Google Maps, designed for Android, will now have indoor maps, announced Google. This solution is not restricted to only maps but has an engine for indoor positioning for improved accuracy including all information on floor levels.
Information on the maps was recently shared in a blogging site by the VP-Engineering, Google Earth & Maps, Brian McClendon.
He shared that all details of the floor plans will automatically appear when the user views the map and zooms into buildings tat have data on indoor maps available. The icon indicates one’s location within some meters, as one moves up and down the levels of a multi-floor building. The interface is also programmed to automatically display the floor the user is on. The same principle behind “My Location” used for outdoors has been modified for indoors.
Google is initially partnering limited large retailers, transit stations and airports in the United States and Japan. It will depend on crowd-sourcing images for the indoor maps in order to accelerate the coverage. An indoor map can be submitted in a simple manner, if floor plans are available in picture formats like .tiff, .gif, .jpeg, and the likes; the same will get uploaded online within few minutes.
The image submitted is then processed by Google but the company has not yet stated the time that would be taken for making the same appear in their site. It seems that these maps will not be processed automatically but will require manual intervention for checking accuracy and determining correct elevation of the floors.
Google expects this feature to consolidate their market presence in the indoor mapping and positioning segment. This could put a few companies out of the business whereas others would hasten their sale process.