Google has introduced its Indoor Maps feature in India that lets the user view indoor floor-plans of various malls and public places across 22 cities in the country.
If you ever found yourself walking in circles and circles inside a mall, not able to find that one shop you once went to many months ago, don’t fret anymore.
Google has introduced its Indoor Maps feature for various malls and museum across several cities in the country. This feature includes detailed floor plans for indoor venues, mostly of malls and other public places such as art galleries in India and can be accessed through the Google Maps app on Android and iOS powered devices.
Google’s Indoor Maps in its first phase will be available for 75 buildings across 22 cities in India including, Delhi, NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad and Goa. In Delhi, users will be able to see Indoor Maps for Ansal Plaza in Jhel Gaon, Ambience Mall in Guragoan, Select City Walk in New Delhi, while users in Mumbai will be able to access Indoor Maps for the InOrbit Mall in Vashi and Malad, Palladium Mall, Fun Republic Mall in Andheri, etc.
The Google Indoor Maps will be available to consumers immediately. Those who use Google Maps on Android phones or iPhones and iPads will be prompted for an update to their Maps app and once, they have updated the app, they will be able to use Indoor Maps option.
To see the indoors of a venue, a user can zoom in, on a building to where indoor map data is available or zoom out to go back to the maps. The Indoors Map include floor-wise plans and information within a mall and allows users to get directions by using the My Location feature which is available for some of these locations. This feature will locate the user’s position and navigate their way inside. There will be the blue-dot icon, which will indicate a user’s approximate location in order to give indoor walking directions to a user. Other interested Indian business owners can get their location’s floor plan included in Google Maps by visiting – maps.google.com/floorplans
The feature uses several techniques to find the location of a user. The most important of these is the ability to look for Wi-Fi. Inside building GPS signals are very weak. Hence, Google is relying on a phone’s ability to scan for Wi-Fi and then the Wi-Fi details to determine location. Google says that the Indoor Maps feature would work best when a user has the Wi-Fi scanning option turned on in the phone. The tech giant further clarified that for this feature, the phone only needs to scan for networks and doesn’t have to connect to them.
Google’s Indoor Maps are already available in other parts of the world, in countries including U.S, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. “We launched indoor maps in countries like the US earlier. Now we are bringing it to India. We worked with mall owners and authorities to get the floor plans and location details and have added that information to Google Maps,” Suren Ruhela, director and product manager, India Google Maps said. “For now we are starting with 75 places. But as we get feedback from consumers and work with more partners, we hope to add more places.” Ruhela further added.
Google has recently been resurrecting their map offerings in India, after their Street View plans ran into roadblocks in June 2011, after security concerns were raised in Karnataka, just three weeks after they started. The Indoor Maps feature however, is not entirely new as earlier Nokia too, had introduced indoor venue maps through the HERE Venue feature, which offers details on specific stores, product offers, floor levels, elevators and restrooms within a shopping mall.