I’ve been looking at the new Bing Maps 8 library. One of the cool new features is pushpin clustering when dealing with large numbers of pushpins.
The idea is best explained visually. Here I create a map with 6,000 randomly located pushpins. If each pushpin was displayed individually, the map would essentially be completely covered. Instead I use clustered pushpins.
A red circle indicates there are 100 or more pushpins located in the grid-area. A yellow circle means 10-99 pushpins.
Next, I zoom in a couple of levels. The clustering visualization changes automatically.
You can now see individual pushpins as red dots, and a bit of clustering where green means 1-10 pushpins. And if I would zoom out, the pushpins would be clustered into fewer and fewer clusters until there’d be only one big red dot with all 6,000 pushpins. Very neat.