Q: What is Amazon Location Service?
Amazon Location Service is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to add location functionality, such as maps, points of interest, geocoding, routing, tracking, and geofencing to their applications, without sacrificing data security, user privacy, data quality, or cost.
Q: Why should I use location data in my applications?
Location functionality is increasingly used in business and consumer applications. You can use location services to solve problems such as displaying data on top of a map to provide geographic context, determining travel time and distance, looking up points of interest, and constraining actions to specific locations. The use of location functionality enables capabilities such as map-based visualizations, asset tracking, location-based customer engagement, and delivery or ride-sharing applications. Visit the Amazon Location Services Customers page for real world examples.
Q: What can I do with Amazon Location Service?
With Amazon Location Service, 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, routing, tracking, and geofencing in 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, including tracking and geofencing capabilities, and built-in metrics for health monitoring reduce your costs and development time. Additionally, Amazon Location Service integrates with several AWS services to further speed application development. For more information on AWS integrations see Q: How does Amazon Location Service integrate with other AWS services? Also, visit the features page to learn more about each of the Amazon Location Service Features.
Q: Where is Amazon Location Service available?
Amazon Location Service is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Stockholm), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region, and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) 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 Amazon Location Service functionality. You can use this tool to preview the default maps, search points of interest, calculate routes, simulate tracking devices, and draw geofences.
Amazon Location Service Resources
Q: What are Amazon Location Service resources?
Amazon Location Service 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 Route Calculator resource, 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 a style, map tiles, and optionally, associated fonts (glyphs) and icons (sprites). Depending on the selected style, Amazon Location Service will provide map tiles in vector format, usually used for abstract representations such as street maps, or raster format, usually used for satellite or aerial imagery. To display a map in your application, you combine an Amazon Location Service map resource with a rendering library such as MapLibre (see the developer guide here). The SDK then can request tiles, styles, glyphs, and sprites for the area and zoom level you are displaying. Amazon Location Service 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 Service Route Calculator resource?
An Amazon Location Service Route Calculator resource is a routing calculator that you can use to request driving directions, driving time, and driving distance between geographical locations. On Amazon Location Service, you can select a data provider best for your use case when creating a Route Calculator resource. Once your resource is created, you can make route calculation 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 Service 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 Service 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 Service 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. You can reduce cost by filtering out position updates from devices that haven’t moved, before storing or evaluating them against geofences.
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 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 Service Terms and pricing 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. You can use different providers’ location data for different geographic areas. We recommend that you use maps, points of interest, and routes from the same provider for the same geographic region to ensure compatibility. Note that you may not layer routes from HERE on top of a map from another data provider, or layer routes from another data provider on top of maps from HERE.
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.
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.
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 is integrated with AWS CloudFormation, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail and Amazon EventBridge, so you can efficiently provision and manage resources, monitor health metrics, and automatically act upon events. With these capabilities, you can move your application to production faster. With AWS CloudFormation, create templates with Amazon Location Service to consistently and quickly provision resources. Using Amazon CloudWatch you can monitor your metrics on service usage and health, including requests, latency, and faults, so you don’t have to build your own health monitoring tools. Amazon Location Service is integrated with AWS CloudTrail for logging and continuously monitoring your account activity. Integration with Amazon EventBridge enables an event-driven application architecture so you can use AWS Lambda functions to respond to events, such as a tracked asset entering or exiting a geofence. In addition, you can use tags to help manage, identify, organize, search for, and filter your Amazon Location Service resources in one view. You can create tags to categorize resources by purpose, owner, environment, or billing relationships.
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. Amazon Location Service also integrates with AWS Key Management Service (KMS), enabling the use of your existing keys to encrypt your tracking and geofencing data. 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, Places, and Routes 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. All data is encrypted at rest and in transit, and is only decrypted for processing. Also, Amazon Location Service 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 maintain and provide the service. 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, Places, and Routes 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? and for additional information, see our Service Terms.
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 secure en-route shipment, maximize dispatch efficiency, track equipment, 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.
Q: How am I charged for using Amazon Location Service?
Amazon Location Service requires no up-front commitment, and no minimum fee. You are only charged for what you use. Amazon Location Service offers a free tier for the first three months of usage. Location data is billed based on each request your application makes to the service. Beyond the Amazon Location Service free tier, you pay for the requests your application makes to the service.