Bing Maps Spatial Data Service Infrastructural Update

Today, I’m happy to announce the completed release of a major architectural improvement to our Bing Maps Spatial Data Service (SDS). SDS has been running for about 18 months and was intended to replace some of our legacy batch geocoding and customer data hosting systems such as MapPoint Web Service, MultiMap and Vicinity (where I came to Microsoft from!).

SDS allows you the ability to upload a file of location entities and have the service geocode all the entities without having to write a script to batch through your own data source. SDS also allows you the ability to upload and host your data inside our geospatial indexes for doing geospatially algorithmic searches such as Radius Search (e.g. finding the nearest locations within 25 miles) and Route Buffer Searches (e.g. finding the nearest 25 locations within a mile of the route from Seattle to Portland).

Today’s news is a hallmark to performance. It’s also a new chapter for our Enterprise customers. We’re expanding our spatial indexes; we’re expanding our spatial platform node count; we’ve streamlined the process by creating our own pipelines for processing the data; and, we’re grabbing more capacity from the geocoders in order to share more excess capacity with SDS and decrease the time to batch geocode. Arguably, and most impressively, the time to upload is coming down from hours to minutes! Also, because all of the data sources are now properly indexed on spatial aspects, the query time is lighting fast even for millions of records!

In addition to, and in large part due to the performance improvements, we’re increasing the number of data sources available to upload for our Enterprise customers. How much do we love our Enterprise customers? We’re even prioritizing your jobs in the queue. Anyone can sign up for SDS; however, if you’re a licensed Enterprise customer you get a little extra lovin’ and get to cut to the front of the line when it comes to queuing jobs. Yes, you can absolutely use it for free under the Bing Maps Terms of Use; but, you don’t get some of the cool stuff. Maybe you don’t want it and that’s cool too. However, if you do, contact a Bing Maps licensing specialist and they’ll get you hooked up.

Ever uploaded a job and after waiting an hour it failed? Gone. We’ll validate on upload and give you an instant response if something is broken in your schema or data. Upload full data sets. Upload incremental data sets. Upload through the developer portal. Download through the API or Developer Portal. All of this, plus a huge amount of infrastructural features on the backend that you really don’t care about, but will be SO HAPPY to know we have them – logging, alerting, error validation, easier systemic troubleshooting, scaling and agile development processes!

And, if you’re using SDS today, you’re already running on the latest version. We completed weeks of testing and decided to flight the system one node at a time over a couple of days. No changes required on your part.

Try it. You’ll like it.