Ok, it's official. We're doing an MWS release, it's called 4.1 and it's coming in January 2006. Here are the customer ready details of the release:
Expanded Map Coverage
MapPoint Web Service 4.1 includes new data sources that bring updated worldwide road network coverage and support for rendering, finding places (such as cities or towns) and routing between locations. More than 150 cities in Central and Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, and South America now have street-level coverage, including locations of bodies of water and select points of interest such as airports, parking areas and railroad stations. The following countries and regions have major cities with street-level coverage in the new map data source:
Central and Eastern Europe
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine
North and South America
Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico
Algeria, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya), Morocco and Tunisia
The expanded map coverage is provided by Automotive Navigation Data (AND) and will allow users to zoom down to the same scales as in the existing MapPoint.World data source. In addition, AND coverage is used throughout the MapPoint Web Service 4.1 road network. Existing street-level data sources (MapPoint.NA, MapPoint.EU and MapPoint.AP) will have better data coverage and fuller functionality in the areas they cover. The AND coverage is recommended for users that need detailed data in areas not covered by one of these three data sources. The new data source does not yet support FindAddress, although future map data updates will include this functionality.
Worldwide City-to-City Routing
Partners and customers can now build applications that will determine the location of places (such as cities or towns) worldwide and route between them. This capability includes routing across a waterway, a continent or country boundaries.
Please note that worldwide city-to-city routing may provide routes through regions that are dangerous due to war, crime, political instability or other factors. The provision of a route through worldwide city-to-city routing should not be considered to be a representation of its safety or suitability. Users should exercise caution and verify the safety and appropriateness of all routes with appropriate governmental and other sources before traveling.
ZIP Code Updates
Improvements to MapPoint Web Service include more frequent updates of postal code data. In January 2006 the frequency of U.S. ZIP code updates will be improved for batch geocoding. In the following releases of MapPoint Web Service, the postal code updates will be implemented for FindAddress functionality and for other countries in addition to the U.S.