Microsoft has established a new partnership with TomTom with the goal of developing intelligent location-based services across its technologies.

The tech giant announced that it will join forces with the mapping technology company to integrate location-based services into Microsoft Azure, allowing developers to build and manage enterprise, mobile, web, and IoT applications that are location-aware.

TomTom will provide its location technologies, innovative maps, and expanded capabilities, including high-definition maps and RoadDNA technology for autonomous driving applications.

Microsoft hopes to enable global location-based services for customers differentiated by an open platform, with large data sets and natively integrated functionality for developers, and deep integration with other data graphs for new scenarios.

The company envisages that multiple use cases can find benefit in the new location data and capability, including smart cities, manufacturing, retail, and automotive.

TomTom’s vice president of product management and maps Pieter Gillegot-Vergauwen said in a statement: “Through our partnership with Microsoft, we can bring all our map layers to the Microsoft Azure ecosystem and foster innovation that makes people’s lives better.”

“We’re working actively to lead the way to a future of smart mobility, smarter cities and autonomous driving.”

Existing partnerships expanded

Microsoft also announced an extension of its collaboration with HERE, which currently powers location functionality in many of its first-party services, including Bing, Cortana, Windows and Office.

This extension will allow Microsoft to expand the use of HERE’s data and services into productivity scenarios in cars.

Finally, Esri – a market leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology and longstanding partner of Microsoft – will continue to expand its reach across the Azure suite of services.

Esri’s real-time GIS allows for the ingestion of real-time, location-based data, including weather data, social media feeds, live sensor data and location services data from companies like HERE and TomTom.

Microsoft recently announced a preview of Esri’s ArcGIS Maps for Power BI, providing visualisation of location data within the application.

Heather Blatchford, Esri’s director of global alliances said: “Esri’s ArcGIS platform is turbocharged by Azure, and it’s the power and scalability of the performance of the cloud that starts to make transacting billions of observations, tens of thousands of images, and millions of maps a reality.”