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Is there a way to use the Silverlight API to load common maps formats (i.e., layers, shapefiles or rasters) off of my local machine?

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Loading shapefiles is possible using the ESRI Silverlight API Contrib library implemented by viswaug, and I've gotten this to work successfully with ArcGIS Silverlight API v2.0.

Haven't seen any implementations of loading a local raster with Silverlight. There is a solution using WPF and ArcGIS Engine, but that's not going to work over the web.

It should be possible to add a raster to the map as an image, as seen here, but getting a real solution to add a georeferenced raster on the map in the right place will take some work, and it will just be an image, and you won't be able to access any pixel values other than possibly RGB.

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