Indoor Maps: What They Are + How to Use Them
Not that long ago, the global community became mesmerized by the images provided by mapping solutions like Google Earth and other mapping software entities. From the comfort of your own home, you could now zoom in to ‘street level’ on an address or location on the other side of the planet.
As these mapping solutions became more popular, so did their ability to give you the best possible digital image of these locations.
Then suddenly we were able to see things like Stonehenge, Mt Everest, The Egyptian Pyramids, and other wonders of the world with amazing clarity thanks in part to the ability to view these maps in 3D, right from your desktop or laptop.
It stands to reason that with the world of design and innovation so hard at work in every aspect of our daily lives, that soon this technology would spread to include the indoor areas that we were seeing on these magnificent new mapping technologies.
Today, we now have the capability to successfully map the indoor areas of any given building or other structure and deliver those crystal-clear images directly to your computers or Smartphones.
In this post, we will provide for our reader a guide to understanding Indoor Mapping Solutions. Hopefully, by the end of the post, you will have an understanding of not only what indoor mapping is, but how it can be used to benefit us in our daily lives.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the question, ‘what exactly are indoor maps?’
What Are Indoor Maps?
Simply put, an indoor map is the digitized data set of the interior of any structure. This can be the floor-by-floor blueprint of the structure, or with proper labeling, you can have the digital version of the building’s directory right in your hand.
Indoor maps can be used in many applications, the best example of which is when they are used in conjunction with first responders and lifesaving services.
Indoor maps bring the level of detail and navigational ability to the user just like the advent of Google Earth’s popular 3D street view did. Instead of wandering around an airport looking for your specific gate, you can now navigate to it just like the traveling software inside your car.
Indoor maps add another facet to our need and ability to be constantly mobile.
What is an Interior Map?
An interior map is an added layer of the indoor map. With an interior map, you can not only successfully navigate between floors of a given structure, but you can locate amenities such as individual rooms or offices, kiosks, and other specific locations within the building.
An interior map can include things like restrooms, first-aid cabinet locations, fire extinguisher locations, smoke alarms, fire suppression systems, and other necessary lifesaving attributes of the building.
What is Indoor Wayfinding?
Indoor wayfinding is how we use and interpret the indoor and interior mapping solutions that are displayed on our devices. This can include various color codes and symbolic legends that facilitate our ability to navigate by using indoor mapping.
Indoor wayfinding is very beneficial to the user when navigating areas such as urban centers, campuses, hospitals, and healthcare facilities. Indoor wayfinding is also beneficial for movement within buildings or when moving from building to building.
How to Use Indoor Maps
Here again, we are going to be referring to Google Maps for a look into how indoor maps can be used. Just be aware that not every building you see on the map is going to have an indoor map to allow you access to the building’s layout.
For those buildings that do have a capable indoor map attached, just follow these simple steps to utilize the indoor map. For this explanation, let’s look at New York’s popular Penn Station.
Using an indoor map for a location like Penn Station will save you time when looking for a specific track to pick someone up from or when embarking on your own adventure.
How Do I Get an Indoor Map? The Software Needed to Create One
If indoor maps are beginning to appeal to you, you may be wondering how to go about getting an indoor map for your building. The first thing you will need is indoor mapping software.
Most indoor mapping software providers will offer a free version or a demo of their product if you are just looking to test the waters of indoor mapping.
Those in need of a full suite of high-quality indoor mapping features will want to consider subscription-based indoor mapping services like the ones provided by Maptelligent, as those will have the most robust, data-rich options for your indoor mapping needs.
Using the indoor mapping software is rather straightforward and there are numerous YouTube tutorials on the subject to help you get your indoor map up and running. There are also many excellent reference tools available on creating your indoor map such as this guide by ERSI.
Digital Twins and 3D Mapping, What are They and How to Create One
According to The Digital Twin Consortium, “A digital twin is a virtual representation of real-world entities and processes, synchronized at a specified frequency and fidelity.”
In simpler terms, a digital twin is a data set representing several attributes of your building that you are wanting to apply indoor maps to.
Digital twin technology is already being widely used in UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or Drone applications where contractors can see the progress of a job site without ever leaving the office. It can also be used by city planners to predict future traffic flow patterns, or by utility companies looking for areas that use more or less electricity.
When we apply 3D mapping to a digital twin we get the above-mentioned attributes in a layer-by-layer, or 3D version, of the entity in question. Digital twins provide the data, and 3D Maps apply that data to create the mapping solutions required to operate in today’s multi-faceted business world.
An excellent example of a digital twin is that of a wind farm. Wind Farms are constructed from digital twin data sets that show wind patterns, wear patterns on equipment, and electrical output patterns.
If a first responder or fire and rescue efforts have access to a 3D map of a structure, they can focus their efforts where they are needed most. After all, lives are present and accounted for, digital twins and 3D mapping can be very helpful to the insurance companies and contractors that will be rebuilding those structures, and lives.
Creating either the digital twin or 3D map is simplified when you use mapping solutions such as Maptelligent. At Maptelligent we have made a business out of creating these life-saving attributes for your indoor maps.
Now, let’s take a look at how Maptelligent can put these assets together for your individual indoor mapping needs.
Indoor Mapping Solutions from Maptelligent
The team at Maptelligent will provide you with the indoor mapping solutions your facility needs so your indoor maps can become intelligent. Maptelligent is a subscription-based mapping platform that can be used by both facility managers and first responders alike.
Providing critical information in emergency situations is what Maptelligent mapping solutions are all about. Our focused GIS (Geographical Information System) is an innovation within itself. This gives you the ability to combine data and integrate it with multiple levels of information to create a complete solution for your mapping needs.
Our system allows you to visualize, manage, and integrate the information most needed in an emergency response. And with our team of industry experts, we’ve streamlined the process so it’s simple and straightforward to attain all of your indoor mapping needs through Maptelligent. All you need to do is visit the Maptelligent website and either request that we contact you, or request a free demo of our indoor mapping software.
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