Tag Archives: Virtual Earth

Multi-Touch Dev Dinner this week in Reston, Va

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In case you missed it through the DevDinner tag on my team blog (official place for Developer Dinner posts), MSDN Flash, or http://communitymegaphone.com

Timezone: Eastern Time

Start Time: 2/24/2010 6:00:00 PM

End Time: 2/24/2010 8:00:00 PM

Title: Microsoft Developer Dinner: Hands-on Natural User Interfaces: Multi-touch development with Silverlight and WPF 4

The Natural User Interface (NUI) is the next revolution of human-computer interaction. Microsoft Surface has shown the potential of multi-touch NUIs to uniquely engage users, and multi-touch tablets and displays are becoming more and more common. This talk is focused on how you can create multi-touch NUIs for these devices. You will learn the difference between manipulations and gestures, when to use each, and how to implement specific NUI design concepts with both Silverlight and the WPF 4 Touch API. The differences between the Silverlight and WPF 4 Touch APIs will be highlighted. You will hear about the roles of the Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch and the Microsoft Surface Manipulations and Inertia Sample for Silverlight and how you can use them to jump-start your applications. The open-source multi-touch Bing Maps 3-D WPF control, InfoStrat.VE, will also be demonstrated. If you are interested in rich, engaging multi-touch interfaces for the web or client, then you need to attend this talk!

Website: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032440485&Culture=en-US

Event Type: Other (in-person)

12012 Sunset Hills Road
Reston, VA, 20190

Lat/Long: 38.954957, -77.358214

Audiences: Developer.

WEBCAST: Microsoft and IDV Solutions at Work for the Enterprise

Jerry asked me to help spread the word.


Visual Fusion from IDV Solutions combines with Bing Maps, SharePoint and other Microsoft technologies to create a visual mashup platform, empowering organizations to unite data from otherwise incompatible sources – enterprise data stores, Web feeds, spreadsheets and more – into rapidly-built, interactive and collaborative applications that provide a single view of the data.

Join the Microsoft Bing Maps team, IDV Solutions and Directions Media for a complimentary webinar that discusses how the Bing Maps and Visual Fusion technologies can help you plan, predict and respond quickly, plus efficiently manage and analyze the overwhelming amount of data that flow through your agencies and departments on a daily basis.


Details here.

Integrating Virtual Earth 3D into WPF and Surface Applications for Mere Mortals

I just published a Channel 9 interview with Josh Wall and Josh Blake from InfoStrat about their Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Surface controls that make integrating Virtual Earth 3D a breeze.  Check it out:


Virtual Earth 3D has many applications, but until recently has only been practical on the web with a JavaScript interface.  WPF applications could not use the full potential of Virtual Earth 3D without requiring a WPF wizard and some XAML magic due to Win32 interop limitations.

Information Strategies (InfoStrat) has the solution.  They created a WPF / Surface control, InfoStrat.VE, and are sharing with the community on CodePlex.  This control provides a WPF interface for the Virtual Earth 3D control, complete with data binding for camera control and WPF-based pushpins. All Win32 restrictions (air space control, no rotation or visual brush) are eliminated.  Microsoft Surface is also supported.

Watch the interview to learn the history behind the control, see it in action, learn how to get started, and even contribute back to the community.”

UPDATE: Interested in learning about a pretty cool solution that uses InfoStrat.VE? Check out Sam Chenaur’s post:

John L Scott Real Estate Looks to WPF and Software + Services

InfoStrat.VE – Intermediate fix published for the latest 3D control

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Due to popular demand, InfoStrat just published an intermediate fix to get their InfoStrat.VE control working on top of the latest Virtual Earth 3D release.  You will notice that they just made a changeset available.  What they made available is not fully tested.  Once it is, they will publish a new release in the Downloads tab.  Here’s the post announcing the interim fix:


If you aren’t familiar with their control, then check out my blog post for a little background:


This control is a must have for any WPF or Surface developer looking to get Virtual Earth 3D working optimally in their app.

InfoStrat releases a Virtual Earth control for both WPF and Surface to CodePlex

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I’ve been waiting for this day to happen for a LONG TIME.  I’ve been working with WPF, Virtual Earth, and Surface for quite a while now.  If you’ve followed my blog, you’ve seen some hacked up samples showing various ways of getting Virtual Earth integrated into a WPF application.  I’ve been working with a number of customers and partners on Surface and WPF applications lately.  Just about every one of them wants mapping capabilities in their Surface and WPF apps.  That is not a surprise given that I focus on US Government customers. 

A while back, I created a fairly trivial sample of how to integrated Virtual Earth into a Surface app.  I’ve been sharing it as a starting point to get customers going.  I met Josh Wall from InfoStrat through my good friend Russ Williams from the Microsoft Technology Center in Reston, Va.  Russ and I had worked together on a few Surface opportunities.  He told me about a conversation he had with Josh from InfoStrat.  Josh was interested in the sample that I put together.  We had a call to discuss some of the challenges around Virtual Earth / Surface integration and we shared the sample with Josh. 

What happened next still amazes me.  InfoStrat took the sample, completely rewrote it using a much better technical approach, and started building their own reusable VE WPF/Surface control.  After seeing the amazing work that InfoStrat put into their control, I figured I would ask them if they would be willing to put it on CodePlex.  Much to my surprise, they were very interested in the idea.  They came up with a plan, and the end result is that today they have announced the first release of the control on CodePlex.

What does this mean to you?  If you are a WPF or Surface developer looking to integrate Virtual Earth into your applications, then InfoStrat just saved you a heck of a lot of time and technical challenges.  The fact that InfoStrat was willing to share their work with the community still blows my mind.

I’ll be doing a Channel 9 Inside Out interview with InfoStrat about the control soon.  Stay tuned!

Here’s a description of the CodePlex project:

Project Summary

This control provides a WPF interface for the Virtual Earth 3D control, complete with data binding for camera control and WPF-based pushpins. All Win32 restrictions (air space control, no rotation or visual brush) are eliminated. Microsoft Surface is also supported.

Project Details

Virtual Earth 3D has many applications, but until recently has only been practical on the web with a javascript interface. WPF applications could not use it to its full potential without requiring a WPF wizard and some XAML magic due to Win32 interop limitations.

The solution is here: InfoStrat.VE

Created by InfoStrat, this project provides a VEMap control for WPF and SurfaceVEMap control for Microsoft Surface. SurfaceVEMap derives from VEMap and adds multi-touch manipulation support.

For examples of Microsoft Surface solutions we’ve built with this control go to our InfoStrat Surface gallery.

InfoStrat.VE allows WPF and Microsoft Surface developers to take full advantage of Virtual Earth 3D with minimal overhead. Simply reference the dll, add a single VEMap control to your XAML, and you have a map! The control eliminates the Win32 Interop restrictions, so you can do everything with this VE control that you could do with any native WPF control, including:

  • Overlay items (no more transparent windows!)
  • Rotate and transform the map within the interface (no more boring rectangles, bring on the 360 degree interfaces!)
  • Use the map within a Visual Brush (you know you want faded reflections!)

Josh Blake, the primary developer on the project, announced the publishing of the control here:


What are you waiting for?  Head over to the CodePlex page to learn more:


About InfoStrat:

Information Strategies ("InfoStrat") helps customers solve complex business problems with IT Consulting Services such as: Requirements Analysis, Software Architecture and Design, and Application Development Services.  InfoStrat is an award-winning Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with Gold Certifications in eight Microsoft Competency Solutions Areas.

Founded in 1987, InfoStrat is one of the nation’s foremost leaders in IT Services focused on Microsoft technologies.  InfoStrat has provided IT Consulting Services on over 1000 customer projects.  InfoStrat consultants hold over 150 Microsoft technical certifications and are experts in .NET application development focused primarily on:

News release about CodePlex project on infostrat.com:


InfoStrat’s Single View Platform landing page:


Microsoft Surface GIS Apps by Infostrat

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I’ve been working with a number of partners lately on building Microsoft Surface apps.  Infostrat is one of them.  They have done some of the best Virtual Earth integration work I have seen so far.  Have a look at this video that highlights their work:

Want to learn what Surface development is all about?  Check out the recording of the PDC session:


You’ll also want to keep up with the Surface blog.  If you


Finally, contact me if you are doing US Government focused work and are interested in getting into Surface development.