In an announcement on Wednesday, the 5th of March 2014, Google has stated the commencement of their ‘Indoor Maps‘ service across 22 cities in India, panning across 75 locations. The service, which was earlier available in countries like Singapore & the US, aims at providing easy navigation within buildings, so that people can easily move around, without getting lost. The technology used for the same, is similar to the ‘My Location’ technology, earlier available only outdoors. In the words of Suren Ruhela, Director and Product Manager, India Google Maps “In some locations, to make people’s indoor navigation easier and more seamless, we have adapted the location technology developed for My Location — previously only available outdoors — so that it now works indoor as well. This means that when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the map will automatically update to display which floor you’re on.”
Google has tied up mainly with malls, to provide this service. The feature will be available in their Android and iOS apps, post update. As sort of a crowd-sourced mapping service, Google also lets business owners upload their floor plans, which will be viewable on the maps.
This service will have great implications to business owners. Once the beta-testing is complete, Google could provide in-depth analytics as to how consumers are searching for your brand online. Only time will tell how they will utilize this service. Until then, you may never get lost indoors.
You can check out an example of the indoor map of Palladium Mall in Mumbai. Have any thoughts as to the utility of this feature, do put down a comment.
Authored by: Bharat Potdar Google