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PDC05: MSN Virtual Earth on Windows Mobile

Attended a very interesting session today – Extending MSN Virtual Earth to Windows Mobile devices. Steve Lombardi of the MSN VE team presented some of the cool things that people are doing with the Virtual Earth control, and demoed the Pocket Earth application for Windows Mobile devices. I’ve been playing with it, and it works pretty well, even over GPRS (which at times is more reliable/faster than the WiFi here at the conference).

Dr. Neil, the keeper of ViaVirtualEarth.com, was there, too. He and I chatted a bit at the Universal Studios party last night, and I promised him I’d talk about Pocket Earth here. Well, here it is. :-) You can get the .cab file (source coming soon!) in the Gallery at ViaVirtualEarth.

The link to the PocketEarth.cab file was broken today, so Dr. Neil fixed it by borrowing my SD card, and re-uploading the copy that I happened to have left over from installing (Windows Mobile 5 doesn’t delete .CAB files after installing them! Woo!). I was happy to be able to help, but alas, I have the older version that doesn’t include caching of the tile map images. Steve demoed the newer version, and promises that it will be available soon.

There’s also a Virtual Earth development contest going on. The first 25 entrants get a copy of MS Streets and Trips 2006 with GPS, and the winner of the contest gets a thousand bucks. I’ve got some ideas for making a Pocket IE-compatible version of the Virtual Earth site, based on some of what was in today’s session.

Other notes: Steve promises that Pocket Streets 2006, which should be available after the beginning of the year, will “blow [our] doors off”. He’s not allowed to talk about any specific features, but I could tell he was excited about it, and that makes me excited, too. :-)

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