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New Frontiers for Google Maps

Google continues to blaze trails into new frontiers, boldly going where no maps have gone before: INSIDE!

Have you ever zoomed in so far on a Google map to where there’s nothing but a giant gray area around you? Well, if this is the case and you’re zoomed in to a building where indoor data is available, you’ll be able to see your location within several meters, everything around you, and even what floor your on within a structure.

Just this week, Google announced that it is mapping indoor spaces and released this function on Google Maps 6.0 on Android phones. So when does this come in handy? Well, airports for one. Malls, another. Instead of searching around for the nearest mall or airport directory… voila! Just like for everything else, you can consult your phone!

To make this possible, Google had to partner with the airports, transit stations, and the largest retailers. Right now, it’s only available for a handful of locations, including:

  • Mall of America, IKEA, The Home Depot, select Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Daimaru, Taskashimaya and Mitsukoshi locations and more.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Narita International (NRT), among others.

Here’s a complete list of indoor-enabled locations. But Google intends to expand this service and I’m crossing my fingers that it will soon make it to other smart phones too.

Photo credit: Google

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