Lately, Microsoft has made a turn towards cloud-based solutions since Satya Nadella became CEO of the company. Bing Maps has decided to go down the same route and has been quite highly focused on the enterprise. Microsoft has decided to focus more and more on developers and enterprises, rather than matching features with Google Maps.
Microsoft has now released three location APIs:
- Bing Maps Location Recognition
- Bing Maps Local Search API
- Bing Maps Local Insights API
These APIs were all rolled out at different times throughout December.
So, what will the APIs be delivering?
Location Recognition translates a lat-long coordinate into more accessible information, like business identities, points of interest, landmarks and “natural entities,” sucha as beaches, as appropriate to the coordinates.
Bing says you can ask questions such as, “What are the businesses and points of interest near a real estate property that I am interested in buying?”
The Local Search API allows an application to provide users with local search results that are identical to the results found on Bing. The full local dataset is being made available to developers.
This API allow answers to more complex questions that involve relationships between places. In a Microsoft blog post, it says, “Bing Maps Local Insights API can help get insights into businesses and entities within a given area reached by driving, walking or public transit within a given time or distance.”
The APIs only support U.S. data and use cases for now but Microsoft says it has “plans to make them more broadly available in the near future.”