Today's mobile phones aren't dumb like they were a decade ago. Today, the iPhone or the Droid-X can not only be used for communicating via voice calls but also facilitates instant messages, and can even serve as a GPS or a mapping device. Applications like Four-Square can pinpoint location of contacts on a map so that you can see (or can I say snoop) over where your friends have been to.
A Windows Phone 7 developer too can use the maps feature in his/her applications by using the Bing Maps control, which is the only officially supported control by Microsoft. Applications using Bing Maps can able be referred to as Bing Maps applications.
To get started with using the Bing Maps control in your Bing Maps application, you will need to get a Bing Maps key which is available by registering at https://www.bingmapsportal.com/ If you do not have a Windows Live profile, you will be prompted to create one. If you have one, you can just sign in.
Click on create or sign-in, depending on whether you have a Windows Live ID or not.
Once you complete your registration with the website, you will get to the "My Account" page:
Once you have your account created, you will see the "Create or view Keys" Link on the left side of the page. Click that to create or retrieve your key.
You will be asked to fill in the description of your application.
For the article purposes, I will go ahead and create one called DemoBingMaps.
On submitting this information, a Bing Maps key is generated for me which looks like the example below:
We will use this key in our Bing maps application.
Complete details of getting a Bing Maps key for use in your application is available here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=198152.