Microsoft has announced new partnerships with navigation giants TomTom and Here, in an effort to boost its location-based offerings across the Azure cloud platform.

Integrating the two companies’ maps, traffic data and navigation software into Azure, Microsoft hopes to support developers looking to build and manage ‘location aware’ mobile, web and IoT applications.

Speaking of the new deal, TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn noted how location services are rapidly becoming a critical component in a wide range of applications and enterprise-grade solutions. He said that the Microsoft partnership would help to extend the TomTom technology to a wider developer community, over a cloud platform they are already familiar working with.

Peggy Johnson, EVP of Business Development at Microsoft added: ‘Making TomTom’s services available through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform will allow developers and our customers to make location a core part of their cloud-based applications…’

Netherlands-based TomTom already supplies location services and real-time traffic data to many global tech companies. Notably, it has partnered with Apple Maps since 2012 and has also held a contract with Uber since the beginning of 2015.

Additionally to TomTom, the recent Here agreement extends a long-standing commercial collaboration with Microsoft, which allows integration of the company’s location data and services into the Microsoft Bing Maps platform.

The services are also available through Bing Maps APIs offered to developers in the Azure Marketplace. The extended partnership further covers the use of Here services in connection with in-vehicle productivity solutions.

According to the press release, the extended partnership further covers the use of Here services in connection with in-vehicle productivity solutions.

‘Our goal is to enable global access to the best mapping and location services for consumers and businesses,’ commented Bruno Bourguet, SVP of Sales and Business Development at Here. ‘We are therefore delighted to extend our partnership with Microsoft, supporting its product innovation into the future.’

Owned by German automotive companies BMW, Audi and Daimler, Here offers cloud-based geospatial services to tens of thousands of developers through Bing Maps APIs, including store locator maps and asset tracking capabilities.