Map Channels for Virtual Earth

Use Map Channels for Virtual Earth to embed a 2D or 3D Virtual Earth Map on your website.

• Add one or more KML or GeoRSS feeds
• Feeds are loaded dynamically
• Fast display of large feeds
• Sidebar including filters to display selected feeds
• The sidebar can be displayed or hidden
• Integrated local business search
• Users can add their custom feeds to the map
• 3D Mode - Specify altitude, heading and pitch when starting in 3D
• Bird's Eye View
• Link to a full screen map view
• You can create a VE Map Channel without logging in

API Terms and Conditions

Please check that your map complies with the Virtual Earth Terms and Conditions. In particular this section : "you may develop or host an online application ... for non-commercial use".

The Google Maps Terms do allow for commercial use - try our new Feed Maps API which supports both Google Earth 3D and Street View, and can be used for commercial use.

Create your VE Map Channel

Map Dimensions

Map Height px
Sidebar Width px (at least 250)
Sidebar Visible

Map Options

Map Type
Mousewheel scroll
Local Business Search
Traffic Control
Set map view using feed bounds

3d Map Options

3d Mode Available
3d Mode Enabled
Heading ° (0 to 360)
Pitch ° (-90 to 0)
Altitude metres


Enter the details of feeds to display on the map. KML files (e.g. Google My Maps) or GeoRSS files can be added.

Add New Feed

Map Location

Use one or more of the three methods below (A,B,C) to set your map location and zoom level.

 A   Enter your Longitude (x), Latitude (y) and Zoom Level (z)

x   y   z  

 B   Select your Location and Zoom Level using the map below

 C   Use the Google Geocoder to find an address


Click to generate a script that will embed the map on your site.

A preview of the map and embedding instructions are provided below.

Embed the VE Map Channel in your Website or Blog (Simple Method)

Copy and paste the script below into your web page.

Add The Map To Your Website or Blog (Locally Hosted Method)

 1   Copy the following files to a folder of your website

 2   Edit the Map.htm file and add the following code into the body element of the HTML page:


Note: you can rename the javascript file containing you map script to a more meaningful name. If you do this also change the references to the filename in map.htm.

The map is now ready for use and will display in full screen on your web page.

API Reference

You can edit your copy of the file to change the map behaviour.

The parameters available to edit are :

vMC.x the longitude centre of the map -180 to 180
vMC.y the latitude centre of the map -90 to 90
vMC.z the zoom level of the map 0 to 19
vMC.mapType the initial map type 0=Road Map 1=Satellite 2=Hybrid 3=Bird's Eye
vMC.altitude the altitude in metres of the initial map view (3D Mode Only) positive value
vMC.pitch the initial view pitch in degrees (3D Mode Only) -90 to 0
vMC.heading The initial view direction in degrees (3D mode only) 0 to 360
vMC.mode3d 3d mode available 0=3d mode unavailable 1=3d mode available
vMC.mode3dOn 3d mode on 0=map starts in 2D mode 1=map starts in 3D mode
vMC.searchOn Local Business Search 0=Disabled 1=Enabled
vMC.trafficOn Traffic Layer 0=Disabled 1=Enabled
vMC.wheelScroll whether mouse wheel scrolling is enabled 0=Disabled 1=Enabled
vMC.topMargin Vertical margin height Optional height in pixels (default=0px) - allows a title HTML section to be included on the page.
myFeeds An array of KML or GeoRSS feeds. Each element of the array is in the format [Url, Title, Colour]

Technical Notes

The processes used in VE Map Channels are different to standard Map Channels. Feeds are not cached on the Map Channels server, instead the Virtual Earth API is used to read the feeds. This keeps the feed data dynamic, i.e. changes to the data at source are reflected in the embedded map without needing to update the map data.

There are a number of pros and cons when comparing Map Channels for Virtual Earth against Map Channels for Google Maps.

Virtual Earth Pros

  • Dynamic feed data is supported.
  • 3D map options are available.
  • Faster display of larger quantity of markers.
  • Bird's eye imagery is available for some areas.
  • More adaptable local business search is available.

Virtual Earth Cons

  • Commercial use of VE is not allowed unless you first pay Microsoft a large amount of money.
  • Descriptions in KML feeds are stripped of some content such as images and some html formatting.
  • There is no client-side geocoder available.
  • The behaviour of the Info Box used in VE is different to the Google Info Window and behaves more like a tooltip.
  • Markers used in Google My Maps KMLs are not offset by a custom amount, markers are automatically centred. This affects markers using pushpin images.
  • KMLs are limited to 200 markers per feed. When trying to display a large amount of markers it is recommended to split markers into multiple KML feeds.


This is a beta version of Map Channels for Virtual Earth. Please Contact us if you have any bug reports or feature suggestions.


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