General

Q: What is Amazon Location Service?

Amazon Location Service is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to add location data, such as maps, points of interest, and geocoding to applications, without sacrificing data security, user privacy, data quality, or cost.

Q: Why should I use location data in my applications?

Location data is increasingly used in business and consumer applications. You can use location data and location-based services to solve problems such as displaying data on top of a map for geographic context, navigating to a destination, running analyses on map data, and constraining actions to specific locations. The use of location data enables capabilities ranging from asset tracking to location-based marketing.

Q: What can I do with Amazon Location Service?

With Amazon Location, you have access to cost-effective location-based services (LBS) using high-quality data from global, trusted providers Esri and HERE, and you can easily integrate maps, points of interest, geocoding, tracking, geofences, and routes (coming soon) to your applications. Amazon Location Service enables you to bring sophisticated location-enabled applications to production quickly, without the high cost of custom development. Its affordable data, included tracking and geofencing capabilities, and built-in metrics for health monitoring reduce your costs and development time. Visit the features page to learn more about each of the Amazon Location Service capabilities.

Q: Where is Amazon Location Service available?

Amazon Location Service is available as a Preview in the US-East (N. Virginia), and US-East (Ohio), US-West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) AWS Regions. Amazon Location Service provides global location data from multiple data providers. Please visit our data providers’ page to learn more.

Q: What’s the quickest way to learn the capabilities provided by Amazon Location Service?

The Amazon Location Service console provides a visual and interactive tool for you to experiment quickly with the capabilities provided by Amazon Location Service. You can use this tool to preview the default map, search points of interest, simulate tracking devices, draw geofences, and get directions (coming soon).

Q: What does it mean to make a request for location information?

Making a request to an Amazon Location Resource using its API is considered a request for information or a transaction. Amazon Location Service provides five types of resources: maps, place indexes, routes (coming soon), geofence collections, and trackers. To use Amazon Location in your application, you create one or more of these Amazon Location resources in your AWS account and then call the resource’s associated APIs.

Amazon Location Service Resources

Q: What are Amazon Location Service resources?

Amazon Location resources are the entities that you work with for all your location API requests. There are five resource types, each with its own dedicated API and reference documentation: a Map resource, a Place Index resource (often referred to as places), a Routes resource (coming soon), a Geofence Collection resource, and a Tracker resource.

Q: What is an Amazon Location Map resource?

An Amazon Location Map resource is an entity that you use for all your map API requests. A map is composed of map tiles, a style, and, optionally, associated fonts (glyphs) and icons (sprites). On Amazon Location, you can select a data provider and a map style best for your use case when creating a Map resource. To display a map in your application, you combine an Amazon Location map resource with a rendering library such as MapBox GL and Tangram. The SDK then can request tiles, styles, glyphs, and sprites for the area and zoom level you are displaying. Amazon Location provides a consistent maps API regardless of the provider or style that you select.

Q: What is an Amazon Location Place Index resource?

An Amazon Location Place Index resource is a geographical search engine that you can use to search for points of interest, street addresses (geocode), and geographical coordinates (reverse geocode). On Amazon Location, you can select a data provider best for your use case when creating a Place Index resource. Once the resource is created, you can make search requests by using the Places API. The Places API is consistent and works for all providers when creating your resource.

Q: What is an Amazon Location Routes resource?

An Amazon Location Routes resource is a routing engine that you can use to request driving direction, driving time, and driving distance between geographical locations. On Amazon Location, you can select a data provider best for your use case when creating a Routes resource. Once your resource is created, you can make routing requests using the Routes API. The Routes API is consistent and works for all providers when creating your resource.

Q: What is an Amazon Location Geofence Collection resource?

An Amazon Location Geofence Collection resource is a container entity that stores geofences - virtual boundaries on a map. You can use the Geofences API to evaluate a location against all the geofences within a Geofence Collection resource. If the location update crosses the boundary of any geofence in the collection, the resource will emit enter and exit events for each geofence breached.

Q: What is an Amazon Location Tracker resource?

An Amazon Location Tracker resource is a container entity that stores location updates from devices. You can use the Tracker API to submit location updates and then query for current and historic locations. You can also link a Tracker resource to your Amazon Location Geofence Collection resources, and all location updates will be automatically evaluated against all your geofences. If the location update crosses the boundary of any geofence, your Geofence Collection resources will emit enter and exit events for each geofence breached.

Data Providers

Q: What is an Amazon Location data provider?

Amazon Location Service uses data from various global, trusted location-based data providers to deliver maps, geocodes, and routes (coming soon) to our customers through a consistent API. To learn more about the specific terms and conditions and pricing rules when using location data from these providers, please read the terms and conditions, pricing, and the data providers’ page.

Q: Can I pick different providers for maps, geocodes, and routes?

Yes. With Amazon Location Service, you can choose different providers for maps, geocoding, and routes (coming soon) . You can use different providers’ location data for different geographic areas. Nonetheless, we recommend that you use maps, points of interest, and routes from the same provider for the same geographic region to ensure compatibility.

Q: What data provider should I pick?

For most use cases, we recommend using the default selection in the service which is suitable for a wide variety of use cases. You may choose a provider based on your preference and prior experience. For use cases that require specialized data, or regional expertise, you can evaluate all of the data providers, and select the one most appropriate for your specific application.

Supported Specifications

Q: What is the precision supported by Amazon Location Service?

Amazon Location Service accepts location data up to six decimal places of precision (0.000001), which equals to approximately 11 cm or 4.4 inches at the equator. When you use the tracking capability, you can send location updates to Amazon Location Service Trackers that contain up to six decimal places. When you use the geofencing capability, the smallest geofence must have at least 3 vertices of 11 cm or 4.4 inches each, covering an area of 0.05 square meters or 77 square inches. In most applications, however, the limiting factor is the precision and accuracy of physical devices in calculating their GPS positions. We recommend that you determine the accuracy of your application with a proof of concept and use geofences larger than 1,000 square meters or 10,000 square feet, unless you are using specialized positioning equipment.

Q: Which output format does Amazon Location Service Maps support?

Amazon Location Service Maps provides map style information in the popular open-source Mapbox Style Specification (MSS) format, and map tiles in Mapbox Vector Tile (MVT) format. You can choose the output formats that work best for your application and switch between them while using Amazon Location Service.

Q: Are there any limits to Amazon Location resources and usage?

Amazon Location Service can support a large number of concurrently active geofences, evaluate them against many moving assets at the same time, and generally support a large number of transactions per second (TPS) for all capabilities. If your application might require over 50,000 geofences, please visit our documentation limits and quotas in the developer guide.

Q: Are there any limits to Amazon Location Service usage during Preview?

During Preview, you will be limited to 1,000 stored geocodes and 10,000 stored reverse-geocodes per month. To learn more, please visit our documentation limits and quotas in the developer guide.

Developer Tools, Monitoring and Management

Q: What SDKs does Amazon Location Service provide?

Amazon Location Service provides front-end SDKs for Android, iOS, and web. Amazon Location Service can be accessed through the back-end SDKs listed on the AWS tools page. Amazon Location Service is supported by AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), a unified tool for you to download, configure, and control multiple AWS services from the command line and automate them through scripts.

Q: How does Amazon Location Service integrate with other AWS services?

Amazon Location Service features built-in Amazon CloudWatch usage and performance metrics for monitoring requests, latency, faults and events. Like the rest of your AWS environment, customers can manage permissions for Amazon Location Service through AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Amazon Location integrates with Amazon EventBridge to enable an event-driven application architecture. With EventBridge, you can use AWS Lambda functions to activate other parts of your application and workflows. When a geofence is breached, Amazon Location automatically emits an enter or exit event to EventBridge. EventBridge routing rules can be configured to trigger actions such as invoking AWS Lambda functions in response to the geofence events.

Security

Q: What are my options for access control?

You can use IAM to manage users, groups, and roles for your AWS account. IAM enables you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. For web and mobile SDKs, you can use Amazon Cognito to manage authentication and authorization for end-users of your applications. You can also bring your own authentication stack and use it along with Cognito without the need to duplicate user identities. To learn more, please visit the documentation for Amazon Location Service.

Q: Does my data leave my AWS account when I am using Amazon Location Service?

Data sent to Tracking and Geofencing does not leave your AWS account. We send parameter values in Maps and Places requests to your selected location data provider so they can process these requests. Amazon Location Service anonymizes requests to our providers by only including the parameters necessary to process the request. We do not transmit AWS account information to data providers. All data is encrypted at rest and in transit, and is only decrypted for processing. Also, Amazon Location data providers are not permitted to store or use your content for purposes other than processing your requests. The security of Amazon Location Service third-party providers is periodically audited to ensure standards of network security, access control, data protection, and physical security are met.

Q: How does Amazon Location Service use the data in my requests?

Amazon Location Service only uses your data to process your requests. Geofencing and Tracking data is stored in your AWS account in the region where you are using the service. We send parameter values in Maps and Places requests to your selected location data provider so they can process these requests. See Q: Does my data leave my AWS account when I am using Amazon Location Service for more details about how we protect data we send to our location data providers.

Applications

Q: Can I build delivery applications using Amazon Location Service?

Yes. Delivery applications need to store, track, and coordinate the source locations, delivery vehicles, and the destinations. Amazon Location Service provides a suite of capabilities and data for you to build delivery applications. For instance, a food delivery application built with Amazon Location Service can use location tracking and geofencing to automatically notify a restaurant when its designated delivery driver is nearby, to reduce the wait time of the driver, and help assure the freshness of the food when delivered. Visit our documentation on delivery applications for a solution guide.

Q: Can I use Amazon Location Service for asset tracking?

Yes. With Amazon Location Service, you can quickly get started on storing asset location, visualizing asset locations on a map, triggering events based on asset proximity, and analyzing location histories. Asset tracking helps businesses understand the current and historical locations of their products, personnel, and infrastructure. Developers can use asset tracking data to optimize remote staffing, secure en-route shipment, maximize dispatch efficiency, and more. Please visit our documentation on asset tracking and follow the solution guide to learn more.

Q: Can I build geomarketing with Amazon Location Service?

Yes. You can experiment with geomarketing capabilities and incorporate them into your application with Amazon Location Service. Geomarketing refers to marketing activities that incorporate location. It increases the effectiveness of marketing communications by personalizing the timing and the content of messages based on customer location and behaviors. For example, a customer entering a shopping center can receive a special offer from their favorite store or an offer of a free coffee from the coffee shop they are walking past. Visit our documentation on geomarketing for a solution guide.

Pricing

Q: How am I charged for using Amazon Location Service?

Amazon Location Service is in Preview. During the Preview period, you will not incur Amazon Location Service charges for the use of the service. You may incur fees for the use of other AWS services such as Amazon EventBridge, AWS Lambda, and Amazon CloudWatch. To learn more about pricing after Preview, please visit the pricing page.

Q: When do I need to use Request-Based Usage pricing?

You should select the Request-Based Usage pricing plan when you need to provide maps and other location information for external users such as customers, or internal applications that don’t involve tracking or routing of assets you control. With this plan, you are billed for each request your application makes to the service, so your costs scale proportionally with usage of your application’s location-based capabilities. You may not select this plan if you are using Amazon Location Service Maps or Places for an application that tracks mobile assets over which you have operational control. To learn more, please visit pricing.

Q: When do I need to use Mobile Asset Tracking pricing plan?

You should select the Mobile Asset Tracking pricing plan only for your applications that use Amazon Location Service Maps or Places for tracking of mobile assets, but do not perform routing or route optimization. With this plan you are billed a predictable, fixed monthly price per asset, with 25,000 location data requests per asset included. To learn more, please visit pricing.

Q: When do I need to use Mobile Asset Management pricing plan?

You should select the Mobile Asset Management pricing plan only for your applications that use Amazon Location Service Maps or Places for tracking, AND perform routing or route optimization of mobile assets. With this plan you are billed a predictable, fixed monthly price per asset, with 250,000 location data requests per asset included. To learn more, please visit pricing.

Q: For the purposes of billing in Amazon Location Service, what is a mobile asset?

In Amazon Location Service billing, a mobile asset is defined as any mobile object, tracked using a mobile or tracking device, over which you can exercise operational control in support of your business (e.g., a shipping container with a GPS tracker or a point-of-sale tablet, or an employee, contractor, or consultant). Due to licensing agreements with data providers, AWS requires you to use one of the Mobile Asset pricing plans for the Amazon Location resources that you are using in an application when:

  • Your application relates to mobile assets, and
  • Your application requires a resource that depends on a data provider - namely Amazon Location Maps, Place Indexes, or Routes.

Mobile devices or objects owned and used by consumers are not considered mobile assets. For example, a consumer using a social media application is not a mobile asset.

Q: What is an active asset and how is it used for pricing?

On Amazon Location Service, an active asset is a device ID that has provided one or more location updates to an Amazon Tracker resource within a given month. When you create an Amazon Location resource, you specify the pricing plan that applies to your application. If you are not planning on using an Amazon Tracker resource in your mobile asset tracking application, you are required to create a Tracker resource and send at least one location update for each mobile asset in your application.

Q: What is a routing or route optimization application?

On Amazon Location Service, routing means provisioning of route calculations, and optimizing means using software applications to calculate the order of destinations and routes. On Amazon Location Service, you must choose the Mobile Asset Management pricing plan as long as your application is running routing or route optimization, even if your application does not leverage the Amazon Location Routes resource.

Q: How does Amazon Location Service calculate the number of monthly active assets for the Mobile Asset Tracking and Mobile Asset Management plans?

Amazon Location Service uses the tracker resource to calculate the number of monthly active assets. Each unique device ID that writes its position to a tracker resource in a given month will be counted as a monthly active asset. 

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