New Features for Bing Maps REST Services

Today it’s my turn to follow up with news of more goodness from Bing – new routing and geocoding features for Bing Maps REST Services – your choice when developing for mobile or when you’re looking for simplicity and speed on the web.

Bing Maps REST Services include:

*Show a route on a static map: The Get a Static Map API now has the ability to output a route to the static map request. You can use this on its own with only waypoints (using lat/longs, landmarks) or customize with several options including: mode (walking, driving), optimize (time, distance, traffic) or the new avoid/minimize discussed below.

*Avoid tolls and highways: With the new avoid and minimize parameters, you can allow your customers to optimize their route by either avoiding or minimizing tolls and/or highways. These options are available in both the Calculate a Route API and the Get a Static Map API.

* Calculate driving routes from all four directions: The Calculate Routes from Major Routes API satisfies those scenarios where your user either doesn’t know their exact address or doesn’t know where they might be coming from before the trip. With only an endpoint, your customer will receive routes to that location via nearby highways and roads. By default, the service will attempt to generate directions from all four directions (north, east, south, west); if for some reason that is not possible, multiple routes from one direction will be provided.

*New entityTypes parameter: In addition to routing updates above, Bing Maps REST Services also receives an update to the Find a Location by Point API (aka reverse geocoding). This new parameter allows you to  specify what entity types/location information you want returned in the reverse-geocoding response (address, neighborhood, country/region). My favorite is the “neighborhood” entity because of the extra context this small detail can provide. For example, imagine you:

– Built a mobile app: you now know that the device is in “XYZ neighborhood” and can use this to look up some cool 3rd party restaurant or coupon info to provide to your custome
– Run a car concierge service: now you can tell your customers that they are in the “XYZ neighborhood” – sometimes it’s the little things that count!

So there you go – four more reasons to use Bing Maps REST Services for mobile or web application development. Bing Maps keeps it coming. You can learn more about all of the Bing Maps APIs on MSDN:

Brandon Floyd Mendoza
Product Manager
Bing Maps Platform