Mapping giants Google and Nokia have made great strides with regards to mapping the world and in particular the outdoors, and are now set to take the battle to the next frontier – indoors.
Nokia has announced that its indoor maps which will be called Venue Maps will be part of its HERE Maps. Venue Maps will be available in 45 countries including India.
Nokia says that there will be over 49,000 facilities covered in the 45 countries and will include various public places like public transit stations, grocery stores, airports and theme parks. The reason Nokia choose to call this service Venue maps is because it also includes popular places such as stadiums, theme parks and golf clubs.
Nokia announced that over 50% of the locations would be malls. Nokia has also added ATMs, restrooms, escalators, and airport gate numbers to the maps.
Nokia says that their maps are more precise as apart from collecting floor plans their teams have visited each place.
While using HERE maps, places with indoor mapping will be denoted with a blue icon resembling a building. These venue will also have a little more detail and zooming in would provide a better view.
There will be 1,000 new venues added every three months and Venue Maps already has already over 475,000,000+ square meters covered.
Nokia already offers Navteq destination maps in India, which features indoor navigation solutions and offers interior map attributes like elevators, lifts etc. Though over 150 malls in 17 cities where available on this at launch it was not integrated into HERE maps. It is good to see Nokia finally add indoor map support in HERE maps.
While Google entered the indoor maps game a long time back, it has still not made this facility available for any places in India.
In mid 2011, Google had announced that it would begin mapping India for Street View, but the project met with opposition and has since been put on hold. Google does offer 360 degree views of a location. It also launched the Google Business Photos program in India which gave businesses a chance to give its customers a virtual tour.
The new Venue Maps are available in Nokia’s HERE Maps as well as Bing.