Microsoft Releases MapPoint Web Service 3.5
New Enterprise-Focused Capabilities Drive High-Profile Customer Adoption And Pave the Way for Mobile Innovation
REDMOND, Wash. -- Feb. 10, 2004 -- Today Microsoft Corp. is launching MapPoint® Web Service 3.5, the latest version of its popular location and mapping Web service. Microsoft® MapPoint Web Service 3.5 provides a rich set of capabilities that enable enterprise customers to more efficiently and cost-effectively incorporate location data into a wide range of location-based solutions. Chief among the new capabilities in MapPoint Web Service 3.5 are new tools for enabling customers to easily manage and maintain their corporate data, expanded global geographic coverage, and new capabilities for developing applications for the mobile work force. MapPoint Web Service 3.5 also continues to offer great support for industry standards such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Extensible Markup Language (XML), which provide developers with common standards that can be used to ensure reliable interoperability of solutions built with the MapPoint platform.
Bridgestone/Firestone North America Tire is among dozens of companies that have already adopted the 3.5 platform. The company has done so to improve the services it offers to customers, reduce its costs and expand opportunities to provide additional location-based services in the future. Today Bridgestone/Firestone North America Tire utilizes the MapPoint Web Service to make it convenient for its fleet customers to find its commercial dealer and truck-stop service locations. Bridgestone/Firestone feels that adding the service to its Web site, http://www.trucktires.com/, will significantly reduce the time the company spends maintaining its site, which directs customers to more than 1,900 locations.
"We are excited to move to the 3.5 platform, because, like any business these days, we demand results from our technology investments and need them to be flexible for our changing needs. MapPoint Web Service 3.5 is easy and flexible to build and maintain," said Dennis Jones, manager of E-Business Marketing for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire. "Our customers will be thrilled by the convenience, speed and accuracy of the service, but we save money by reducing the time we spend managing the site and responding to customer inquiries."
Microsoft MapPoint alliance partners that are developing enterprise solutions, such as SpatialPoint LLC (http://www.spatialpoint.com/), also recognize the business opportunity of the 3.5 platform. "We are attracted to the 3.5 platform because it provides us with a great business opportunity to extend and enhance the functionality of store locators and other location applications for our customers, helping to increase their productivity while reducing costs," said Ed John, president of SpatialPoint.
"Enthusiasm for the MapPoint Web Service has been building since we introduced the service in 2002, but the investments we've made in the 3.5 release really improve the experience and the value we offer to enterprise customers," said Michael Graff, general manager of the MapPoint Business Unit at Microsoft. "What's also important about this release are the things we've done with map image quality on mobile devices and other mobile capabilities. They underscore the investments we're making in real-time location solutions, which customers are increasingly investing in to improve the productivity of their mobile work force."
The following are a few examples of the expanded features and capabilities of MapPoint Web Service 3.5:
Better support for mobile applications. Maps optimized for the smaller screens of Smartphones and Pocket PCs now can be created, providing better map display on these devices. The service comes with more than 15 million business listings and landmarks such as airports, restaurants, hotels and ATMs. In addition, customers can upload their own corporate data to the MapPoint Web Service to enable their mobile work force to create driving routes and search for points of interest along a route. This is ideal for fleet routing and to help mobile professionals locate customers, inventory warehouses and retail outlets.
Improved customization and spatial data management capabilities. To provide customers with better access to and control over common tasks needed to maintain their location data, MapPoint Web Service 3.5 enables users to upload corporate data for new points of interest interactively or via a new programmatic interface. Businesses and developers also can check the status of recent additions or changes they've made to their mapping data, view usage and tracking reports for their applications, or test their credentials and connectivity.
Expanded geographic coverage to support global markets. The new version offers detailed information for 24 countries. Reflecting the increasingly global markets served by businesses today, MapPoint Web Service provides detailed, street-level location information for 21 countries in Europe as well as the United States, Canada and Brazil. This street-level information offers high-quality map data for 5.5 million miles of roads in North America and South America and 4.6 million kilometers in Europe. Major cities and roads are covered for the rest of the world.
In addition to the new capabilities offered in MapPoint Web Service 3.5, customers will continue to enjoy enterprise-level service agreements that include guaranteed response time of less than one second per map (as measured inside Microsoft's data center) and service availability of 99.9 percent. Pricing and licensing for customers are also unchanged from their levels in the previous version of the MapPoint Web Service.
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