Saturday, September 27, 2008

Need to Geolocate an address? Get a Map image? Route something to somewhere? Need that as a WebServce? Virtual Earth Web Services SDK v1.0, built with WCF, has what you need…

Virtual Earth Platform Team Blog - Introducing Virtual Earth Web Services v1.0

“As Harish mentioned earlier, the Virtual Earth Platform recently launched the first version of the Virtual Earth Web Services - a set of Web services that allow you to add mapping and search functionality to your application, including location finding, map imagery, and routing capabilities.

For example, you can:

  • Use the Geocode Service to match a geographic entity or address to a location on the map, or find a geographic entity or address at a given location.
  • Use the Imagery Service to:
    • Return a link to a map with a pushpin at a specific location.
    • Provide a road map or aerial or bird's eye imagery to your users.
  • Use the Route Service to:
    • Get directions that include traffic warnings and route hints between multiple locations.
    • Get directions from all major roads to a destination (1-click directions, also referred to as a "party map") and then use the Imagery Service to map those routes.
  • Use the Search Service to parse a search query that contains a location or keyword (or both), and to return search results.


Virtual Earth Web Services SDK, Version 1.0 - Virtual Earth Web Services Overview

“The Virtual Earth Web Services are a set of web services built using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). There are four services: geocode, imagery, route, and search. This topic provides an overview of each of these services.

The Geocode Service methods are:

  • Geocode Finds a geographic location based on a request that may include the address, place, or entity type names to find.
  • ReverseGeocode Finds geographic entities and addresses for a specified map location.

The Imagery Service methods are:

  • GetImageryMetadata Returns information about the requested imagery, including imagery date stamps, vendor attribution, and imagery tile URIs.
  • GetMapUri Returns a URI to a static map that may contain traffic data, routes to a destination from major roads, and pushpins.

The Route Service methods are:

  • CalculateRoute Calculates a route between specified stops and returns route directions as well as other route data.
  • CalculateRoutesFromMajorRoads Calculates starting points or route directions to a specified location from nearby major roads.


Microsoft Downloads - Virtual Earth Web Services SDK 1.0

“This software development kit (SDK) provides programming reference and how-to topics for getting started with the Virtual Earth Web Services.

File Name: VirtualEarthServices10.exe
Version: 1.0
Date Published: 9/24/2008
Language: English

[GD: This is the offline CHM version of the SDK/Doc’s


Virtual Earth Web Services SDK, Version 1.0 - Virtual Earth Web Services Requirements


Virtual Earth Web Services is a set of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) SOAP services. To make requests to the Virtual Earth Web Services, you must have:


Virtual Earth Web Services is built on XML and WCF technologies. It has been highly tested for environments using the .NET platform and Visual Studio .NET tools for Web service development. Other environments and toolkits have not been fully tested, but may work with the Virtual Earth Web Services.


What really caught my eye was the granular nature of the services. I liked that this is a group of stand alone services and not some big monster of a single service. Small, focused and clearly aligned with the intent of the service (i.e. Single Responsibility, etc), nice.

There’s got to be something I can use these services for… Maybe an Insert Route addin for Windows Live Writer? Or something with the geolocation service? hum…

Since it took me a bit to find the page with the signup link, I made sure to include that too (see the Requirements block above). BTW, signing up is free, quick and easy.


Related Past Post XRef:
Microsoft Virtual Earth WinForm Control – Because I’m just a WinForm kind of guy…
MSR MapCruncher for Virtual Earth

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