Friday, April 6, 2012

Google Indoor Maps & Indoor Location - update

Google Indoor Maps availability are currently available in about 60 selected locations in the U.S. and about 50 Japan. Check our report for the specific venues. Google is inviting business owners to upload a floor plan into the Google Map Service to add their venue in the list. Indoor Maps is available for end-users of Android 2.2 or above devices in Google Maps for mobile version 6.0 or above.

End of last year, Google launched indoor location capability to place the blue dot on the indoor map. In order to accelerate the deployment of its indoor location service, Google has just recently launched a crowd-sourcing Android app, the Google Maps Floorplan Marker, to allow users (i.e., business owners) to provide feedback about how accurate the Google Indoor Location service is for their venue. The app guides the user where to go inside the venue and do some WiFi scanning (and even Cell ID sniffing). This process collects the necessary data that Google needs to improve its indoor location service. Google is hoping these business users will help Google calibrate the Z-level (floor level) positioning challenge.

Any volunteers? It might be worthwhile for Google to implement a Rewards program, similar to what Navizon is doing and pay users to collect this data. This should really accelerate Google taking over the indoor world.