Microsoft Launches MapPoint .NET 2.0

Microsoft this week at Tech-Ed 2002 announced the release of its first commercially available Web service, MapPoint .NET. A very preliminary version of the service was tested by close Redmond partners last year, with version 2.0 entering beta in February. Hosted by Microsoft, MapPoint .NET enables independent software vendors and solutions providers to embed maps and location functionality into Web sites and services.

The service currently powers Microsoft's own CarPoint, HomeAdvisor, MSN Mobile and TerraServer Web sites, and driving directions for voice portal Tell Me Networks, utilized by AT&T.

"With MapPoint .NET, location becomes an ingredient of a software solution and functions within the context of whatever work people are doing to help them gain insight into business productivity and efficiency," said Microsoft's general manager of MapPoint Michael Graff. "This technology enables any developer to bring the power of location into imaginative .NET solutions."

Security solutions provider Zone Labs has already signed on to use MapPoint .NET 2.0 for its AlertAdvisor service. Subscribers will instantly be able to see the source location of network intrusions by mapping a latitude/longitude set to an IP address. is working on a similar service using Microsoft's .NET Alerts. Businesses can sign up for a 45-day evaluation of the service, which provides full access to the XML-based Web service and the ability to upload location data.

"As a 'location ingredient' for software solutions, MapPoint .NET demonstrates how developers can take advantage of the .NET platform to create better business solutions," said Graff.

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