Link - Virtual Earth APIs available for commercial use (and they are FREE!)

“Here is the good news folks: We are now offering the MSN Virtual Earth API for commercial applications free of charge to developers. This APIs include the JavaScript map control and local search service (exposed via the What/Where search boxes on Virtual Earth site today).”

There are some limitations, but this is the first free web map API I’ve seen available. I can only assume Google will follow suit.

Also of note, Microsoft will introduce MapPoint Web Service 4.0 at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) next week. It will be interesting to see how this will affect Google and ESRI’s plans for web mapping.