Azure location services in preview

Microsoft’s location services in the cloud

Michael Krome Location Intelligence

My colleague Brad Miller attended IBM’s Interconnect 2017 conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, where he feasted on a banquet of IoT delights and explored their possibilities for improving asset management insight and operation. While these are significant, what excites me as a GIS professional is how much more powerful they can be when combined with location services for geospatial insight.

Last month, Microsoft made this a reality with the announcement of the public preview of Azure Location Based Services. Described as powering the “location of things” Microsoft’s simple and secure location APIs provide geospatial context to data. It provides an enterprise-ready platform to build maps, search, routing and traffic information directly into business applications.

For asset managers, this could mean:

  • planning optimum routes between work orders for field crews and track their location throughout the day;
  • mapping reactive work incidents to correlate with weather or traffic data for root cause analysis; or
  • real time traffic awareness helps get first responders onsite in the least amount of time to complete reactive works ASAP.

Microsoft’s announcement demonstrates the maturing market for location services, and the growing role of GIS in building safe, sustainable and digitally connected communities.