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VIEWS: an open source Virtual Earth wrapper for Silverlight

As the intense development of Silverlight has progressed, many have wondered why Microsoft has not created a version of Virtual Earth using the new technology. If you remember, there is Seadragon technology included in Silverlight 2 known as Deep Zoom—given that Virtual Earth is just a collection of images, it makes sense to put the zoom to use in something that aims to seamlessly render different views of the same images as efficiently as possible for a mapping site.

Microsoft has not offered Virtual Earth in Silverlight due to performance issues (Silverlight 2 isn't final yet), as it's trying not to scare users away. While it makes little sense to offer a Silverlight Virtual Earth as the default option, there is an advantage for developers: it would be possible to add mapping to their applications without having to dive deep into JavaScript.

While there are unofficial versions of a Silverlight Virtual Earth out there already, none are particularly smooth or well done. Jared Bienz, an ISV Evangelist with Microsoft, has gone out and changed that with VIEWS, a managed wrapper around the JavaScript control from Virtual Earth. Here's a Channel 9 video for developers interested in the project:

VIEWS started as an internal-only project from Adam Eversole in Microsoft Research. Eversole and Bienz have recently improved the code slightly and posted it for the world to see on CodePlex. Both the binaries and the source are available for download; it is very easy to start creating a custom version of Microsoft's mapping platform. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get coding!

Source : here