Microsoft appears to be ploughing forward with its Bing Maps web mapping service, despite the arguably greater levels of penetration and popularity of other competing services.
Recent developments have included updates to Bing Maps AJAX Control V7 and its modular design and client side clustering features. The new V7 architecture is attempting to woo developers with the promise of a modular design environment to create applications that only load in the functionalities where they are needed, rather than adding in those that are surplus to requirements.
Client side clustering meanwhile is intended to allow the grouping together of closely located pushpins to make the map less cluttered and the locations easier to identify.
NB: As a definition, "pushpins" are map locator pins displayed on screen to denote selected positions. Clustering is the process of grouping closely positioned locations together and representing them with a single pushpin.
According to Microsoft, "Last fall we released V7 of the Bing Maps AJAX control. This control is a complete redesign of the previous versions. This was done to make the map control smaller and faster. How much smaller and faster you ask? V7 is 1/3rd the size of V6.3 and renders up to 3x faster. As a result we can load much more data into the map than we ever could before."