Google’s Shaking Up Indoor Mapping!
Ever get lost in a large store like Ikea or at an airport? Well, these days are about to be history, thanks to Google Maps indoors. Their latest versions of this software changes how we navigate indoors using the existing power of our Android phones.
Since the dawn of time, humans have desired geographic maps, and the accuracy and usability has improved in time. Cartography (from the Greek words meaning map and write), or mapmaking has been going on for thousands and thousands of years. Ancient man would draw instructions on rocks and caves for themselves and others. Technological history has progressed over the centuries to produce accurate world mapping that extends from the original two dimensional drawings into multidimensional projections we already enjoy today.
Google maps has certainly changed the way we navigate, including their street views and more. They now bring us a new level of indoor navigation, the indoor Google map offerings!
The following example shows Google maps on the Android phone displaying details about the airport’s restaurants, layout, terminals and more. Perhaps you want to meet a friend or co-worker between gates or grab a book or a sandwich before your flight – with this new tool you’re able to navigate with cutting-edge navigational speed, saving time and frustration.
Take a look at this recent video about using Google Maps inside Ikea! I’m tempted to make a run to this famous (and location easy to get lost in as anyone who has ever entered an Ikea or Super Walmart knows all too well). Not anymore, if you’re equipped with this new app feature!
For us travelers, we’re all too familiar with the “you are here” which at times is daunting as you don’t see the direction of where “here” is or exactly how to get to “there” easily.
Here’s indoor Google maps example for navigating inside an airport:
I’ve heard that Google has been creating offline cached map versions too, for indoor places where mobile signal strength has room for improvement and when networks are offline.
I’m curious to see when/how retailers begin to incorporate this technology into interactive shopping games or social networks leveraging group buying power…
Local businesses who want to get a head start on this, can submit their floor plans to Google.
This is some cutting edge awesome technology that continues to evolve and change how and where we work, play and meet others. I’m excited to see these tools develop and grow and make our lives easier. Think of the original maps, dating back thousands and thousands of years ago that would share information about landscapes, political situations, animals, religious and architectural information. Granted, the original map makers probably didn’t think about the flip side of our ever step and choice logged by the mighty computational powers of Google, a somewhat worthwhile trade-off I think in consideration of the value we receive.