Bing Maps Updates

Today we are announcing the release of several updates and new features in the Bing Maps REST web services and the Bing Spatial Data Service.

Bing Maps REST Web Services

New features are available for the Locations and the Imagery service. Most notably are:

Additional Properties in the Geocoding Results

Previously the geocoder returned a set of properties that included the coordinates, address and certain flags to indicate the confidence in the result as well as the type of the entity that was returned, e.g. a full address, a landmark or a city. With the new release the geocoder returns now additionally a property CalculationMethod that indicates the accuracy of the geocode. Possible values are:

  • Interpolation: The geocode point was matched to a point on a road using interpolation.
  • InterpolationOffset: The geocode point was matched to a point on a road using interpolation with an additional offset to shift the point to the side of the street.
  • ParcelCentroid: The geocode point was matched to the center of a parcel.
  • Rooftop: The geocode point was matched to the rooftop of a building.

Since Rooftop- or Parcel-geocodes are usually not on a street, the geocoder provides the CalculationMethod as part of an array of GeocodePoints so that developers can choose based on the UsageType if they would prefer for example the Rooftop-Geocode for displaying the location on a map or the interpolated geocode for calculating a route. In the screenshot below the blue circle represents the rooftop-geocode and the black circle represents the interpolated geocode.

Furthermore the geocoder returns now a property MatchCodes to indicate if the result is a unique match, if the result is UpHierarchy (e.g. the house-number was not found, but the street was found) or if the result is ambiguous.

Optionally return the Neighborhood in the Geocoding-Results

By adding an optional parameter includeNeighborhood to a geocoding request it is now possible to return the neighborhood as part of the address. 

Improvements for the Rendering of Static Maps

The Imagery Service that is being used to render static maps has been improved by increasing the limit for pushpins from 18 to 100. In order to generate a map with more than 18 pushpins you need to use the HTTP Post instead of the Get method and provide the list of Pushpins in the body of the request.

Additionally the service will now calculate automatically the best-view — i.e. zoom-level and center-point — to display a number of pushpins and you do not necessarily need to provide these information explicitly with the request.

Bing Spatial Data Service

New Public Data Sources with TomTom POI

The Bing Spatial Data Service provides multiple public data sources but we will look specifically at the TomTom POI for North America and Europe. The POIs are grouped into categories and can be accessed using the Query API.

Query Example

The following query example queries for banks within 5 kilometers of the specified latitude and longitude. The query key you use can be any Bing Maps Key. For complete information about querying a data source, see Query API.,-74.3163299560546935,5)&$filter=EntityTypeID%20eq%20'6000'&$select=EntityID,DisplayName,Latitude,Longitude,__Distance&$top=3&key=anyBingMapsKey

Please note: if you are not an enterprise customer you need to request access to the Bing Spatial Data Service following the procedure mentioned in the documentation.