Bing Maps Gets Easier Shape Rendering

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Chris Pendleton of the Bing Maps team deals with a lot of complaints that Bing Maps doesn't make it easy to render "GIS stuff" via the Bing Maps API. Your calls have not gone unheeded as the team has made it much easier to render holes in polygons.

Pendleton says that there were community solutions to this particular problem, he felt that it was up to them to officially fix this issue for developers using the tool. It's with that particular mindset that the team has created the Bing Maps Advanced Shapes Module. This tool allows developers to add a small module to the Bing Maps AJAX v7 Control implementation that allows for complex shape renders.

When the team says easy, boy, do they mean easy. With this release, you can easily add holes into the polygons by "simply passing in an arrays of latitude and longitude. The potential uses are numerous including putting polygons around areas of importance and holes around places where there is no access.

It's not just about the polygons either. The modle adds in a few aesthetic changes to the mix including fill color, fill opacity, border color, border style (dash), border thickness, visibility and infoboxes for annotation. With these new tools, you'll be able to create polygonal indicators of safehouses and other essential resources for a zombie invasion. I'm sure it will gain a few legitimate uses as well, but it's always good to be prepared for potential invasions by zombies, vampires or nazi gerbils.

While the shapes rendering might be the hot ticket item for the release, the new AJAX Map Control release also features some other interesting developer tools. Here's all the details:

Render complex shapes Create polygons with holes using the new Microsoft.Maps.AdvancedShapes module.

Use the latest Bing Maps design Load the Microsoft.Maps.Themes.BingTheme to provide your customers with the latest Bing Maps site look.

Search Geocode an address, reverse geocode to match a location to an address, and search nearby points of interest using the new Microsoft.Maps.Search module.

Calculate driving directions Use the new Microsoft.Maps.Directions module to easily calculate directions and display a route on your map.

Display a venue map Discover and display maps for nearby venues such as malls and shopping centers using the Microsoft.Maps.VenueMaps module.

Show current traffic Show or hide current traffic on the map using the Microsoft.Maps.Traffic module.

Use the new Bing Maps navigation control Load the Microsoft.Maps.Overlay.Styles module and then set the customizeOverlaysmap option to use the new Bing Maps navigation control on your map.

If you want to get into the nitty gritty of the new module, check out the documentation here. It has everything you need to get started on making shapes in Bing Maps.

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