Microsoft is building out a number of "graphs," or data indexes, across the company. There's the Bing knowledge graph, the Office Graph, and now, the LinkedIn professional graph.

This week, the company announced plans to add another graph to its stable: A "world graph." It's partnering with HERE, TomTom, and Esri to build this geographic data index.

The data in the coming world graph isn't just about mapping data for cars or other kinds of navigation. It will provide "a full suite of location capabilities across the company and Microsoft's developer ecosystem," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.

Will the world graph simply be a replacement for the data currently powering Bing Maps? The Microsoft spokesperson said it goes beyond that.

"Bing APIs (application programming interfaces) are used by multiple businesses to provide location based functionalities. With the broader adoption of Azure across manufacturing, transportation, and smart cities we see the need for a tighter integration with cloud functionality for some of the emerging scenarios and use cases. Conceptually, we believe our Azure location-based services will be a superset of the Bing APIs we offer today."


Read more: Microsoft outlines plans to build a 'world graph' for geographic data | ZDNet