Microsoft has commenced work on an Australian version of Mappoint, the company’s Web-based mapping service. Mappoint offers traffic maps, city guides and a web-based location-finding tool for addresses in the US and most of Western Europe. Microsoft also offers the Mappoint location server and desktop Mappoint GIS application, both of which have never been sold in Australia, as the company has not previously made the investment in maps to power the software.
According to a company’s official, it would take six to twelve months to get service providers using Mappoint once it comes into operation.
Mark Spain, the director of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices Division earlier had called out Mappoint as one of nine areas Microsoft believes is essential to enable development of mobile applications. He did not, however, announce the creation of a local Mappoint service to the 300-plus crowd of developers who came to hear the company speak its mobile development mantra.