Wiirtual.Earth – A WPF Virtual Earth 3D Experiment … featuring the Nintendo WII Mote

Disclaimer: this is a hack, an experiment, not a finished application – no guarantees are given and the code is probably pretty horrible. It might max out your computer or break something, so use this at your own risk. Also, be sure to check out the great work of the poeple whose projects/source code I have used and studied to build this. Also, make sure to read the setup instructions before you start.

I have been digging deep into Virtual Earth recently – and the more I play with it, the more excited I get. I am especially intrigued with Virtual Earth 3D and have built a little project that pulls Virtual Earth into a WPF desktop application just to see what can be done with it. Well, I am proud to post this very first version of my little application up here. I have also demo’ed this application at Microsoft events in several countries and it seems that people like it …

In a nutshell, here is what it does:

  • Pretty WPF UI.
  • Virtual Earth 3D in a WPF application – using this code.
  • Control Virtual Earth properties from WPF via WPF data binding and UI.
  • Get VE info and bind it to WPF UI elements.
  • Pull in data into VE (GeoRSS, KML, Live collections, plain XML, Wikipedia, Flickr).
  • Control VE with a WIIMote (WIIMote acceleration sensors) – using Brian Peeks WIIMoteLib.
  • Control VE with the WII Balance Board – using Brian Peeks WIIMoteLib.
  • Win32 > WPF interop for mouse and keyboard.

All in all it is a pretty cool project but since I am not a developer undoubtedly there is a lot of crappy spaghetti code in there. I wrote it for a demo as an experiment. Anyways, if somebody has some comments, hints or can use this code, any feedback would be greatly appreciated! I am planning to turn this app into a series of WPF tutorials soon. In the meantime, here are the setup instructions (very important to follow those, otherwise it won’t work correctly or even start!), here is the executable (for Windows) and here is the source code. If you want to know what you can do with this app, read this quick intro document first.



31 Demos in 39 Minutes …

If you want to know what cool technologies Microsoft has to offer (and which you can leverage as well), head on over to fellow MS colleague Nigel and watch his video 31 Demos in 39 Minutes. It is well worth spending the time and the best thing is that you can actually grab most of these technologies to play around with by yourself!

Here is the link: http://gobeyond.net.nz/thirtydemos.htm


A new WPF starter kit has been published!

Have you ever seen the New York Times Reader? It is one of the top WPF apps out there, allowing you to read the NYT on your computer. It is a totally different experience from going to a website. Microsoft has now released a new starter kit that gives you the opportunity to build your own reader application and connect it to the data feeds of your choice. Here is the abstract:

We are very excited to take the wraps off of our newest addition to .Net client development – a Starter Kit designed to make it easy to create rich, syndicated multimedia and content experiences which engage the user, from documents and photos to videos and podcasts.

These Syndicated Client Experiences (SCE) applications exploit the push capabilities of RSS in a model where content is synced down to the local computer and each application retains full control over the presentation of the content. Microsoft’s Sync Framework-based Subscription Center takes care of syncing, local storage, subscription management and the safe caching of authentication credentials. These building blocks and services are designed to help application developers focus on what matters to them most: providing an optimal, highly-differentiated content experience on the desktop with very rich content, branding, skinning and custom user interface elements.

I am just now looking into this – I want to build my very own Digg reader application with :-). Here is the link: http://windowsclient.net/wpf/starter-kits/sce.aspx


TechNet WebCasts – served by Silverlight

Microsoft EMEA has launched a new webcast portal – TechNet Spotlight, based entirely on Silverlight. Spotlight offers great content and presentations from MS events world wide recorded in high quality video. This is a great place to brush up on some of Microsoft’s latest technologies – and it looks good, too. Link: TechNet Spotlight.

mix:uk Event Videos

Microsoft’s event series featuring Silverlight, Expression and Popfly are usually called mix. Here are the videos from the event in the United Kingdom: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/mix07/agenda.aspx.