Free Bing Maps for Broadcast

Except for traffic data

While Bing Maps is free for end users, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, commercial usage of Microsoft’s mapping, location and search platform needs to be licensed from the company. However, the software giant has made several steps in the past few months, designed to relax the Terms of Use associated with Bing Maps. The latest move from Microsoft was announced at the end of the past week and it regards companies using Bing Maps for broadcasting. According to Chris Pendleton, the Bing Maps technical evangelist for Microsoft, the company will not charge broadcaster anything for the inclusion of Bing Maps content into their reports.

“This time all you TV anchors are going to look so much hotter with a Bing Map playing behind your talking head,” Pendleton said. “In addition to licensing the Bing Maps Platform to build interactive mapping applications on Web sites, broadcasters can also use Bing Maps in video broadcasts for free.”

Still, when it comes down to the inclusion of Bing Maps in video broadcasts, Microsoft only allows third-parties to take advantage of the platform is the “use includes images and video to be broadcast [and] excludes use of traffic data,” Pendleton added.

In November 2009, Microsoft introduced a range of modifications to the Bing Maps Terms of Use, allowing various organizations and developers to take advantage of the platform for free. The Redmond company revealed at that time that educational institutions and non-profit organizations would be able to leverage Bing Maps free of charge, and that companies would be permitted to develop on top of Bing Maps for free and only pay for usage once the product they built became commercially available.

“Broadcasters using the Bing Maps Platform for free receive: full choice of Bing Maps APIs; Bird’s eye, aerial, road, hybrid, and Streetside; access to user forums, developer documentation, and articles; access to product information, including updates and news,” Pendleton said.

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