Microsoft recently announced the public preview of Azure Location Based Services (LBS), the new offering that power the “Location of Things” using IoT.
Azure LBS will enable developers, enterprises, and ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) to create location-based, asset tracking and other geospatial apps that offer insights through a single dashboard.
Microsoft has partnered with Dutch navigation software company TomTom for the intelligent location solutions and online APIs.
The LBS portfolio includes five distinct services─ Render (for maps), Route (for directions), Search, Time Zones and Traffic.
Microsoft said that Render is used to fetch maps, and visualize the Azure Map Control. It will enable users to request vector-based map tiles to render data. It contains high fidelity geographic information for more than 200 regions globally in 35 languages.
Routing service provides directions between two points, with ability to let customers know the fastest, shortest routes, or to avoid traffic incidents. It works for several travel modes, such as walking, biking, van routing, etc.
It also offers commercial vehicle routing, and supports several vehicle parameters including height, weight, material contents, etc.
Using Search Service, customers can find real world objects with their locations. It provides geocoding to find addresses, places, landmarks; POI search to find businesses based on a location; and Reverse Geocoding to find addresses based on a location.
With Time Zone Service, customers can know time zones for any location around the world, with access to past and future time zones as well. Users of Windows can transform Windows time zone IDs to IANA time zone IDs.
Traffic Service will enable users with information about traffic flow, real-time issues happening on road, type of incident, and the exact location. The service currently covers 55 regions globally.
Azure LBS includes geographical data that can provide better connectivity between smart cities, smart infrastructure, smart vehicles, and IoT solutions. It will empower industrial transformation, including manufacturing, retail, automotive, etc.
The LBS services are now available for preview on Azure Portal.