Chapter 12. Virtual Earth

Adding map data to a web application has become more and more popular recently. Businesses can now add a dynamic map to their sites. Modern online map providers offer convenient features such as mouse support, the ability to scroll through the map, and the ability to mark special places on the map by using virtual pushpins.

You’ll find several providers of map and geographical data on the Web, but Atlas, not surprisingly, provides special support for the Microsoft offering, which is a feature of the Windows Live Local service at There, Microsoft offers map data for use by developers and consumers. The data source is Microsoft Virtual Earth, which provides both street data and satellite images that can be combined or used separately in web applications. You can zoom in and out of a map and also programmatically add pushpins to it, marking special places and adding your own data. The associated web services through which this information can be accessed are known under the name MapPoint. The MapPoint site provides information on how you can use MapPoint services in your own applications, especially web sites (see

Atlas also supports a direct bridge to the underlying Virtual Earth data. It is beyond the scope of this book to give you a thorough overview of this related technology, but this chapter will nevertheless show you several ways to incorporate map data into your own applications. Also noteworthy ...

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