Remember WPF/E, that new Microsoft web interaction and display technology that surfaced as a preview a few days ago? It is supposed run on both Mac and Windows (XP and Vista), and in IE, Firefox and Safari — the clearest indication yet that Microsoft understands future successes on the web will require platform neutrality.
I wondered then if WFP/E might not be a useful mapping tool in combination with Virtual Earth 3D. As for the 3D part, the jury is still out (as it requires Windows-only software), but when it comes to the 2D component of Virtual Earth, Mike Taulty’s already got a proof of concept up on his blog:
What he’s done is add a new layer over the Map using WFP/E to capture mouse movements, translating these into an different navigation mode. Mike also superimposes a new graphic. The upshot: it would be very easy to make some very nifty custom user interfaces for maps using WFP/E.
To try it out yourself, go to Microsoft’s WPF/E download page and download the installer, either for PC or for Mac (it’s a “technology preview”). Run it, restart your browser, and then try out Mike’s demo, here.