The Windows Azure DataMarket is a growing repository of data sources and services mediated by Microsoft. It allows customers to purchase vector and tiled datasets using Open Data Protocol (OData) specifications. Available datasets include weather, crime, demographics, parcels, plus many other layers. The OData working group has been looking at full spatial support for this specification; in the meantime, DataMarket datasets can still be used with geospatial applications and Bing Maps.
To further assist use of datasets, we are happy to announce the launch of DataMarket Mapper, a map app that allows quick and easy map-based visualization of DataMarket data. The app was developed by OnTerra Systems, along with the Microsoft DataMarket group. Look for it in the Bing Maps App Gallery. With a DataMarket subscription you can access layers, and visualize these layers on Bing Maps. If lat/longs don’t exist in the data source then the Bing Maps geocoder will geocode on the fly. Even if you don’t have a DataMarket account, we’ve made some crime and demographic data available in the app.
Figure 1 – DataMarket Mapper showing crime statistics per city using Data.gov crime data.
You can also use DataMarket data in Bing Maps applications using Bing Maps AJAX and Silverlight APIs. This involves using the vector shape or tile layer methods. Figure 2 shows parcel tile layer overlay on Bing Maps AJAX 7.0 Control API. If you have a DataMarket key with access to these layers you can also access these demos directly for testing/code samples:
• Alteryx Demographics
• BSI Parcels
• Weatherbug Station Locations
Figure 2 – DataMarket parcel data from B.S.I. shown in a web mapping application using the Bing Maps AJAX 7 API.
We’re excited to launch this new app. After you visit the app and see it in action, we’d enjoy hearing your feedback. We’re already working on updates. In the near future, you’ll see the addition of country-based datasets, Windows Live ID/OAuth, and thematic mapping. If you have any questions or comments or would like help in building a custom Bing Maps application with DataMarket Mapper, please contact OnTerra Systems.com.