Google offers indoor Android Maps
THE LATEST version of Google Maps for Android now includes data on indoor areas as well as outdoors.
Writing on the Google Blog, Brian McClendon, Vice President of Engineering for Google Earth and Maps, said that “Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on”.
Although the update is currently only available for some buildings in America and Japan, and only works on Android mobile phones, Google has already mapped some indoor areas in the UK, for instance for its projects to take people inside art galleries via Google Earth.
Describing indoors as “a new frontier”, Mr McClendon said that the new feature is possible “using an approach similar to that of ‘My Location’ for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned”. He cited examples in the Minneapolis Mall of America and San Francisco International Airport.
Businesses are also able to sign up to be first to get their premises mapped, Mr McClendon said: “This is just the start--we’ll continually add new indoor maps to public buildings across the world. If you’re a business owner interested in getting your location’s floor plan included in Google Maps, visitmaps.google.com/floorplans”, he wrote.
The scheme is initially for larger retailers, airports and transit stations in the US and Japan, including Mall of America, IKEA, The Home Depot, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Daimaru, Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi location, plus Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Narita International (NRT), among others.