Microsoft and its partners to develop the next ‘world graph’ – a repository of geospatial data.
Microsoft has collaborated with TomTom, HERE and Esri to bring intelligent location-based services to its services and technologies.
The partnership between the companies seeks to create a ‘world graph’, which it says will be a data index of physical places, objects, devices and their interconnectivity.
This ‘world graph’, could help power smart cities, enable IoT communications, along with transforming various industries and play a key role in transportation.
Under the new partnership, Microsoft will integrate TomTom’s location-based services into its Azure platform, to make it easier for developers to build and manage enterprise, mobile, web and internet of things (IoT) navigation that are aware of their respective locations.
According to Microsoft, TomTom’s location technologies are optimised for fast updates, include high definition maps and RoadDNA technology, suited for autonomous driving.
TomTom product management and maps vice president Pieter Gillegot-Vergauwen said: “Through our partnership with Microsoft, we can bring all our map layers to the Microsoft Azure ecosystem and foster innovation that makes people’s lives better.
“We’re working actively to lead the way to a future of smart mobility, smarter cities and autonomous driving.”
HERE is already a partner with Microsoft and has been providing location-based services to its first party services including Bing, Cortana, Windows and Office.
HERE also provides Bing Maps API that enables store locator maps, asset tracking and other location services to businesses and developers.
The new agreement with HERE will allow Microsoft to include HERE’s technology into automobiles, noted Microsoft.
Microsoft Bing Program Management corporate vice president Jordi Ribas said: “Bringing the highest quality maps and geographical services to our consumers and developers is of paramount importance to Microsoft.
“HERE continues to be an industry leader and geospatial innovator and by expanding our long-standing partnership with HERE, we will continue to bring benefits to our customers.”
Esri is another key partner for Microsoft in geospatial technology. Its ArcGIS products have been integrated into several of Microsoft’s services and applications.
The American tech-giant said: “In the future, Microsoft wants to enable global location-based services for customers differentiated by an open platform, with large data sets and natively integrated functionality for developers, and deep integration with other data graphs for new scenarios.
“We envision a platform that gives our customers choices, with many options for customisation and opportunities to power smart cities, IoT and industrial transformation, from manufacturing to retail to automotive.”