The SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP is out on MSDN and Technet as I write this. This is much that is new in this CTP, but I think it is best to focus on what is new in Spatial. Ed Katibah gave us a preview of the new reporting builder back in May.

We provided sneak previews of this functionality at past conferences, including a popular ‘BI Power Hour’ demo. Maps can be very powerful visualizations. They can consume and visualize geospatial and geometry data directly (as shown by Ed Katibah here), ‘regular’ data, and combine multiple datasets using map layers. Maps can integrate ESRI shape files, as well as directly integrate with Bing Maps.

Sounds like a pretty powerful platform for visualizing spatial data. I can’t wait to give it a shot.