Highlights from Silverlight User Group UK #11
My top highlights from last night's 11th Silverlight User Group UK at Microsoft's customer service centre in London. [Google's cache of official blog post by the community organisers (blog currently down)]
- Event Twitter hashtag: #SLUGUK.
- NOTE: These are just my rough notes, I'll update this page and tidy-up later! ;)
Bing Maps - WOW!
Impressive demo and interesting facts presented by Johannes Kebeck (Bing Maps TSp)
- 30-50 TERABYTES of new data is uploaded to Bing Maps each month!
- Bing maps runs on the Azure cloud platform (until recently was on its own infrastructure in USA) -- no wonder it's so fast now even from here in London!
- Silverlight delivers functionality that Ajax simply can't. It's also much faster than Ajax, and performance of different types of operation doesn't vary hugely between browsers as it does with Ajax. (Google Maps has taken a wrong turn, and they are left behind.)
- Bing Maps developer portal offers the awesome official SDK and APIs, all 100% FREE for regular use on the web!
- Silverlight 3+ has GPU hardware acceleration for extremely powerful performance. You can enable it in your HTML. Try doing that with Ajax! There's been much talk lately of HTML 5 and native browser functionality being the future, but IMHO Google and Apple and many others are failing to appreciate what's possible how the web is evolving. Reliance on native browser
- Powerful Geospatial data types and functionality in SQL Server 2008. Combined with the Bing Maps SDK, developers can do things with maps and related data, photos, videos, metadata, etc, that we could previously only dream of.
- PhotoSynth can take ordinary photos of a place, e.g. crowdsourced, and generate a 3D explorable environment. E.g. in Silverlight, generates a 3D model using perspective and other mathematical transformations, then maps the photos over the mesh as texture. Impressive stuff, and very effective when integrated with interactive map / Streetview type experiences.
- True 3D in Silverlight in your web browser through managed application - go to www.bing.com/maps and click 3D for a demo -- try Manhattan, New York!
- You can easily add an impressive customised interactive Bing Map to your own web pages, e.g. simply with an IFRAME (1 line of HTML)..
Cool Bing+Silverlight SDK demos, by the one and only map-meister Kebeck
- Eye On Earth - European Space Agency maps, enriched by multiple interactive vectors, polygons, etc!
- Environmental Atlas of Europe - interactive maps, huge amount of useful data, videos, try doing THIS in Ajax! Sorry Google Maps. ;) Check out the water quality at beaches, and lots more - enjoy! Remember, all images are served by Azure, all data from SQL Azure.
- Twitter maps shows real-time Tweets and jumps to the tweeter's location. (Sadly Twitter is slow and unreliable, I'd be inclined to prefetch and cache.)
- Blog hits - real-time map of Johannes' blog visitors - (coming soon...) [Worldmaps Stumbler]
- Real-time heatmap showing which areas of the world have just been updated on Bing Maps - (coming soon...)
- Bing Maps Platform.
- Bing Maps Apps - go to www.bing.com/maps/explore and click the "Map Apps" button at the bottom of the left nav bar (best kept secret on the web!)
- More examples - Bing Maps Gallery.
Tip: check out Johannes' blog for loads more cool demos.
A few related MS tech community networks (kindly listed by Johannes)
Bing Maps User Group
1st event was in January!
- London .NET User Group
EdgeUG (formerly "Vista Squad")
Next event: 17 Feb
- Fantastic Tavern
Overview of MEF
Useful presentation and live coding demo my Mike Taulty (UK DPE) showing-off this new way of building apps in .NET 4. Apps which can evolve at run-time... Useful for rapid development via magic Satisfy... method, flexible and potentially very powerful!
If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to ask me and I'll do my best to help.
04 February 2010