The end of InfoStrat.VE?

Nov 4, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I've just been reading on the Bing mapping blog that the Bing team has decided to depricate the ActiveX plug-in which InfoStrat.VE uses : http://www.bing.com/community/site_blogs/b/maps/archive/2010/11/02/changes-to-bird-s-eye-and-3d-maps.aspx.  It seems a really strange decision because they don't seem to have a 3D alternative - they're pushing the "birdseye view" functionality which is a poor relation to the full 3D capabilities of the 3D ActiveX plug-iin.

 

I've posted in the comments asking for clarification, and some indication of the Bing map team's plans for the future, but as yet there's no response.  Perhaps if we all post we might get some more information?!

 

The InfoStrat control combined with the ActiveX plug-in really opens up maps and we've found that Surface users really engage with it.  It would be a shame to lose such a great experience without an obvious replacement!

 

Josh - I wonder if you have any contacts in Microsoft who can clarify the situation?

Coordinator
Nov 4, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Hi Jambo,

I posted a general update on my blog about this issue:

http://nui.joshland.org/2010/11/infostratve-and-bing-maps-3d-end-of.html

One of the suggestions in the comments there is for Microsoft to open-source the ActiveX control. The problem with that is that the data feeds still need to be live and updated. Some suggested a subscription model, but Microsoft has been unable to effectively monetize Bing Maps 3D so far, so that's not a good sign that they would be able to now.

I really appreciate your support.

Thanks,
Josh

Nov 5, 2010 at 4:45 AM

Just FYI there is a completely Open Source 3D globe that uses DirectX - WorldWind. We even have a slightly inaccurate BingMaps layer provider.

It would take some work to bring it out of the MDX, fixed function pipeline era into modern practices. But the core is there.

 

Adam Hill

Worldwind Dev from the Past

Coordinator
Nov 5, 2010 at 4:57 AM

Thanks Adam. Bing Maps 3D actually uses Direct3D as well and we interop with it, so it's possible that using another DirectX control wouldn't be too difficult. I was under the impression that the latest versions of WorldWind were Java based. Could you provide a link to the version you're thinking about?

There's also a few other open source projects that we could draw from as well.

Nov 5, 2010 at 8:37 AM

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the clarification on your blog - it seems a real pity to lose such a great tool.  I guess MS have to make the correct commercial decisions for them but, as you mention in your blog, they're missing out on the more commercial and government customers by focusing on consumers.

I guess that's the way things go sometimes!