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Discussion on Chris Pendleton's blog

Jun 19, 2008 at 9:58 AM
Hi all,

Chris Pendleton, VE technology evangelist @ Microsoft, mentioned DeepEarth in his post on VE / Silverlight integration efforts.
He kind of dismisses the need for MS to release a Silverlight VE control of their own, while at the same time avoiding settling the issue of third party / non-API access to the VE tiles. Basically, he states that any access to the tile server that is not backed by a tracked account is against TOS. Still, he acknowledges DeepEarth and uses its emerging as an argument against MS implementing their own control. I think he could be more clear on this.
And what is this 'undocumented / unsupported functionality from Virtual Earth' he is talking about? That wouldn't be the tile server access, would it?

Jun 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM
Mark Brown:
A Virtual Earth Web Services Framework in our next release this fall. Currently you have two options for Virtual Earth. An AJAX control and our Map Point Web Services. We're getting ready to release a completely new SOAP-based web service that includes the best features from both offerings. This will also give developers more choice if they are currently creating map applications using Flash.

So to be clear you are not allowed to use the tiles directly from Microsoft without contacting MSFT licensing. The proof of concept / prototyping here is completly not supported. 
Jun 21, 2008 at 1:39 AM
Can we build POC Apps based on this Codeplex project and even that needs an MSFT Licensing ? If so, can u provide some links or email contact for getting / applying License ?

In my view no project should be listed in Codeplex if it has any Licensing dependencies... :( 

I guess because of these small hidden tweaks at  the end of a chain, people HATE MSFT ??!!


Jun 21, 2008 at 8:41 AM
Edited Jun 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM
Essentially the way we will move forward will to be provide a framework for a pure Silverlight map control. This framework is completely open source, you're welcome to contribute. The underling data provider that you decide to impliment, for example we will demonstrate Microsoft's Virtual Earth, will almost certainly require licensing. I see no reason why you won't be able to use your own imagry and data if you have it but for many licensing (or being free with advertising) is going to be a good direction.

This project on Codeplex is not about suppling map data and imagery it is about created a real awesome Silverlight control that visualises, navigates and provides access. The goals of the project are primarily focused on the developers involved learning something new, experimenting in a shared and open way and in the end creating something very interesting to show and use.

The people involved in the project have already done some great things, but it is only very early.

Thanks for raising the point about licensing dependancies, when we make our first release I will ensure that there is no dependancy. I think our current, very prototype, code is misleading. The control will completely abstract the data and imagery provider. That said we will provide an example implimentation using Virtual Earth, as a data source is makes an awesome example.

I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas to help us move forward.
Jun 21, 2008 at 11:57 AM
For the first release, it may be worthwhile to include another data provider such as google maps or one that is entirely free and have the ability to load either. This way people won't be stuck on the idea of using VE the first time they look at this project. And, if the code is written in such a fashion it will be very easy to accomplish this (and looking at the code you guys are going in the right direction).

I would hate for people to look at this project and assume that they have to use VE and have to get licensing and not see past where the data is coming from but what this project is all about ... just my two cents.
Jun 22, 2008 at 1:19 AM
Great idea, we will do this.