Virtual Earth API v5 Release

Given that this week Microsoft is hosting their Mix 07 event in Las Vegas there's sure to be lots of Microsoft API and mashup related product news. One early bit of news came Friday with the release of V5 of the Virtual Earth API. Microsoft has invested a good deal of effort in this API and lately there have been lots of VE mashups added here at ProgrammableWeb: about 25 percent of the new mashups added the past two weeks use Virtual Earth. See all 80 in our listings here, including the one below, Reuters AlertNet, a map that displays crisis hotspots and retrieves the latest news from Reuters.

What did the team from Redmond focus on for this release? From their blog: "Of all of the requests we’ve seen and heard, the one theme that kept coming back was more options for customization. So that’s what we focused on." The primary new features include a VEShape class that incorporates pushpins, polylines and polygons; shape layers that allow shapes to be viewed and accessed as groups; extensive mouse and keyboard event support; and, not to be underestimated, is a 75 percent reduction in the size of map control codebase (from 500K to 130K).

Be sure to read the next Mapping article: New APIs and a Chance to Win $10K