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Google Begins Adding Indoor Maps

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 1 Dec 2011

Google has begun adding indoor mapping to the Maps application on Android handsets.

Initially the service is rolling out with detailed floor plans of a number of airports and shopping malls in the US and Japan but Google plan to expand the service to cover a large number of public buildings and are enlisting the help of business owners in producing the floor plans.

Although the GPS aspect is limited by reception difficulties inside a building, Google are using cellphone tracking technology to augment the GPS data and, in some circumstances, the maps are able to correctly identify which floor you are on and show you the relevant floor plan, clever stuff.

This is actually a very useful facility. Who amongst us hasn't ever needed to search for a shop in a large mall or wondered where 'Gate 3,456' was in an unfamiliar airport. Now you'll have that data in your phone, albeit it, for now at least you will need an Android powered smartphone.

For more information on the project, see Google's Indoor Maps website here.

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Posted by Andy_P on Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:38 pm Reply with quote

Will it tell me where I've put my car keys in the house? Laughing

"Settling in nicely" ;-)

Posted by MikeB on Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:40 pm Reply with quote

I suppose part of the internal location capability will be WiFi based as well. This would help provide the accuracy needed in the Mall to determine which floor you were on. Most stores will have a Wireless network albeit a secured one location would be a 'simple' matter of judging the relative strengths of the Access Points.

Mike Barrett
Editor, PocketGPSWorld.com

Posted by boothby on Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:05 pm Reply with quote

I find it incredible that you're saying that location tracking by Google is a good idea.

I you have any regard for you your own privacy you won't use a phone that broadcasts your whereabouts, especially to/via Google.
Their past history is highly suspect and doesn't appear to be getting any better.
A map or plan on a sheet of paper is no less efficient in locating where in the Mall you are and, with a little thought, in which direction you need to be heading.

Posted by peterc10 on Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:18 am Reply with quote

Every mobile phone can be tracked, and therefore "broadcasts your whereabouts". Each time it "logs on" to a cell that is recorded. That has nothing to do with Google, it is recorded by the network provider.

Of course a plan or a map can be used to find your way around anything if you want it to, as they have been used for hundreds of years. But most of us find it more convenient to use more modern methods. Hence the whole point of this forum and website, the clue is in the "GPS" .

And if you don't like Google then it is easy to avoid using their products altogether.

HTC Sensation
Sygic GPS for Europe (No more TT "support"!)
Copilot for USA
Bury CC9060 bluetooth car kit & Brodit mount

Posted by DennisN on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:47 am Reply with quote

boothby Wrote:
A map or plan on a sheet of paper is no less efficient in locating where in the Mall you are and, with a little thought, in which direction you need to be heading.
So maybe we should go back to a box full of maps, instead of my windscreen mounted PND?


If it tastes good - it's fattening.

Two of them are obesiting!!

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