Reseller News

Azure unfurls new Maps features

Includes Azure Maps Batch capabilities, Get Map Tile API, routing APIs and cartographic and styling changes

Microsoft Azure has revealed updates to its Maps offering, which include changes to application programming interfaces (APIs) and rendering servers.

The cloud provider has deployed new additions to its Azure Maps Batch capabilities through Search and Route services.

The changes will allow customers to send batches of queries with one API request, include the Post Search Address Batch, Post Search Address Reverse Batch, Post Search Fuzzy Batch and Post Search Directions Batch APIs.

Outlined in a blog post penned by Azure Map’s Outi Nyam, senior program manager, and Chad Raynor, principal program manager, the updates mean users can submit synchronous, or sync, requests, designed for lightweight batch requests. 

The service will then respond as soon as the batch items are calculated instead of returning a 202 response code and a redirect URL and there will be no possibility to retrieve results later.

However, Nyam and Raynor both recommend using the Asynchronous API for processing big volumes of relatively complex route requests instead of sync requests.

As for the rendering services, Azure Map’s Get Map Tile API has been upgraded to version two, allowing for users to request map tiles in vector or raster format, typically for map control or software development kit (SDK) integration.

The upgrade, according to the post, allows for a “more consistent way to request data”.

“The new version introduces a concept of tileset, a collection of raster or vector data that are further broken up into a uniform grid of square tiles at preset zoom levels,” the post said.

Additionally, Get Map Tile v2 can call imagery data that was previously only available through the Get Map Imagery Tile API.

The visual dark grey map style is now available through Get Map Tile API v2 and v1 as well as the Get Map Image API in vector and raster format.

Routing APIs receieved an upgrade through the addition of the 'avoid=borderCrossings' parameter value and POST Route Directions API request to ensure routes stick to one country if required and keeping routes outside of restricted areas, respectively.

Cartographic and styling changes were also made, with the option of displaying building models in 2.5D, the reduction of boundary data simplification reduction for more detailed polygon boundary data, the simplification of labels for scatter polygons and the display of national park and national forest labels on zoom level six.

In addition to the API changes and rendering services, the post also highlighted previously revealed updates like the general availability of its Matrix Routing API and the general availability of Azure Maps for Azure Government Cloud.