Late yesterday afternoon, Microsoft announced new Azure Location Based Services, offering up enterprise customers new location capabilities. The Location Based Services can be used with IoT, asset tracking, fleet management, urban planning, and much more. Best of all, it is integrated with Azure, allowing Microsoft Azure customers to add it to their cloud solutions with ease and security.
Advanced location and mapping data for Azure Location Based Services will be supplied to Microsoft by TomTom. Azure Location Based Services will also carry a set of APIs that provide mapping, search, routing, traffic and time zones that will be available through Azure.
Sam George, the director of Microsoft Azure IoT, explained the importance of location in the world of IoT, and how Azure Location Based Services can help improve the world:
"As IoT continues to transform businesses by providing breakthrough insights and capabilities for connected assets, location is becoming an important aspect to consider...For instance, a department of transportation can now use Azure Location Based Services to analyze and improve traffic in congested cities, freight companies can provide improved fleet management and logistics, and all businesses can track the location of assets and be notified when their location changes."
The Irish-based global telecommunications service provider, Cubic Telecom, already has been testing Azure Location Based Services in a private preview. Similarly, IoT solutions company, Fathym, has used the service to help cities and government agencies visualize road weather conditions on a map and optimize for other routes if weather conditions are unsafe.
Azure Location Based Services will launch in 2018 in more than 30 languages and is currently in a public preview. You can learn more by checking here.