Microsoft MapPoint .NET is "a hosted, programmable XML Web Service with a SOAP API that allows developers to integrate high-quality maps, driving directions, distance calculations, proximity searches, and other location intelligence into their applications, business processes, and Web sites." The MapPoint application promises to reduce the cost and complexity of mapping and spatial analysis, since "historically, the tools needed to perform geographic tasks were difficult to use, expensive to purchase, and even more expensive to maintain; typical server installations required specialized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff to manage proprietary datasets for map rendering and geocoding, dedicated servers to house the terabytes of geographic data, and large investments in learning new and difficult APIs." The MapPoint .NET XML Web service application is said to: "(1) provide developers the key building blocks they need to create geographically savvy applications; (2) support a standard SOAP Web service and can be accessed from a variety of platforms and development tools; (3) offer a short learning curve; (4) shield developers from the complexity of the management of spatial data and complicated GIS plumbing; (5) use a scalable transaction-based model that lets developers get started without incurring prohibitive upfront charges and lets applications grow with business need."
The MapPoint .NET XML Web service "represents a milestone for the .NET Platform and XML Web services in general, because it is Microsoft's first commercially available XML Web service built exclusively on .NET technology."
Microsoft MapPoint .NET Basic Services 2.0 "is an XML Web Service with a SOAP API that allows you to add location-based functionality to your application that calls on the high-quality maps, as well as the location finding and routing capabilities of MapPoint .NET. The MapPoint .NET SDK contains documentation that describes the basic services, requirements, development guidelines, object model, and reference information for MapPoint .NET. The SDK also contains sample code provided in the Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# .NET programming languages."
An online article on "Map Rendering Basics" provides background information on the key programming elements used by the MapPoint .NET rendering methods, as well as some programming tips for generating maps and performing common map navigation operations such as panning and zooming.
- MapPoint website
- Developing with MapPoint .NET. Information on developing applications and Web services that call the MapPoint .NET SOAP API.
- "Introducing Microsoft MapPoint .NET." Introduces MapPoint .NET Basic Services 2.0 and describes how developers can take advantage of the mapping and spatial analysis functionality of this new XML Web Service.
- "Introducing the MapPoint .NET Basic Services SDK." The software development kit (SDK) contains the latest documentation and sample code you need to develop custom solutions that call on the Microsoft MapPoint .NET XML Web Service.
- "Map Rendering Basics in MapPoint .NET" Describes the basic concepts and techniques for rendering maps using the MapPoint .NET XML Web service.
- MapPoint .NET XML Web service evaluation account. You may "upload your own location data for use with MapPoint .NET; evaluation accounts are valid for 45 days."
- Press release 2002-04-10: "Microsoft .NET Fuels Industry Adoption of XML Web Services. Thriving .NET Ecosystem on Display at Tech-Ed 2002. New Products, Customers and Partners Demonstrate Business Value of XML Web Services on the .NET Platform."