Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Bing map webservice

In some solutions there is a need for some routing services, where your might want to show information to the user about how to get from A to B.
In the cloud there are some ways to do this. One is Google and one is Microsoft. This blog post looks at the web services that Microsoft makes available for us.
The first you need to do is to create a Bing Map Service account at the following link. As a developer you can have up to 5 different keys to use. If you have to use the services in commercials situations you have to contact someone at Microsoft to learn about the pricing and licensing issues. I think that Microsoft should do better at this point and at least show some pricing and licensing examples.

In the web services there is a couple of different services that you can use:
  • Geocode services, which can be used to lookup of longtitude and latitude of an address or do a reverse lookup of a longtitude and latitude to an address
  • Imagery services, which makes it possible to receive a map image that you might store in a database or something else
  • Route services, which can be used to create a route between two or more different points and where you can get the routing description in your local language. It doesn't have a optimizing feature, which could be nice in some solutions
  • Search services, which can be used to find companies and other stuff from in a city
There is an article on MSDN which makes it possible to get up an running with the webservices in a couple of hours. The only thing that might be a problem is that you get two endpoints for the same service, so you have to comment out one of the endpoints.

Besides the webservices there are also a Silverlight and Ajax controls that you can use. I haven't look into these at this point in time.
Overall it seems like nice services, where you can get up and running pretty fast. The only issue is that they don't list the pricing and licensing and that the services might have some more features.

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