavirtualearth.com) Plenty of MSDN docs and articles, including VS.NET integrated help and plenty of websites (www.mp2kmag.com)