It is apparent that Google has made their stance in many areas. Yet again they set out to make fantastic advances in what they believe will put them ahead in web mapping services. How many times have you walked in to a building and wondered “where’s the restroom?” Soon users will be able to navigate indoor floor plans from any mobile device.
Google has already began this initiative launching a new version of Google Maps. Last Tuesday Google Maps 6.0 for Android launched with indoor mapping. The new version allows users to see the entire layout of a building. You can switch between floor plans if the building has multiple levels and locate indoor points of interest like retail stores, bathrooms and ATMs.
Google has already began to partner with major businesses like large shopping retailers Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as well as major travel sites like San Francisco International. While the initivative has just begun foreign countries like Japan have already began using the technlogy to cover Tokyo’s massive underground subway network and retail shopping centers.
While it’s just the beginning, Map Project Manager Steve Lee says ”this can give us a sense for what’s in store for the future.” Google has also launched a beta tool that allows businesses to upload their own floor plans to the Maps database.
Soon both small and large businesses will opt in for floor mapping.
This begs to question just how useful this will be for small businesses like ourselves. It is only useful when the building you’re navigating is big enough to warrant it but still these new features will be helpful.