Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Last November we reported that Google Maps was going indoors, letting Android users navigate their way around the inside of buildings.
But alas, it launched initially for the US and Japan only, with Switzerland and Canada following after. Now, however, the feature is arriving for UK Android users too, kicking off with forty venues at launch including Kings Cross Railway Station and the Barbican Center in London.
With Google Maps 6.0+ on Android lets users find their way around airports, shopping malls, retail stores, and other public spaces. It lets you know what floor you’re on, which exit you’re near, and generally where you are.
So, all you need to do is open Google Maps on your Android smartphone, zoom in to the location you’re at and the indoor floor plan will appear, as if by magic.
For buildings where the information is available, you’ll see where you are on the map with a blue dot. From here, you can search for a precise location within the building, for example Platform 2 at King’s Cross Station. The directions from then on work in a similar way to how they work when you use Google Maps outdoors, giving step-by-step instructions on how to get from A to B.
Stations, art galleries, department stores and sports venues are among the venues to sign-up to Google’s indoor mapping programme at launch, but this is something that should grow over time. Anyone who owns a building can upload their maps and floorplans for inclusion in Google Maps.
It’s also worth noting that at the time of writing, it’s mainly London locations that have been included, with the notable exceptions being Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.
Photo Image Credit: EEPaul | Flickr
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