Lost in a mall or airport, but don't want to talk to anyone or get directions? No problem, Google has created a new feature for people wanting to find their way around stores, buildings or airports without having to look up from his or her smartphone.
Google Maps has launched a new feature that has indoor mapping, a kind of My Location for the indoors, that helps users find their way around unknown buildings, arenas or other indoor venues.
Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on. All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of ‘My Location’ for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned for indoors.
So far Google has partnered with several international airports, including San Francisco International and Narita International, as well as retailers such as IKEA and Home Depot.
It seems that this feature will mean that no one has to even look up from a smartphone once all day, not even to look to see if one is going to run into a column or koi pond. We're not sure that's progress.