An upgrade of the mobile mapping services released by Google yesterday will include directions within malls, stores, airports and transit centers, starting with the United States of America and Japan. Google wants to expand its dominion with Google Maps and cover the airports and shopping malls of the world. Google plans its indoor maps first on smartphones and tablet computers that run on Android’s software. Google Maps 6.0 includes this indoor mapping. The users of mobile devices running Android Operating System 2.1 will have the ability to use Google Maps indoors.
It is a huge reach because the Android powered handsets and devices that are activated each day are more than half a million in number and the Google mobile maps will adapt to versions of Android that have been released as far back as 2009.
Google was turning the Android phones into digital purses that would eventually replace conventional credit cards and cash. Now, these phones can even help navigate people’s way around stores, malls and airports.
The indoor maps on Android’s software are specially designed to reduce the problems people face while orienting themselves in large complexes, stores and malls. The software highlights a user’s location with a blue dot when the floor plan is included in Google’s index. The user is able to figure out where the nearest restroom is or how he can reach a departure gate at an airport. This software is programmed to automatically change to a different floor and location within the store or airport when the user does so. It is very much like Google Maps have taken the map that you see on a kiosk at a mall or a departmental store and transferred it on your phone.
The tracking technology is able to plot your location based on cell towers, Wi-Fi signals and the Global Positioning System. It is similar to what Google Maps already does to identify where people are located when they want to view street maps. Google’s engineers have upgraded the system for the indoor maps as users can now expect precision on their positions.
Currently, big stores like Home Depot, Ikea, Bloomingdales and Macy’s have shared their floor plans of a few of their biggest stores with Google Maps. Even the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is the size of seven football stadiums, is already in Google Map’s database. There are eighteen airports currently listed with their directional databases already with Google Maps. Apart from these facilities, the users of the Android OS 2.1 can also use the mapping functionality to figure out how to find ATMs and house wares too.
This is like the third dimension of mapping. Now, it is easy to figure out where you are in a large complex. Watch this clip and be enlightened.