Google’s steady march to capture the entire spatial element of the world has extended to the indoors. Google Maps 6.0 for Android has rolled out and the most notable change is the addition of indoor navigation for Android users. Navigation through the interior of buildings is similar to external navigation with the exception of a numbers menu on the right of the screen that allows the user to select the floor of the building to view.
The selection in indoor floor plans is limited at the moment and is mostly a list of airports, retail stores, and malls in the United States, and locations around Japan. The current listing of floor plans can be found within Google’s Help documentation.
Property owners can upload their own floor plans to build out Google’s database via maps.google.com/floorplans (Google log in required). The process is straightforward with JPG, PNG, BMP, and GIF accepted for each floor within a building. The uploaded floor plan is then georeferenced using satellite imagery.
No word on when indoor navigation will be available for other mobile devices but those that want to see a demo of the new capabilities can do so by visiting http://maps.google.com/starthere.
Since Google is already working on a Google Street View car that drives itself, now we just need to wait for mini Google Car drones to start showing up inside of buildings everywhere. Or perhaps it’s time for Google to acquire Everyscape (reviewed back in 2007 on this site when it first debuted), which after losing out on competing with Google’s Street View for external streetscaping, refocused its energies on producing 3D interior views of buildings.