Free webcast to showcase what’s new with Bing Maps, March 1st

Bing Maps developers from Earthware, OnTerra and Infusion will discuss Bing
Maps’ latest features and development tips and tricks in a free webcast at 8
a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 1. In this 40-minute webinar we’ll
discuss the new Bing Maps AJAX Control 7.0, how to evaluate and improve the
performance out of your Bing-powered mapping applications, and new tools for
working with SQL databases.

Earthware’s Brian Norman will show developers how to get maximum performance and
speed from the Bing Maps AJAX APIs. 2010 King of Bing Maps Ricky Brundritt –
developer of the TaxiFare Calculator – will demonstrate how to create mapping
add-ons that enhance any mapping application. And OnTerra’s Steve Milroy will showcase
the new DataConnector, which allows organizations and developers to rapidly
create web mapping applications that contain rich geospatial data visualization

This webcast is a must if you’re a map developer looking to get more
horsepower from your mapping applications. Or if you’re a web developer
considering adding maps. Register today<>!

Hope you can make it.

Bing Maps

Google partners with Edmunds to make the web faster

Note: This is a guest post from Ismail Elshareef, who is the Principal Architect at Thanks for the post and for making the web faster Ismail!

In the Fall of 2008, we embarked on a complete redesign of our car enthusiast site, One of the main redesign objectives was to deliver the fastest page load possible to our consumers. Leading up to that point, we have been closely following and implementing the performance best practices championed by Google’s Make the Web Faster team and others. We understood the impact performance has on user experience and the bottom line.

Some of the many performance-enhancing features that have been implemented on (and now on our are:

  1. Reducing the number of HTTP requests: We combined CSS and JavaScript files as necessary as well as using sprites and data URIs when appropriate. We have also reduced the number of blocking requests as much as possible to make the pages “feel” faster
  2. Serving static content from different domains: This helped maximize the browser parallel download capacity and made the request payload faster since no cookies were sent over the wire to those domains
  3. Using Expires headers: Caching static files in the client’s browser to eliminate unnecessary, redundant requests to our servers
  4. Lazy-loading Page Modules: Render the bare minimum page components first so that the user sees something on the page, and then go through the modules and load them in order of priority. We developed a JavaScript Loader component to help us accomplish that which you can read more on the Edmunds technology blog.
  5. Managing 3rd-party components: iFrame components could be lazy-loaded without a problem. JavaScript components, on the other hand, need to be loaded onto the page before the onLoad event fires. That had the potential of slowing down our pages. The solution we devised was to delay the calling of those components until we initiate the lazy-loading of modules and right before the onLoad event fires
  6. Using non-blocking calls: With the browser being a single thread process, we optimized ways of including resources on the page without affecting page rendering so that the page is perceived to be fast by the user.

The results on have been incredbile. Page load time went from 9 seconds on average on the old site to 1.5 seconds on average on the new one, and that’s with loading in much richer content onto the page (measured with WebPageTest). We have also seen a 3% increase in ad revenue. On the, which will replace our legacy site fully in December 2010, we have seen a 17% increase in page views and a 2% reduction in the bounce rate for our landing pages in a controlled experiment.

Although we have a long way to go in making our pages and services faster, we are very pleased of the progress we’ve made so far. Working with Google to make the web faster has been an exciting adventure that will continue with more improvements and innovations for both our sites and the web as a whole. Get more details on the Edmunds technology blog and try these enhancements on your site today.

By Ismail Elshareef, Principal Architect,

Introducing the AJAX map control V7

Today we have the distinct pleasure of announcing the release of the new Bing AJAX map control v7 (V7). It seems to be the year of 7s at Microsoft and we’re excited to carry on the reputation that V7 does indeed denote something very special.

Let’s start off with discussing V7 performance:

– V7 is less than 1/3 the size of our v6.3 control. This smaller size helps V7 load faster than our previous control.
– V7 renders multiple points on a map up to 3 times faster than v6.3. This improvement will help you deliver more information to your users, faster.

These numbers are based on internal tests of our compressed controls, including all secondary JavaScript, CSS and image-files. I invite you to try out V7 for yourself and compare. Add 10, 100 or 100s of pins and evaluate the performance. I think you’ll be pleased.

While you’re doing this, make sure to check out three other major features:

Optimized for mobile web. As more business is done on mobile, you need to have a control that’s built for mobile browsing. V7 delivers in these scenarios with a small control size, support for HTML5 and touch support for mobile devices.

Enhanced Bird’s eye. V7 introduces our new “Bird’s eye” to AJAX. It’s the same 45-degree perspective, viewable from all 4 compass directions imagery that you love – enhanced to include seamless, smooth panning at all zoom levels, life-like building models in urban centers and 3D-like terrain features. This new experience is ripe to provide a differentiated and highly useful perspective to your applications.

New map style. First seen on, our new map style for “road” and “hybrid” modes is now the default map style for V7. This means that when you build a V7 app, you’ll have the opportunity to show it off on an updated canvas with improved look/feel, readability and interaction with data overlays. We’ve received some great customer feedback since its first debut and we’ll be incorporating that into an updated version soon.

It also means that effective today, all Bing Maps customers have the opportunity to opt-in to the new map style for testing or production “go live” scenarios across all controls/APIs (REST Services, SOAP Services and Silverlight Map Control opt-in also went live today). This opt-in period will end on April 30, 2011 and beginning on May 1, 2011, the new map style will become the default and only road style delivered across all Bing mapping services.

So there you are –V7 is fast, is great for mobile web and introduces new and differentiated ways for you to connect with your customers. To learn more about all of the features and enhancements in V7, take a look at the Bing AJAX map control v7 SDK and the recent announcement regarding Also look out for future blog posts that delve deeper into individual functionality.

I’d like to thank our engineering team for all of their hard work and our customers for building some of the best applications on the web – I look forward to seeing what you do with V7 on desktop and mobile!

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