Google Maps The Indoors

IT Management

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Remember paper maps? The kind that required olympic dexterity to hold and read competently and that never folded up as neatly as it was when it was brand new? Better yet, do you remember the last time you even used a paper map?

Good luck plumbing your memory to recall that moment, and thank Google while you're at it. Ever since smartphones became the ubiquitous device velcroed to the hands of millions of people, Google threw the public a bone by providing smartphone users a mobile app with easy access to maps for virtually any place on Earth. They even gave us maps of the ocean floor. This new mastery over navigation worked like a sixth sense and made us feel like new Magellans.

Well, until you went inside.

Once you're indoors, it's back to the frustrating days of pouring over free-standing maps to find the "You Are Here!" icon or, at the risk of validating your cluelessness, asking someone for directions.

Finally recognizing that people are just as likely to get lost indoors as they are outdoors (if not moreso), Google's finally lending a hand to smartphone users. A new blog post today from Google reveals that their Maps app will begin providing floor plans for some of civilization's frequented yet most vexing indoor labyrinths (think airports or malls).

Google released two videos with the post demonstrating how the indoor maps work:

The blogpost also explains that Google will constantly update the indoor maps insofar as that information is made available as well as an invitation for businesses to submit floor plans so they can be included with this function. A detailed list of current locations currently supported by the app is also available. It's worth mentioning that this feature is only available on Android devices (as of today, at least).

So far, the response from the Twitterscape appears to be positive:

Will definitely use this in airports. RT @dannysullivan: Google Maps. Now for indoors: 2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Definitely going to be handy! Google Maps goes indoors in US and Japan. 2 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Google Maps: one step closer to helping me find my keys 2 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Now finding those Swedish meatballs has never been easier.