February 16, 2004
Microsoft MapPoint Web Service 3.5 Debuts
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Message from the Editor -
Welcome to GISWeekly! This week Microsoft MapPoint Web Service 3.5 was released for developers. With the Web Service, the customer doesn't have to manage data locally. It's managed for them in the Web Service using the interactive visual tools. See what it's about in this week's Industry News.
In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau released some mouthwatering statistics about Valentine's Day, and the New Products section features a review of Thales' Navigation's MobileMapper GPS/GIS unit. GISWeekly will, from time to time, review products of interest to our readers. Next week look for details on an
announcement made by DigitalGlobe and Keyhole of an a agreement to provide DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite imagery and Keyhole's Internet-based 3D earth visualization solutions to customers. Following that will be a review of Keyhole, a decision support tool for business people that takes advantage of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery.
GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Alliances/Acquisitions, Announcements, Appointments/Resignations, New Products, Going on Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.
GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at
Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Microsoft MapPoint Web Service 3.5 Debuts
By Susan Smith
This week Microsoft MapPoint Web Service 3.5 was released for developers. I spoke with Steve Lombardi, Technical Evangelist for the Microsoft MapPoint Business Unit about the new release.
Here's an overview of what the Web Service features:
*No user interface constraints
*Developers can work on a lot of different platforms such as all Windows platforms, LINUX, and programming languages from Visual Basic to JAVA.
*The Web Service comes with all the cartographic, point of interest data built right in. Developers can start in right away by using simple APIs to do maps and reverse geocoding
Interestingly, we are told almost simultaneously what the product is not as well as what it is.
The most important new enhancements of MapPoint Web Service version 3.5 are:
1) Updated map data for Europe and North America with new countries added
customers who used it on the Vicinity platform and who want to now migrate over to the MapPoint platform.”
made available for use
in their private accounts. Now we have full interactive data editing that includes the spatial data as well as other attribute data, so they can upload their data, their points of interest into the service and then visually manage and give them away to store managers who may have local knowledge of where a store is really located or an automated geocoder may put it at the end of the block. It's really a shopping mall down at the other corner. Because it's a huge block and there's a mall there - that's where the store manager out in the field can use this tool and visually move the point around. Finally there is the ability to automatically upload their data to the service.”
All this was a manual drag-and-drop operation in the past, Lombardi said, a capability which is still available, yet now the customer can choose to do it interactively on the Customer Service site. A lot of organizations wanted to automate the upload of their data into the MapPoint Web Service which this new API allows them to do. For example, someone managing their data with an Oracle database, or a SQL server database wants to use it with MapPoint Web Service can now do a nightly job run that exports the data and imports it silently up into the MapPoint Web Service and it's immediately ready for use.
4) Enhanced proximity searching and advanced filter expressions allow users to query points of interest or place data, as demonstrated in 2).
5) Enhanced support for rendering maps on mobile devices is included. New map styles for Smartphones and Pocket PCs allow users to easily view maps on mobile devices and also are available in high resolution for printing purposes.
The MapPoint Web Service should not be confused with MSN Maps & Directions; “it's a lot more than just a viewer locator platform,” concluded Lombardi. The product is optimized to be used with MapPoint Location Server, a product that is still under development. “We're really pushing into enterprise applications. Our dealer locator market is certainly strong and it will continue to be that way, but we're definitely going to push for enterprise applications for both intranets, individual desktops as well as mobility applications or the enterprise.”
Also, it should not be confused with Microsoft MapPoint 2004 which is a business mapping product. MapPoint 2004 is a mapping tool for the marketer who wants to be able to drag and drop a set of market results for mass mailing and see how they did region by region.
Pricing really hasn't changed: still platform access starts at $8,000 per year. For this amount an organization gets ½ million transactions on the Web Service. For higher volume applications where they need more than ½ million they can purchase additional transactions in buckets of 100,000 and that starts at about a penny/per transaction and they scale down to about a ½ penny transaction, for higher volume. MapPoint Location Server will be a component of MapPoint Web Service and therefore there will be no extra charge for it.
drive there and sync their mail over broadband as opposed to the narrow band of their phone.”
Lombardi also illustrated that MapPoint Web Service is on its own merit, a developer tool designed for developers to build very user friendly applications for end users and consumers. The MapPoint Web Service enables developers to integrate location-based services, such as maps, driving directions and proximity searches, into their applications and business processes.
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.
To read more news, click here.
-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.
Be the first to review this article