Bing Maps Terms of Use Changes; Benefit Educators, Not-for-Profits and Developers

I mentioned in my “Bing Maps Silverlight Control 1.0 Released” blog post that we altered the Bing Maps terms of use and it would require a post all on its own. Well, here’s why. We’ve made a bunch of changes which makes things easier to understand, easier to use and easier to get started.

The way the mapping industry grew up, depended on counting transactions. A transaction is either (a) a geocoding request/response, a routing request response, a search request response or 8 map tiles (256 x 256 pixels). Transactions still have their place for stateless APIs, but we’re moving on by introducing the concept of a session. Sessions will be used with the Bing Maps AJAX Map Control and the Bing Maps Silverlight Control. A session is basically defined as loading the map control and exploring at will – no tile limitations. I’m going to make it as clear and simple as I can, so here goes:

  • Bing Maps AJAX Control – all maps rendered onto the client upon the initial request is considered 1 session. Session includes any requests for geocoding, routing or search.
  • Bing Maps Silverlight Control – all maps rendered onto the client upon the initial request is considered 1 session. There are no services built into the Bing Maps Silverlight Control, so you would use the Bing Maps Web Service for geocoding, routing and search, but we’ll include those too. 
  • Bing Maps Web Service – all maps, geocodes, routes and searches will each invoke 1 transaction.

Alright, now that we’ve got the nomenclature down here’s the deal. With the new terms of use for the Bing Maps Platform you get 125,000 sessions per year for FREE. You also get 500.000 transactions a year for FREE. You know what my favorite kind of maps are? Free maps. There are some exclusions (such as traffic and Bird’s Eye), so review the full Terms of Use in case you have questions. Additionally, we set up a nice Marketing page just for licensing so you can see where you fit.

Educators – You now how free unlimited use of the Bing Maps platform for your web sites. Ripping from the actual terms of use, educational use under this Section 2(i) means use by public and private K-12 schools, universities, community colleges and other collegiate level institutions such as vocational schools, trade schools and career colleges, including their faculty, staff, and students. For a list of requirements and restrictions refer to the Terms of Use.

Not-for-Profits – You now how free unlimited use of the Bing Maps platform for your web sites. Ripping from the actual terms of use, to be considered non-profit organization use under this Section 2(i) you must be a tax exempt organization. For a list of requirements and restrictions refer to the Terms of Use.

Commercial, non-commercial and government – If you’re building internal or fleet apps or something big, you’ll need a license. We want commercial, non-commercial and government customers to build, experiment and innovate atop the Bing Maps platform without worrying about a license until your application is ready to be deployed across your enterprise or onto the web. So, build proof of concepts at will and work with us when you’re ready to go primetime. For more information check out the terms of use or go to Jerry Skaw’s Bing Maps for Government blog.

If you still have questions or don’t see where you fit into a category, visit our new licensing page.

CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton

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