Archive for June, 2011

BingMapsOne of the projects we had the chance of working with a while back, but hadn’t gone live due to licensing and policy reasons, finally made it and is now publicly available at

We had a lot of fun in this project as there were a few challenges we had to overcome, let me give you the insights on one of them to get an idea and possibly help your future Bing maps projects Smile.

The biggest challenge we faced was how we were going to draw Contours over the map. To that end we read the very useful Practical C# Charts and Graphics book and found out all about Triangulation a technology widely used in Topography. Using Triangulation we’ve eventually developed a solution, only to find that it didn’t work as expected. The algorithm was correct, but when dealing with millions of points to draw shapes (vector graphics) over Bing maps performance degraded rapidly and this was unacceptable.

So next we thought that instead of drawing shapes over the map, it would be faster if we could just place another tile layer over the map, where all shapes would be pre-rendered. We were right the navigation was very fast but generating the Tiles still took very long and consumed a lot of resources which was a problem. The algorithm was still very complicated.

TileGenerationFinally, Dimosthenis had a very cool idea, that solved our problem. Since the data points are so close to each other, if we just drew a small rectangle (as you shown in the image) with the appropriate color for each point, the rectangles’ edges would create an area that with the proper imaging ease function would appear as a contour. We’ve started working on it and it truly not only drastically reduced the tile generation but also the result was very satisfying.

We hope you like it and use it.