Is Siverlight required? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a client that wishes to develop custom Bing Maps for the European region. Bascially she wants to overlay wine routes, museum locations, and other cultural locations as markers with custom descriptions on Bing maps, and then embed in her web page. 

    My question is: does one require the Silverlight browser plug-in to view custom Bing maps, embedded on a personal website?

    Second question: Will it eventually be required?

    Thanks greatly for any advice!


    • Moved by Ricky_Brundritt Friday, March 9, 2012 5:21 PM (From:Bing Maps: Map Control and Web services Development)
    Monday, May 9, 2011 5:32 AM


  • Short answer(s): No, and no. Silverlight plugin is not currently required, and is very unlikely ever to be required (although there is a Silverlight version of the map control).

    Long answer: The "Bing Maps" platform covers a number of different technologies and components related to "mapping". This includes not only creating map images, but also geocoding, routing, POI searching, etc. In terms of your options for actually creating a map to embed on a personal website, you have three main options:

    1. You can use the AJAX (i.e. Javascript) map component. For this, all that is required is that your users have a javascript-enabled browser. This basically includes all modern browsers, including many mobile phone browsers (e.g. iPhone, Android, Blackberry) with no extra plugins needed. More details and example code on how to create a map at and
    2. There are web services (both REST and SOAP) that you can call from a script to programmatically create a static map (i.e. a .JPG or a .PNG file) based on supplied parameters. These can either be called from the client-side or server-side, from any language including Java, C#, C etc.. However note that what you'll end up with is a single image. Very easy to embed in a website using an <img> tag, but you won't be able to zoom/pan around it.
    3. There is a Silverlight map control, which provides similar functionality to the AJAX control, but using Silverlight plug-in. The advantage being that it's capable of smoother rendering and handling a greater number of points on the map. The disadvantage, obviously, is that all your users need the Silverlight plug-in. More details and example code at and

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    Monday, May 9, 2011 7:04 AM