Navigating shopping malls, ATMs, airports, just got easier with new 'indoor GPS' Google Maps

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 09:30 hrs

New maps service by Google now allows users to get floor layouts and navigation on their smartphones for select airports, malls, and retail stores.

The technology is sometimes called "indoor GPS", but it does not use satellite navigation as this doesn't work indoors and struggles even in urban environments where large buildings block the signal.

Instead of satellites, Wi-Fi has become the standard for companies such as Google to locate the user within five to 10 metres through Wi-Fi access points.

Now, navigating museums, airports and railway stations or finding shops, ATMs and even your car in shopping centres will soon become simple with the help of the new service, the Brisbane Times reports.

According to the paper, Google has launched indoor maps in eight countries, the United States, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Britain, France, Denmark and Sweden.

The firm has over 10,000 floor plans mapped including airports, shopping centres, hotels, universities and libraries, the report said.

According to the paper, Google software engineer Waleed Kadous, an Australian who studied at UNSW, leads Google's indoor mapping effort from California.

He told an indoor mapping conference at the University of NSW this week that the technology was approaching the tipping point of mainstream adoption.

"Are we right where we were with the web in 1997? I think we have some problems we need to address but we might very well be because in my view there's no fundamental technical obstacle now," the paper quoted Kadous, as saying. (ANI)

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