Bing Maps V8 web control ready for production use

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft recently issued an update for all Windows 10 users that brought a new mapping experience to the desktop. While Bing maps online has been providing newer feature sets and an updated UI, the desktop experience has been, to put it nicely, lacking.

Thankfully, the desktop app has been brought up to speed, but the Bing Maps team wants to do more than keep parity with its web counterpart and other competing options. Rather, the Bing Maps team wants developers to create their own unique mapping experiences using Bing Maps development tools.

To help bolster its navigation service and build richer mapping experiences, Microsoft is reaching out to developers with its Bing Maps V8 web control. Today, developers can get their hands on the public release of Bing Maps V8 web control tools.

Bing Maps V8 was originally announced and released in preview back in April of 2016 shortly after Microsoft’s developer conference. Bing Maps V8 is a web tool designed to entice developers to create unique mapping experience atop Bing Maps by reducing development time and requiring less do to so.

Also, Bing Maps V8 web control is supposed to bring significant performance improvements to web-based mapping tools by utilizing an HTML5 canvas, doing so enables developers to render vector data much quicker than previously implemented JavaScript (AJAX) controls.

Bing Maps V8 features
Bing Maps V8 features

Since the preview release of Bing Maps V8 web control to developers back in April, the tools have been tweaked and updated to feature:

  • New Map Styles – A Greyscale and Dark map styles, which are better suited for data visualization in business intelligence type scenarios.
  • Spatial Geometry Math – Calculate intersections and union shapes. Generate convex and concave hulls, Voronoi diagrams and much more.
  • TypeScript definitions – TypeScript is an excellent programming language when developing large scale web apps. In fact, we used TypeScript to develop Bing Maps V8. We will be making the TypeScript definitions available so you can easily use Bing Maps V8 in your TypeScript app.
  • Data Binning Layer – Data binning, also known as hex binning, is a common type of data visualization that is used in charts. However, when used with maps, it provides an engaging visualization that combines the power of heat maps and clustering.
  • Image filters – In addition to having two new map styles you can also apply image filters against the base maps as well to customize the map to look the way you want.
  • Export Map as an Image – Being able to visualize your data on a map is great, but this feature makes it easy to share an image of that map with others. Add it to a report, email it, or put it in a presentation.

The Bing Maps team has an entire write-up on how to get started with V8, replacing legacy controls and services with new implementations, migrating existing apps and more. Developers interested in building native mapping experiences or leveraging Bing Maps in other app services should head over to Ricky’s Bing Map Blog for more information.