While Bing Maps perhaps remains a distant second choice for those looking for map-related information compared to Google Maps, it still offers a viable alternative for developers looking to decrease their dependence on the services of the search engine giant. While Microsoft stopped collecting mapping imagery itself around two years ago. the company had added hundreds of terabytes of images in the preceding years while also adding new features such as real-time traffic in 55 countries.
Over the last month or so, Version 8 of the Bing Maps Web Control has received a number of features and capabilities along with refinements and adjustments to existing functions. In terms of the most recent additions, the control has picked up the following:
Easily import and export common spatial file formats such as KML, KMZ, GeoRSS, GML (via GeoRSS) and GPX. Load it as a layer on the map or directly access the data with just a few lines of code.
Overlay georeferenced images on top of the map so that they move and scale as you pan and zoom the map. This is great for building floor plans, overlaying old maps, or imagery from a drone.
LocationRect class improvements
Two new static methods have been added the LocationRect class. The first is called fromShapes and lets you easily generate a LocationRect from an array of shapes. The second is called merge and makes it easy to combine two LocationRect objects together to generate the minimum bounding LocationRect.
TypeScript Definitions Updated
The Bing Maps V8 TypeScript definition have been updated and can provided additional details around API changes that have occurred as part of this release.
The Bing Maps Web Control also received several updates in June, with the most notable of those including a new birdseye map type, thanks to new "high resolution imagery that is taken at a 45 degree angle to the horizon", and custom map styles which allow the color of map artifacts to be adjusted and specific types of labels to be suppressed from view.
It's also an opportune time for developers to take note that Bing Maps versions 6.3 and 7 have both been retired and will no longer receive support. As such, Microsoft is encouraging developers to update their apps to use Version 8 by providing migration guides to help ease the transition.
Source: Bing Blogs