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What's behind the special .XAP.PNG archives on http://www.bing.com/maps/ RRS feed

  • Question

  • On the www.bing.com/maps HTML source file I came across some links (streetsidePrefetchFileUrls) to strange looking .xap.png archives like the following one:

    hxxp://c0.ecn.catalogservice.virtualearth.net/cs/dc/pf/Xaps/bcbc3954e568c46cf8c3cc00737da32c_Microsoft.Maps.Framework.xap.png

    I found out that this file is in fact a PNG with no pixel data inside but a (corrupt) PKZIP archive which contains Microsoft DLLs (Microsoft.Maps.Network.dll, Microsoft.Maps.PluginContainer.dll, Microsoft.Maps.Plugins.dll and Microsoft.Maps.Plugins.Internal.dll).

    Does anybody know why the PNG image file format is used as a container for Zip-Archives here? I've tried to unpack the refered file with unzip and 7z. They all detect the ZIP-Archive inside the PNG but abort unpacking with an error.

    • Moved by Ricky_Brundritt Saturday, March 10, 2012 1:38 PM (From:Bing Maps: Map Control and Web services Development)
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:39 AM

Answers

  • Even if it's not allowed to decompile or reverse engineer a part of a component of the platform (see ToU), from my point I think it's the way that you wan load modules inside you silverlight application like you're using MEF and other dynamic loading framework (plugin-like framework). Those modules are transmitted in PNG as their compressed, obfuscated and sent in binary and you can't easily take a look inside the Bing Maps App and module.

    But that's only my point.


    MVP - Bing Maps - My blog (FR): http://blogs.developpeur.org/nicoboo/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/nicolasboonaert/

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:50 AM
    Moderator