Helpful Tips for Entity Data


Here are some tips to help you when you create entity data to use with the Bing Spatial Data Services.

  • Consider using pipe(|)-delimited or XML entity data files. Entity data often contains commas (Example: Seattle, WA). Therefore, using the pipe (|) character as a separator in entity data files is often a good choice. Similarly, XML files support the use of commas (,), hyphens (-), and pipe characters (|) as part of entity data values.

  • Make sure you do not create more than the maximum number of 350 properties. For a list of supported data types, see Load Data Source Data Schema and Sample Input. To reduce the number of string (Edm.String) properties, consider the following options.

    • Remove unnecessary or redundant properties.

    • Convert a property with 'yes' and 'no' string values to a Boolean property with true and false values.

    • Combine two or more string properties into a single string property by using a secondary delimiter, such as a dash (-).For example, if your entity data included an opening and closing time and you do not need to query on these values separately, you could combine them into a single string, such as '8:00 – 5:00'. If you needed to separate these values for a web application, use client-side parsing.

      If you are using XML to format your entity data, you can also use the pipe (|) character as a delimiter.

    • Consider converting numeric information such as phone numbers to an integer property. Note that a leading 0 in a number will not be stored in this scenario. However, you can accommodate for this if all the numbers are the same length. Also, if a number is not provided, the default value of zero (0) is stored.

  • Make sure you specify a primary key in your data schema and that each set of entity data has a unique primary key value.

  • Make sure latitude and longitude properties are included in the data schema. The latitude and longitude properties do not count towards the maximum number of properties with a data type of double (Edm.Double).

  • Do not store HTML with entity data. HTML tags cannot be stored as entity data. If an entity value is used in the HTML of a web application, you can store the value in the data source, and then generate the HTML by using client-side processing. For example, you can store the URL for an image as entity data and then build the HTML image using client-side code.

  • When possible, reduce the resolution of latitude and longitude values to six decimal places or less. This reduces the size of a data source query and reduces the response size. The response download time can be noticeable with mobile applications.