Getting Started with iOS

This tutorial goes through creating an iOS app with a Bing Maps Native Control step-by-step.


  1. Bing Maps Key. Must be obtained to use the Bing Maps SDK. The Bing Maps Key will need to be set through the API to use the Bing Maps native control and to make API requests to Bing Maps services. Visit the Bing Maps Dev Center Help page for detailed steps on obtaining one.
  2. CocoaPods. Dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects, which is required to add the Bing Maps SDK to the app. Here's a page for instruction to install the manager.
  3. XCode. This example is built using XCode. You can download it here.

Creating a project

  1. Launch Xcode and choose File > New > Project

    Create a swift app step 1

  2. Select iOS > Single View Application from Project selection view and click Next

    Create a swift app step 2

  3. Fill options for your project and press Next. (Choose Objective-C to write the project in Objective-C.)

    Create a swift app step 3

  4. Select any folder to save your project and press Create

    Create a swift app step 4

Adding CocoaPods to your project

  1. In the terminal, change the working directory to your app folder which contains the xcodeproj file.
  2. Run the command pod init in the terminal to create Podfile which is used to store your project's CocoaPods configuration.

Including Bing Maps Native Control in your project

  1. Open the newly created Podfile and specify the following:
# Uncomment the next line to define a global platform for your project
source ''

platform :ios, '9.2'


  # Comment the next line if you're not using Swift and don't want to use dynamic frameworks

  # Pods for SampleApp
  pod 'MicrosoftMapsSDK', '~> 1.2.0'
  1. Save the Podfile and run the command pod install in the terminal.

  2. Open the workspace file in XCode and you are ready to use the API.

Adding a map view to UIViewControl

  1. Add UIView to the scene and set its class to MSMapView
    Add the map

  2. Add the following import to ViewController

import MicrosoftMaps
#import <MicrosoftMaps/MicrosoftMaps.h>
  1. Create IBOutlet for the map
    Outlet for Swift

  2. Set the map key in viewDidLoad

override func viewDidLoad() {
    // Do any additional setup after loading the view.

    mapview.credentialsKey = "Your credentials here"
- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [super viewDidLoad];

    self.mapView.credentialsKey = @"Your credentials here";

Further customization


Let's go through a common scenario to set map scene to a specific location on startup.

First, declare the location. Say, we want to show Seattle and Bellevue and choose Lake Washington in between:

let LOCATION_LAKE_WASHINGTON = MSGeopoint(latitude: 47.609466, longitude: -122.265185)

+ (void)initialize {
    LOCATION_LAKE_WASHINGTON = [MSGeopoint geopointWithLatitude:47.609466 

Then override your ViewController's viewDidLoad method with a setScene call:

override func viewDidLoad() {
    mapView.credentialsKey = "Your credentials here"
    let scene = MSMapScene(location: LOCATION_LAKE_WASHINGTON, zoomLevel: 10 )
    self.mapView.setScene(scene, with: .none)
- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [super viewDidLoad];
    self.mapView.credentialsKey = @"Your credentials here";
    MSMapScene *scene = [MSMapScene sceneWithLocation:LOCATION_LAKE_WASHINGTON 
    [self.mapView setScene:scene withAnimationKind:MSMapAnimationKindNone];


You can attach pins to locations on the map using custom element layer populated with MapImage elements. Here's an example:

First, declare the element layer as class member:

private var pinLayer: MSMapElementLayer!
MSMapElementLayer *pinLayer;

Next step, initialize and add it to map view's layers in your viewDidLoad method:

pinLayer = MSMapElementLayer()
pinLayer = [[MSMapElementLayer alloc] init];
[self.mapView.layers addMapLayer:pinLayer];

Use the following snippet to add pins:

let location = MSGeopoint(...) // your pin lat-long coordinates
let pinBitmap = MSMapImage(...)  // your pin graphic (optional)

let pushpin = MSMapIcon()
pushpin.location = location
pushpin.image = pinBitmap

MSGeopoint *location = [MSGeopoint geopointWithLatitude: ...]; // your pin lat-long coordinates
MSMapImage *pinBitmap = [[MSMapImage alloc] ...] // your pin graphic (optional)

MSMapIcon *pushpin = [[MSMapIcon alloc] init];
pushpin.location = location;
pushpin.image = pinBitmap;

[pinLayer.elements addMapElement:pushpin];

Note: if pins in your scenario use the same graphic, it is recommended to reuse the associated MSMapImage object. Rather than creating a new one for each pin, consider declaring and initializing it similarly to your MapElementLayer instance.

To clear existing pins, just call clear() on Elements member of the associated layer:

[pinLayer.elements clear];


There's a set of predefined styles exposed by MapStyleSheets class:

  • empty: renders nothing. Useful if you want to display a custom set of tiles with no underlying map data.
  • roadLight: symbolic map, light color scheme. Default look.
  • roadDark: symbolic map, dark color scheme.
  • roadCanvasLight: symbolic map, light low-contrast color scheme.
  • roadHighContrastLight: symbolic map, light high-contrast color scheme.
  • roadHighContrastDark: symbolic map, dark high-contrast color scheme.
  • aerial: photorealistic map.
  • aerialWithOverlay: hybrid map, photorealistic tiles with symbolic entities rendered on top.

Example setting aerialWithOverlay map style:

[self.mapView setStyleSheet:[MSMapStyleSheets aerialWithOverlay]];

Bing Maps Native Control also supports custom styling via JSON, using the same format as desktop and iOS controls. Here's an example applying your own style:

var styleSheetFromJson:MSMapStyleSheet!
let result = MSMapStyleSheets.try(toParseJson: yourCustomStyleJsonString, into:&styleSheetFromJson)
if (result)
} else {
    // Custom style JSON is invalid
MSMapStyleSheet *styleSheetFromJson;
BOOL result = [MSMapStyleSheet tryToParseJson:yourCustomStyleJsonString 
if (result)
    [self.mapView setStyleSheet:styleSheetFromJson];
} else {
    // Custom style JSON is invalid

Map projection

Bing Maps Native Control runs on a 3D engine and it supports switching map projection between Web Mercator and Globe on demand and in real time. Here's an example:

mapView.projection = MSMapProjection.globe
mapView.projection = MSMapProjection.mercator
self.mapView.projection = MSMapProjectionGlobe;
self.mapView.projection = MSMapProjectionMercator;