Target Corp. Live on MWS & Virtual Earth
Target Corporation launched their new store locator with MapPoint Web Service and Virtual Earth. Both? Yes! See, Target was smart enough to realize that they wanted to maintain the same user experience for their locator that users had become familiar with, but also provide a robust interface which includes aerial photography, scrollable maps, and auto-refreshing map data. So, by default you can search for stores using their "standard maps" which will produce results mapped out on MapPoint Web Service. You can hover over icons for more data including an input box for driving directions, plus pan/zoom using their controls. The "enhanced maps" version integrates Virtual Earth allowing you to switch to aerial view, bird's eye view, grab the map and pan to see more locations off the map, zoom in to street level without freshing the whole web page. Store attribute data filtering such as Pharmacy, Photo Centers, and Super Targets are handled when the request is made and rendered onto either map. I envision this to be the default implementation which other retailers will follow. Nice job Target!