Microsoft Virtual Earth partner, IDV Solutions, continues to provide impressive and innovative solutions integrating Microsoft's Virtual Earth and the company's Visual Fusion Suite*offering. Until now, demos of these*solutions have not been readily available to the general*public, but today IDV has made available from their web site their Demographic Visualization Demo.

The application demonstrates the ability through to query a database (in the case of this demo, census data, but you might imagine your organization's data in lieu of this) based on*demographic measures*you select and then refine through drop-down menus and graphic sliding controls. The results are displayed on a Virtual Earth map with that data represented by county and thematically color-shaded.

The query can be additive ... that is, looking at the screenshot below, you can visualize the results for a query based on Population, Age, Ethnicity, Political and Income measures. This allows users to*create highly specific queries*by refining US counties based on any combination of these data categories. The thematic shading that is displayed only reflects the selected measure (in the case of the below screenshot, Population) but the results still account for all category settings.

To allow for refined queries, the application includes a feature I haven't seen in previous IDV applications, a radial scroll wheel (see image below). By turning this wheel, you can fine-tune the value you want for your query. Notice the "+" and "-" signs that appear as you turn to indicate whether you are incrementing or reducing the value for that slider. Kudos, guys.

With this explanation, I think you will find the demo app highly intuitive but IDV provides some videos (page bottom) and their blog features entries from August 2, 13 & 14 that do the application more justice than I have here.

Have fun!

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