In just one year since the public preview launch, Azure Maps Creator is now in GA. During the past year, industries have been working diligently to address COVID challenges, which include keeping workers and customers safe, managing the coordination of constantly evolving guidelines and accelerating automation and activity monitoring. To meet this need, the role of Azure Maps Creator has expanded from the original design goal of the service to be applied across a variety of technologies and industries.
At its core, Azure Maps Creator provides an end-to-end solution for private indoor mapping, enabling customers to Convert their facility floor plans into indoor map feature data. The indoor map features are stored as a Dataset which is used to power downstream services while the Web Feature Service (WFS) offers data management and querying. Tile sets are created to provide data visualization while the Feature State set provides a method to dynamically reflect real-time events on distinct visual features.
Azure Maps Creator is available initially in the following regions: West US 2, East US 2, West Europe, and North Europe. The latest version of the API (V2) and the second generation of the Azure Maps Business Model are also available in this GA. If you have tried V1, you will find the conversion service for drawings has been improved and comes with a fully documented indoor map ontology, exposed via open geospatial standards for boundless integration opportunities for both developers and GIS users.
Smart Buildings Solutions
How can you get more insights into and from your maps? What can IoT bring? What about Digital Twins? Whether it is a solution to return to the office, manage a warehouse, run a manufacturing facility or a network of these, location and status benefits are tangible. Since the public preview, many customers and partners have adopted Azure Maps Creator to build innovative Smart Building solutions, it is even being used internally at Microsoft, Microsoft is using Azure Maps Creator to enable employee experiences through Smart Building solution....
Microsoft employee Aleenah Ansari uses the new SmartBuilding services employee kiosk to find an office in a Microsoft smart building. (Photo by Aleenah Ansari | Inside Track)
Another Azure Maps Creator customer example is RXR:
RXR Realty is a leading real estate owner, investor, operator, and developer committed to building socially, economically, and environmentally responsible communities. Founded in 2019, RXR’s Digital Lab is an innovation team developing state-of-the-art technology, innovative data capabilities, and pioneering strategic partnerships to better serve the changing ways we live, work, play and stay in urban environments.
As New York City was emerging as the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, RXR was developing and rapidly deploying RxWell to enable not only a safe return to work, but also to envision and plan for the future of work. Powered by Azure IoT and the intelligent edge, RxWell is a dynamic, data-driven platform that considers every aspect of building performance and workplace experience.
RxWell includes a comprehensive suite of “phygital” solutions – merging the physical built environment with digital technologies and tools to address three main categories:
Enhancing employee experience, health, and wellness
Managing the hybrid workplace and increasing employee engagement
Optimizing building sustainability and workspace operations
RxWell is building an insights platform that connects disparate data sources across spaces and people to unlock aggregate analytics and insights for real estate teams, accessed through our RxWell Command Center dashboards. Using Azure Cognitive Services Computer Vision, we are processing security camera footage in real time at the edge to measure face mask and social distancing compliance in our building lobbies. The data from this is overlaid on our lobby floor plans using Azure Maps Creator to produce a Compliance Heatmap which indicates locations of non-compliance and helps our operations team identify foot traffic bottlenecks and ways to improve the entry process.
Looking ahead, we are exploring additional opportunities to use Azure Maps to combine multiple data sets into a single planimetric visual. For example, mapping workspace occupancy and room/desk booking utilization data onto office floor plans for a real-time view of current and expected demand. Furthermore, we are looking at a potential integration with Azure Digital Twins as the data model to bring this functionality to fruition.
Additional RxWell Resources
To learn more about RxWell, check out the following links:
Integration patterns for endless opportunities
It is a reality that solutions typically need to integrate multiple services. To help minimize the cost of integration from design to operations, Azure Maps Creator team has partnered with multiple products that are commonly used in combination with Azure Maps.
IoT device telemetry, or what we think of as the “Location of Things”, is usually the top priority. We designed an entire open-sourced sample application which covers building a site selection widget, blending indoor and outdoor mapping and a variety of live data streams in maps, including moving objects for asset tracking.
Many aspire to go beyond device live data and develop rich representations of their business using Azure Digital Twins. A common task is to visualize state changes captured and processed by Azure Digital Twin on Azure Maps. We offer this tutorial to get started on building applications leveraging Azure Maps Creator.
As IoT Edge devices are becoming more powerful and feature rich, innovation does not stop at cloud services. Azure Spatial Analysis enables real-time analysis of streaming video to understand spatial relationships between people, their movement, and their interactions with objects in physical environments which provides a new means of extracting insights.
Finally, security is critical when it comes to managing customer data. Azure Maps integrates with Azure Active Directory and role-based access control to distinguish map data contributors from readers in order toto keep sensitive data protected.
You can start with Azure Maps Creator today! From your Azure Maps service, create a new Creator resource to add private indoor mapping capabilities in your applications.