Know what businesses are nearby - Bing Maps Local Search API

The Bing Maps Locations REST APIs help developers build rich location aware applications. Today we are pleased to announce a new addition to our Locations API – the Bing Maps Local Search API. Bing Local Search API is a simple-to-use REST API that allows you to query for businesses by name, category or free text. The API will support US based business entities and other countries will be added in the future.

Nearby searches are on the rise. Whether it is for a quick after work drinks or planning a holiday trip, customers are always looking for the best nearby place to go to. Developers can use the Bing Maps Local Search API to show the best local businesses or Points of Interest (POI) to their customers. The Bing Maps Local Search API leverages the same comprehensive dataset powering Local Search on

Bing Maps Local Search API Screenshot Annotated

The API supports the following scenarios:

Free-form query text

Delight your customers by making it easy for them to find the best local businesses for their needs. Free form text input allows users to type in their queries in a natural and unstructured way. This includes:

  • Automatically recognizes locations mentioned by the user in their text
  • Automatic correction of misspelled words

Query examples

  • ‘hotels near Seatac airport’
  • ‘what are the good Thai restaurants that are open right now’

Category search

Developers building apps and services that focus on specific business categories can use the category search feature. The Bing Maps Local Search API supports up to 100 categories, providing enough granularity to enable searching for a specific type of business entity.

Query examples

  • Search for ‘Parks’ near a real estate location
  • Search for the generic ‘Shop’ category or the specific types like ‘furniture stores’ or ‘pet shops’

Search within a specified region

When a user’s location is available through the user’s device or other means, developers can use this feature to limit the search to a pre-specified region. The scope of search can be defined using:

  • A point and search radius centered around that point
  • A bounding box or view port defined using the top-left and bottom-right coordinates

API reference

The full API reference is available on MSDN at Bing Maps Local Search API reference.

Also, here is a recap of Bing Maps Location REST API to help you build rich location aware applications.

Location Recognition API      Given location coordinates, returns the business entities situated at that location
Autosuggest API      API to help users easily type in local business names or addresses
Local Search API      Given a query string or category name find local entities

Get started

For more information about the Bing Maps Platform, how to get licensed, and frequently asked questions, visit our website. Please connect with us on the Bing Maps Forum to share your thoughts and let us know what additional features you’d like to see us support.

- Bing Maps Team