You can get an idea of what Virtual Earth looks like by going to the site: http://local.live.com
The Virtual Earth API has the following features, per the presentation:
- User Navigation
- Mapping Imagery
- "Bird's Eye" views
- Find Places/Addresses
- Collections of GeoRSS
For each of these features there is an interactive SDK that generates example code so that you can follow along for your own application. *Very cool*.
I did have a few issues with timing and synchronous processing; in other words sometimes the wait time for processing one command seemed to cancel out a command that directly followed it. In my case I was trying to do a search for "Sioux Falls, SD" and then follow it with a ZoomIn method like so:
map.FindLocation('Sioux Falls, SD');
I'll dig around a bit - my idea for a helpful little location solution is a map of Sioux Falls and all the coffee shops along with their attributes: how good the coffee is, whether WiFi is free, and the general atmosphere.
I'm also planning to dink around with the Google Maps API to see how it stacks up.