US: Microsoft has released a preview version of its Bing Maps version 8 control, a major update to the company's mapping platform for Web and mobile applications. The announcement was first made during the last week's Build developer conference in San Francisco.
The new Web control and its interactive software development kit (SDK) offer new tools for developers looking to incorporate map data into their business intelligence (BI) and analytics applications.
During a Build session last Friday, Ricky Brundritt, a senior program manager in Microsoft's Bing Maps Customer Advisory group, revealed that "about 70 percent of all the apps out there that are using Bing Maps today are using it for some sort of business intelligence," including asset tracking apps.
Heatmaps are now natively supported, and new clustering support enables apps to display overlapping pushpin as a group. As a user zooms in, the pushpins automatically ungroup. A new spatial math module includes several operations for calculating distances, areas and performing Boolean operations on shapes.
Developers can now easily import and export GeoJSON data using Bing Maps VERSION 8. GeoJSON is a widely used open format used to represent geographical data. The Web control also supports Bing's Streetside images, which provide 360-degree street-level views.