CLEAR Research

Maps on the Web

Bing Maps By Microsoft



Pros: Bing Maps is HOT even though we don’t have an API demo planned for it. You can read more about the Bing Maps API here. Bing Maps runs in a web browser and the oblique aerial photographs (Bird's Eye View) is used for the imagery is native to the viewer. The user does not need to download anything to view 2-D maps and does not have to leave your website. The user can save and send sessions “KML-like” file. The creater can bring in data and imagery from a variety of services to best serve the needs of the intended users.

Cons: Very similar to Google Maps, however has much more limited functionality than either GoogleEarth or World Wind. The user has no flexibility with regards to symbology, downloading or importing data, reducing functionality for analysis. The 3-D imagergy viewing requires a large download.

Required in order to Create

The Bing Maps API allows you to make your own project, otherwise you use their “out of the box” tools which are somewhat limited

Know-how Necessary

API is free, but requires programming experience to customize


Client is free, but has limited functionality without additional programming.

Requires to Use (besides the internet and a browser)

3-D version requires a plug in with internet explorer (as opposed to a separate thin client). Requires online access, like Google Earth, but no GIS know-how is necessary.

Using screenshots of a Virtual Earth Mashup sample provided by Joel Stocker, you can see the powerful Pictometry images and viewing available for this area of Connecticut with Virtual Earth. Note: these highly detailed images are not available everywhere.

There are aerial, roadmap, and hybrid viewing options, as well as bird's eye view and 3-D (with the plug-in), zoom and rotate navigation tools. The 3-D visualization allows the user to control the tilt as well.

Joel was able to "mash" GPS tracking points and waypoints of a kayak trip around a land trust, as well as photos, with the help of MapCruncher and some coding.


This mashup is now available to anyone with a web browser.



Visit the Virtual Earth Home Page to learn more HERE.

Visit Microsoft's Live Maps/Virtual Earth HERE.

Learn how to use MapCruncher to add data to Virtual Earth HERE.


A Virtual Earth site created by Joel Stocker with the University of Connecticut:

Projects featured on Via Virtual Earth: