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MWS 4.0 - Frequently Asked Questions

This document lists the new features in MWS 4.0 and answers questions about the licensing model and pricing, the partner program, MapPoint Location Server, and Virtual Earth.

What are the new features of MapPoint Web Service version 4.0?

  • 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 Corp. 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 Extensible Markup Language (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.
  • Expanded geographical coverage and new languages to support global markets. MapPoint Web Service 4.0 offers detailed address information for an additional five countries or regions — Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan — for a total of 26 countries or regions. Reflecting the increasingly global markets that today’s businesses serve, MapPoint Web Service 4.0 now provides language support in Czech, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian (Bokmål), in addition to Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, U.K. English and U.S. English, which were supported in previous versions.
  • 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.
What do licensed customers need to do to take advantage of this release?

Customers are not required to do anything to take advantage of the release except to enjoy the new features.

How can I purchase MapPoint Web Service?

MapPoint Web Service will be available through a MapPoint Sales Specialist at or (800) 426-9400, ext. 11315. In addition, as of Sept. 9, 2005, customers can order MapPoint Web Service through the Microsoft Volume Licensing program.

Will pricing change for the new version?

No. Prices will remain the same.

What are the licensing models for MapPoint Web Service?

The MapPoint Web Service licensing model consists of 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 customer relationship management (CRM) application, a per-user fee (subscriber access license) is charged at $2 per user per month.
Microsoft also offers various developer support packages.

Does MapPoint Web Service provide hosting services?

Hosting and development services are available from Microsoft’s technology partners. Microsoft has carefully selected several technology partners that have successfully provided these services to customers of the MapPoint Web Service.

What if I need a specific application? Where can I find a solution or application partner for MapPoint Web Service?

MapPoint Web Service provides a list of technology partners on the MapPoint Web Site at

How can I become a MapPoint technology partner?

Microsoft always welcomes inquiries from potential MapPoint technology partners. Please visit to find out how you can become one.

How secure is access to the MapPoint Web Service APIs and the Customer Services Site?

Microsoft offers HTTP and HTTPS access to the MapPoint Web Service APIs and a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection to the Customer Services Site.

What is MapPoint Location Server? What’s the difference between MapPoint Location Server and MapPoint Web Service?
  • MapPoint Location Server is a component of MapPoint Web Service that allows the integration of real-time location information into business applications. It supports access to real-time location data from multiple sources, such as mobile network operators, and acts as a proxy between applications and the MapPoint Web Service. MapPoint Location Server can only be used with a valid agreement for MapPoint Web Service.
  • 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. MapPoint Web Service supports industry-standard Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML interfaces, allowing developers to easily build location-based services into their applications. Solutions that integrate the MapPoint Web Service can be developed with Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET, which provides a powerful and optimized environment for developers.
What is the difference between MSN Virtual Earth and the MapPoint Web Service? Which one should I use in my application?
  • MSN® Virtual Earth™ is a new component of Microsoft’s MSN Search vision that gives users a deeply immersive local search experience in which they can easily find, discover, plan and share what is important to them on the Web. Developers can use the MSN Virtual Earth API for free for commercial and noncommercial applications and take advantage of the service’s unique features, which are not yet included in any other Microsoft mapping products. Features include these:
    • ­ Multiple map styles (Road, Satellite, and Hybrid map views)
    • Geographical local search capabilities (“What”/“Where” search boxes)
    • Scroll mouse zooming
    • Map tiles
    • Drag to pan
    • Double-click to recenter and zoom
    • “Search” button and “Search” results stack
    • Pushpin pop-up
    • Zoom bar
  • MapPoint Web Service 4.0 is a programmable XML Web service and will be available at the end of September. It complements MSN Virtual Earth satellite imagery by providing customers and partners with more robust mapping capabilities including these:
    • Geographic coverage in 26 counties and regions
    • Support for 13 languages
    • Polygons
    • Driving directions
    • Ability to upload custom data and create territories
    • 99.9 percent uptime service level agreement (SLA)
    • New map styles (Line Drive Maps, Night Time Maps and Urban Inset Maps)

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