Looking for a simple Silverlight map component
I am looking for a light-weight map component that displays a map of the US and allows users to click on a State and see information pertaining to that state. The data I want to display is in my database. I just need to know what state was selected so I can display the detail. This is something I am doing to get familiar with Silverlight.
All the searches for Silverlight/ Maps I have done so far have pointed me at solutions that are far more complicated than I need. My perception is that using Bing Maps to do this simple task would a waste of the features provide by Bing.
Anyone know of such a Component? Am I wrong that Bing Maps is not the right tool for the job?
If you have access to Expression Studio (specifically Expression Design), creating maps as vector based images is quite easy. Poly-paths in Xaml are also relatively efficient to store and serve up compared to images.
You import a map as a background image and use the pen tool to dot-to-dot trace around the country. Combine all those path segments into a single path. Then create a separate poly-path for each state (close them to allow for a fill).
It will take a few hours to build all this (I know having done this for a world map country selector... took 4-5 hours solid for the one polygon styled below):
By having each state represented by a filled polygon-path highlighting (by changing the fill colour) is trivial on mouse-enter/mouse-leave events.
If you want stylistic map, remove the image, otherwise use transparency on the state polygons to show the map through the roll-overs.
And if you get yourself a graphic tablet and pen this sort of point-to-point work is about 5 times faster than with a mouse!
The interaction with Bing Maps in Silverlight is really strong and provide you with easy communication between the map and your data. I would give Bing Maps a try.
I'm not sure if you've already come across this, but it seems you can also use the control with custom tile sources. Here are a few resources.