Real-time navigation RRS feed

  • Question

  • On reading the ToS for Bing Maps I see there is a restriction on the use of a device's location sensor in conjunction with the routing API in a Windows app, specifically section 8.2.e: (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/product)

    "Present or alert an end user to individual maneuvers of a route in any way that is synchronized with the end-user’s sensor-based position along the route (e.g. turn by turn navigation that tracks end-user’s position using GPS and communicates a maneuver as the end-user approaches the location for such maneuver)."

    This seems to me to be overly broad, and in relation to this I came across an old post that seems to indicate the purpose of this clause is to prohibit use of the service in products that compete with in-car navigation systems (https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/b669a3de-eb7a-4744-9730-fd7ba7b38c92/route-voice-command-start-voice-navigation?forum=bingmaps).

    Even after reading through this multiple times, it still isn't clear to me how these restrictions apply in some use cases.  For example,

    • Is the restriction on the presentation of a route in relation to the device's current location limited to the route as displayed on a map, either a road map, aerial imagery, or otherwise?  Or, if the route were presented as a set of directions in a list control in the app and the device's current location was used to indicate what part of the route the user was currently on be OK?
    • The aforementioned post specifically mentions in-car navigation systems as a motivation for this restriction.  What if you wanted to use the Bing Maps API for (at least, in-part) real-time navigation on other transport modes, e.g. public transit, walking, or cycling?
    • Is it only the automated polling of a device's location (at a regular interval) that is covered here?  Or, if the device's location was only determined in response to some user action (say, clicking a "get location" button) then stored in the app as a "last known location" for correlation to a map route, would that be OK?

    Unsurprisingly, Google's Maps API appears to have a similar restriction (ref. §10.4.c.iii, https://developers.google.com/maps/terms).  I understand the anti-competitive motivation for these clauses, but I still find it bizarre that you're not allowed to use a mapping API to track where you are on a map (or route).  Just nuts.

    • Edited by Joe McClaine Thursday, January 11, 2018 12:55 PM +questions
    Thursday, January 11, 2018 12:17 PM


  • Real time navigation of any type (walking, driving, public transit ) that uses a GPS to automatically make updates (display instruction, calculate new route) is against the terms of use as it is a restriction from the data provider. You can however create a navigation app as long as updates/next instruction is displayed based on a user interaction (i.e.button click) and not a GPS event.

    Tracking where you are is much different than navigation. Showing where you or someone else is via the GPS position is allowed and is actually one of the main uses of Bing Maps. Many companies use Bing Maps for tracking assets and field workers. They display and update the real time position of the users, but don't provide any turn by turn navigation functionality as that generally is not needed, or they already have dedicated devices for this in their vehicle.

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    Friday, January 12, 2018 6:10 AM