Google Maps Indoors: Upgrade On Android Puts Floor Plans In Your Hand

on Tuesday, Nov. 29th

Airport, mall, and public transit directories may soon be a thing of the past. Google Maps is releasing a 6.0 upgrade — exclusively on Android — that will include an indoor mapping option to navigate the floor plans of major retail stores and transportation hubs around the world. Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin points out that Google has been working tirelessly to introduce the technology through coordinated partnerships with some of the largest airports and retailers:

“Instead of creating X-ray imaging satellites for the task, Google is partnering with the organizations that manage the facilities to get their floor plans into its Maps service. Airports in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Tokyo are among the first to receive the indoor mapping treatment, joined by the Mall of America in Minnesota, certain locations of IKEA, Home Depot, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and others. While Google worked with these businesses to ensure a certain level of precision, the search company also set up a do-it-yourself-site for other business owners to upload floor plans, blueprints, and directories and line them up with satellite images.”

Here’s what other sites had to say.

  • TechCrunch: “Google Maps for Android is fantastic. Between its free GPS Navigation feature, speedy downloads thanks to vector-based maps, and offline caching, the app is leagues ahead of the Maps app on iOS.”
  • Ryan Sarver from Twitter: “A pretty awesome advancement in digital mapping…”
  • Wired: “…The new mobile Maps version allows users to see the entire layout of a mapped building, switch between floor plans if the structure has multiple levels, and locate indoor points of interest like retail stores, bathrooms and ATMs.”
  • All Things D tweet: “Google Maps the indoors, so navigating IKEA is no longer a nightmare.”

What are your thoughts on the new upgrade? How will you use it?

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