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MapPoint Web Service 4.0 Fact Sheet

The MapPoint Web Service is a programmable XML Web service that integrates mapping capabilities into business or consumer applications. It is a location and mapping platform that allows developers to easily build location-based services into their applications.

Solutions that integrate the MapPoint Web Service can be developed with Microsoft Visual StudioŽ .NET, which provides a powerful and optimized environment for developers.

Benefits Overview
Powerful Mapping Capabilities
MapPoint Web Service offers enterprises and developers a rich set of tools they can use to incorporate location-based services into their applications and business processes. The single application programming interface (API) provides developers with the following:

  • Highly accurate address-finding and geocoding  capabilities for 38 countries and regions in North America, South America, Europe and Asia
  • Finely tuned driving-direction algorithms using blended information from best-in-class data sources
  • An extensive point-of-interest (POI) and business listings database with more than 20 million records
Small and Midsize Business and Enterprise Benefits
MapPoint Web Service can help businesses improve efficiency, increase customer discoverability and offer new services by applying mapping and location intelligence to business and operational data. Businesses can do the following:
  • Incorporate powerful mapping capabilities such as address-finding and geocoding into everyday business processes.
  • Improve customer satisfaction by seamlessly integrating the location of business assets into Web presence.
  • Increase sales by improving the online purchase process experience.
Systems Integrator and ISV Benefits
MapPoint Web Service allows customers to avoid the burden of hosting location information, and gain a familiar development environment to create a broad range of business applications. They can do the following:
  • Extend MapPoint Web Service solutions with the flexible programming environment and Visual Studio .NET integration.
  • Enhance reliable interoperability of solutions built with the MapPoint platform with MapPoint Web Service support for common standards such as SOAP and XML.
Developer Benefits
MapPoint Web Service can help developers realize new revenue streams by integrating MapPoint location intelligence into business applications and services for their customers. Developers can do the following:
  • Extend MapPoint Web Service solutions with the flexible programming environment and Visual Studio .NET integration.
  • Enhance reliable interoperability of solutions built with the MapPoint platform with MapPoint Web Service support for common standards such as SOAP and XML.
Service-Level Agreement
As part of the MapPoint Web Service commercial agreements, Microsoft Corp. provides a service-level agreement (SLA) with 99.9 percent availability and API performance response of less than one second per map, as measured inside Microsoft’s datacenters.

Microsoft .NET Connection
Microsoft .NET is software technology across the Microsoft product line that helps customers easily and consistently connect disparate information, systems and devices to meet their people and business needs (regardless of underlying platform or programming language). .NET is built on industry Web service standards for interoperability.

Integration With Other Web Services
As a Web service, MapPoint Web Service can be easily combined and integrated with other XML-based Web services, making it easier for enterprises to gain the full business value of incorporating location data into their applications and processes.

Common MapPoint Web Service Applications
MapPoint Web Service is designed to enable a broad range of consumer and enterprise applications. The following all use the same core technology, so customers can easily deploy these applications throughout an organization.

Web Site Locators
One of the most widely used applications of MapPoint Web Service is to enable store or facility locators for Web sites. In addition to comprehensive mapping capabilities, MapPoint Web Service provides powerful search capabilities that include storing search criteria, such as hours and types of services, that help customers find what they are looking for.

Fleet and Asset Tracking
MapPoint Web Service is used to integrate high-quality routing and mapping functionality into fleet-tracking applications, such as monitoring delivery trucks or installers. Enterprises also use MapPoint Web Service to help route vehicles to as many as 50 destinations.

Mobile Location Services
Application developers can help consumers with a mobile device and an Internet connection find movie theaters, stores and other locations while consumers are mobile. For business applications, MapPoint Web Service can be integrated into mobile customer relationship management (CRM) or field service applications that can be used by mobile sales force or field service employees.

Speech-Enabled Locators
With the same technology that powers Web site locators, enterprises can draw on one of several speech companies that use MapPoint Web Service so customers can find the nearest location using voice prompts.

Travel Portals
To provide trip-planning capabilities as part of their Web sites, enterprises can combine mapping capabilities with extensive POI data sets, such as those for restaurants and hotels.

Call-Center Applications
MapPoint Web Service can be integrated with call-routing mechanisms so incoming requests can be routed using location, such as sales territories. Further, service representatives can provide location-specific information — for example, about customers reporting dropped calls — to service groups that can analyze problems.

E-Commerce Solutions
MapPoint Web Service can be used to validate addresses as part of e-commerce solutions, helping prevent downstream problems associated with incorrect addresses. MapPoint Web Service also has been used in fraud-detection applications, in which the location of two transactions can be compared using distance calculations such as drive times. MapPoint Web Service also can be used to apply proper taxes in transactions, such as to match a customer’s address against a county-based tax scheme.

Feature Overview
Polygons
The new polygon data source allows MapPoint Web Service customers to define and render a region on a map. Customers can then use this region to find relations to other polygons, point data sources, addresses and specific geographic locations. Common uses of polygons include defining neighborhoods, delivery areas, cell-phone coverage and territories. The MapPoint Web Service will offer a polygon-creation tool and several command-line tools for converting existing ESRI, MapInfo, Autodesk, Intergraph and GML files to the MWS polygon file format. Microsoft is also offering a COM Add-in for MapPoint 2004 that allows customers to draw their own polygons and save them to the MWS polygon XML file format.

Real-Time Traffic Incidents
MapPoint Web Service 4.0 provides customers with information about real-time traffic incidents (accidents, congestion or construction) for over 70 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. Data about the traffic incidents includes the severity, traffic flow diversion, the expected duration and the expected delay.  

New Map Styles for Consumers
MapPoint Web Service 4.0 supports new map styles to make working with maps even easier:
  • ­ Line Drive Maps. Modeled after hand-drawn directions, Line Drive Maps help customers easily see where they are going on a map printout by simplifying the map route and removing untraveled roads.
  • Night Time Maps. The black background and bright green roads in this style aid in viewing maps at night on mobile devices. The black background keeps your eyes from having to readjust between the screen and the dark.
  • Urban Inset Maps. These are static maps identifying significant roads and points of interest in major urban areas. They are often used to aid travelers.
Finding Addresses
Addresses are geocoded in areas in 26 countries. The street name can be combined with any of the following information to produce a result: city, state, postal code or name of intersecting street. Results are returned to the user along with a confidence score, which enables customers to fine-tune their results. Disambiguation technology automatically helps makes sense of common misspellings or nonstandard formats.

Finding Nonaddressable Places
In addition to finding addresses, users can search for geographic entities such as cities, postal codes, states, counties, rivers, lakes, landmarks, airports and other structures that do not generally have street addresses. Similar to the way addresses are found, the latitude and longitude for a geographic entity are returned along with a score indicating the accuracy of a match.

Reversing Geocoding
Users can access a list of geographic entities associated with a particular coordinate, such as county or designated marketing area. This is useful, for example, to help determine which state or county tax applies to a sales transaction when the customer hasn’t entered the tax information.

Address Parsing
Address fields can be parsed from a single string. Addresses can be parsed according to country-specific address formats. For example, an address such as One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98052 will be recognized as an address, and the elements of the address can be identified as street, city, state and postal code. This is useful for cleaning up and standardizing address databases and for enabling users to find one-line addresses.

Finding Nearby Places
A list of points of interest can be returned based on the points’ proximity to a selected point (e.g., “Find all ATMs around a hotel”). Searches can be performed for POIs along a specified route. MapPoint Web Service includes a database of more than 20 million listings, and customers can upload their own custom datasets as well. For instance, a database that includes all of a customer’s retail outlets and customer service centers could be uploaded to be used with the Find Nearby and Find Near Route functionality.

Customizing Locations
Customers can geocode and store their own location database to be used with MapPoint Web Service applications. Customers can include up to 300 searchable attributes for each record — such as types of services and hours of operation — that can be used as part of customer searches. Custom icons (such as company logos) also can be uploaded to the MapPoint server and shown on maps. These locations and associated data are stored on a password-protected server.

Routing
Optimized driving directions can be returned for up to 50 places and/or addresses. Routes can be displayed on a map and as step-by-step instructions with an associated map for each step. MapPoint Web Service provides access to more than 5.5 million miles of roads in the U.S. and 4.6 million kilometers of roads in Europe.

Map Rendering
Maps can feature any of 29 highly readable map styles and font sizes, optimized for a wide variety of devices and applications. MapPoint Web Service provides more than 200 icons that can be used to highlight different types of points on a map.

POI Database
Customers can take advantage of a database of more than 200,000 destinations in North America and Europe, including airports, parks and common landmarks such as the U.S. Capitol or the Washington Monument. In addition, customers can access a database of more than 20 million business listings in the U.S., covering categories such as restaurants, banks, gas stations and hotels.

MapPoint Web Service Customer Services Site
MapPoint Web Service customers are provided with access to a secured extranet site, the Customer Services Site (CSS), for accessing and managing most aspects of their accounts:
  • From the home page of the CSS, customers can get quick access to common tasks performed on the CSS site, in addition to job status reports for tasks such as the automatic uploading of customer POI data.
  • An enhanced, easy-to-use interface lets customers upload and geocode their POI data through a single process. They also can automate uploads through a SOAP API.
  • Storage of customer POI data across multiple data sources has been increased; up to 2.5 million cells are now allowed based on the following formula for an Excel-type file sheet: rows multiplied by columns less than or equal to 2.5 million cells where columns are less than or equal to 300. (Rows can be entities or locations and columns can be properties.) 
  • With the Location Manager tool, customers can manage their POI data interactively, viewing POI data sets, adding or deleting records, editing properties, and performing other tasks. Location Manager also includes a query user interface that enables users to search by proximity, entity ID, modified date or match type to find a specific record.
  • Usage and trend-tracking reports are provided for use in business intelligence analysis (e.g., with Microsoft MapPoint 2004).
International Map Coverage
MapPoint Web Service provides street-level coverage in 26 countries and regions:
  • North America. U.S. and Canada
  • South America. Brazil
  • Europe. Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Vatican City
  • Asia/Pacific. Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan
  • Rest of the world. Coverage of major cities and roads
Languages
MapPoint Web Service supports input (find) and results (maps and driving directions) in Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, U.K. English and U.S. English.

In addition, MapPoint Web Service has an integrated SOAP API that works the same way for all supported geographies and functionalities. There is no need to rewrite an application to migrate between North America, South America and Europe. For example, finding a nearby hotel is programmatically identical for locations in the U.S. or Germany.

MapPoint Web Service SDK
The MapPoint Web Service software development kit (SDK) includes detailed documentation and describes the basic services, requirements, development guidelines, object model and comprehensive reference information for MapPoint Web Service. It also includes sample code demonstrating common uses of MapPoint Web Service.

Licensing
The MapPoint Web Service licensing model includes the following elements:
  • An annual platform access fee starts at $8,000, including 500,000 transactions.
  • Additional transactions will be priced according to volume discounts for high-volume purchases.
  • For applications with “known” users, such as a fleet management application or a CRM application, a per-user fee (subscriber access license) is charged at $2 per user per month.
  • Microsoft also offers various developer support packages.
System Requirements
MapPoint Web Service has the following system requirements:
  • A deployment computer with an Internet connection
  • The ability to send requests using SOAP 1.1 and HTTP 1.1, and the ability to parse XML
  • Digest authentication
  • For the administration of the service, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or later installed on a computer with an Internet connection to access the Microsoft extranet portal and the MapPoint Web Service Customer Services Site

Additional Resources
Evaluation accounts can be requested at http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/enterprise/webservice/eval.aspx.

Additional information, including information on pricing and licensing, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint.


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