Azure Maps

So at the moment, I’m testing and reviewing some training material for internal use in Microsoft in February and as you may have guessed, the service is Azure Maps.

This is the service that used to be part of the Bing Api, but have now been moved into the Azure service catalog

Chris Pendleton just wrote me to let me know that Azure Maps is in fact a brand new service, written from scratch – only thing that moved from Bing is the imagery and a couple of former Bing team members – Just wanted to let you all know this, and correct the misunderstanding.

and I must say it’s been a really nice experience to work with and use during the last few days.

Using Azure Maps, you get a variety of options to integrate maps into your application, these includes in headlines:

  • Search : build applications that enable you and the users to search for adresses, Point of Interest, Businesses, contact information and much more. You even have the option to get detailed information on what the road is used for, speedlimit and more.
  • MAPS : use this to integrate the well-known quality maps from Bing into your website, application or mobile app to give the user a visual experience of the location.
  • Geocoding : Convert Lat and Lon into adresses and vise versa.
  • IP to location : Ever wanted to have an easy way to match a IP/number to the country where it is in use? Well, here is a service that gives you that, but please be aware that the service is in preview, and are subject to changes.
  • Traffic : Use this in your custom application to allow for instance your sales personel to avoid traffic jams, reduce travel time and let them choose between several available routes.
  • Routing : Use this to incorporate the shortest or fastest route to your users, allow multiple points along a route, and can be useful for development and help solve the ever occurring logistic problem, know as “the travelling salesman”
  • Timezone : Enables you ti implement time service in your application, and look up times around the globe.

The full documentation is available here, with a lot of examples and demo apps.

During the test and evaluation of the training material, I used the application Postman that allows you to build a url and header for use against a Rest API, such as Azure Maps.

The application will then get the result and present it for you in a format of your choosing, raw, json, pretty, etc. and you can then inspect the response you get from the service, even before you start a single line of code in your preferred IDE for development. But I suggest you use Visual Studio Code – that is an free and open sources code editor that runs on your selected operation system.

Postman

Start by downloading the application Postman, and install it, once installed and running, you should create a Collection for storage of the results you get.


Click on the Arrow Down besides New, and select Collection
Enter a name for the collection and click Create

Now we’re ready for testing our service, it’s a prerequisite that you have created a Azure Map Service on Azure and have your Subscription-key at hand.

  1. Start by entering the following into the URL just besides the GET function https://atlas.microsoft.com/search/fuzzy/json?
  2. Now we’re ready to fill in some values for the keys, that we will send to the REST API.
  3. In the first key, you enter api-version and the value is 1
  4. In the next you enter query and your query for an address in value, I entered Birkedommervej 8, Vester Egede  but  i  suggest  you  use your own ðŸ˜‰
  5. In the next key you enter subscription-key and in value the key from your Azure Map Service
  6. Now you should have a screen looking a bit like the one below

Now once all the keys and values have been entered, you should click on the big blue SEND button, which initiates a call to the api, and then catches the result in the Postman app.

You have now called the Azure Maps api for the first time and the result you get is in this example being shown as JSON, but you could easily show it as XML instead. Here is the result in JSON that my query returned.

{
    "summary": {
        "query": "birkedommervej 8 vester egede",
        "queryType": "NON_NEAR",
        "queryTime": 104,
        "numResults": 1,
        "offset": 0,
        "totalResults": 1,
        "fuzzyLevel": 1
    },
    "results": [
        {
            "type": "Street",
            "id": "DK/STR/p0/20146",
            "score": 5.785,
            "address": {
                "streetName": "Birkedommervej",
                "municipalitySubdivision": "Vester Egede",
                "municipality": "Haslev",
                "countrySubdivision": "Sjælland",
                "postalCode": "4690",
                "countryCode": "DK",
                "country": "Denmark",
                "countryCodeISO3": "DNK",
                "freeformAddress": "Birkedommervej, 4690 Haslev (Vester Egede)"
            },
            "position": {
                "lat": 55.26562,
                "lon": 11.96339
            },
            "viewport": {
                "topLeftPoint": {
                    "lat": 55.26486,
                    "lon": 11.96664
                },
                "btmRightPoint": {
                    "lat": 55.26602,
                    "lon": 11.96013
                }
            }
        }
    ]
}

Now the next steps would be to add more keys to the query to get even more information from the API about the address at hand, as mentioned above we can get information about speedlimit, road usage etc. etc.

I hope that you got a little excited about this new service on Azure and if so, i would encourage you to go deep dive into the API and look at some of the more advanced features yourself.

I will post another post on some of the advanced features, in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned or head over to the documentation and start yourself.

My laptop is at the repair shop, what to do?

I recently got a new laptop, the renowned Lenovo X1 Carbon 3rd generation – a most amazing piece of hardware. The laptop is so light and blistering fast, that I have not regretted opting for that one instead of the Surface Pro 4.

Well, all was good for the first 2 months, then one day when i took the power out, because I was of to a meeting, the laptop died on me. Just like that power went of, what to do, tried all the tips I found on the net, but to no avail. Continue reading →

A farewell and a thank you

rehfeldims_stor--300x92Wow, it is now time for me to say farewell and thank you to a lot of good people, people I have come to know and love during the last 3 years. The reason for this is that I have chosen to resign from my role as Managing Consultant at Rehfeld – Part of IMS, not because I didn’t like it there, I just got an offer which was hard to refuse – and also felt that the time for a little change was needed.

I have to thank the owners of Rehfeld, Ditlev Moltke and Claus Rehfeld, for the opportunities that they have given me during my time at Rehfeld – Not short after I joined the team, they asked me if I would consider taking the role of Team leader. A task I politely refused, due to the fact that I had just chosen  run for offices at Faxe municipality, I didn’t get the seat at the office, and later they asked me again – and I accepted the task. A task that I really enjoyed, and actually got fairly good feedback on.

The time at Rehfeld have been really challenging, in a good way – I have worked with people and areas that were very new for me, especially in the Healthcare area, I was a novice, but I seem to have found my way around it. And have worked for several of the Danish Regions, both on projects and as a teacher for in house developers at the Regions.

It is also at Rehfeld my inner speaker/teacher got to unfold, Rehfeld let me take on the challenge it was to stand in front of a crowd and be the expert on a subject. That have brought me around europe and one time to NYC – where I have spoken of various topics, primarily on SQL server and Business Intelligence.

IMG_3308Oh, and I even got an award for the “Good Effort of the Year”, for helping the Rehfeld Academy get of the launchpad – here’s the diploma to prove it 😉

But, now it is time for a change, and all I can say is – A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY AT REHFELD.

None mentioned, none forgotten!

A post on where I will work as of 1/1/2016 can be found here

New times ahead – will be joining Microsoft 1/1/2016

microsoft new logoThere are changes ahead for me, from 1/1/2016 I will be joining Microsoft Denmark. I will will be taking on the role as Data Solution Architect on Azure platform, a platform that is really on the change these years. The role will be primarily in advising the top 200 Microsoft clients in regards to their data platform, and how to bring Azure in play for their future data platform, I am looking very much forward to become a part of Microsoft.

I have always looked at Microsoft as a place that I would really like to work for, but never had the guts to send an application, when they had an opening. But this fall, I had the chance to connect with Microsoft, and discuss the idea of a role as Data Solution Architect for me. We had lots of talks, lots of interviews and finally, a few weeks ago, the ink was on the paper. So now I am not only an Microsoft Fanboy, I am actually an Microsoft Employee – how weird is that 😉

But that also means a farewell to my job at Rehfeld – now part of IMS a job I have been in for almost 3 years, it’s been a really fun and teaching experience for me to been a part of Rehfeld, and it it with mixed feelings I leave them behind. But sometimes things need to change, and I had hit a point in my life where I felt the need for a shift in my career and Microsoft gave me the opportunity. Read more on my feelings about leaving Rehfeld here.

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