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Location Of Things: Microsoft Boosts Azure With Geographical Data

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Microsoft Azure Location Based Services gives developers real time data to build better smart city, IoT and logistics applications

Microsoft is adding location capabilities to Azure, claiming this data will better connect smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT) and aid industrial transformation.

Azure Location Based Services provides developers with geographical data to add to their applications. Potential use cases include easting traffic, better logistic and fleet management, or even the monitoring of assets in an IoT environment.

One of the first partners is TomTom, whose API is built on top of the Microsoft Cloud, which will supply location and real time traffic data to Microsoft customers.

mwc city

‘Location of Things’

“As enterprises harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect their physical assets to the cloud, they are dramatically reducing energy usage and consuming fewer natural resources,” said Sam George, director of Azure IoT.

“While the breakthrough insights IoT solutions can provide are significant, they can be even more powerful when combined with location–based insights.

“Azure Location Based Services provides an enterprise-ready location service for customers to build mobility, asset tracking and other geospatial applications that provide useful insights through one dashboard, one subscription and one bill. Azure Location Based Services also provides enterprises with the privacy, data sovereignty, compliance, scale and simplicity they have come to expect from Azure services.

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Azure Location Based Services was detailed at the Automobility LA show in Los Angeles as Microsoft seeks to expand its roots in the automotive sector.

It claims Azure Location Based Services demonstrates its commitment to solving mobility challenges by bringing together government, businesses and vehicle manufacturers.

Microsoft already has a pre-existing partnership with TomTom, as well as with HERE and Esri, a geographic information system (GIS) technology specialist. It is also working closely with Renault-Nissan to develop connected car services.

Quiz: What do you know about navigation software and GPS?