Not that long ago, people across the globe 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.
These digital mapping solutions allowed people to see things like Stonehenge, Mt Everest, The Egyptian Pyramids, and other wonders of the world with amazing clarity, and 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 digitized maps of indoor areas.
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 our computers or Smartphones. In this post, we will provide a guide to understanding Digital Indoor Mapping Solutions. By the end of the post, you will have an understanding of not only what digital indoor mapping is, but how it can be used to benefit your business.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the question, what are digital indoor maps?
What Are Digital Indoor Maps?
Simply put, an indoor map is the digitized data set of the interior of any structure. An indoor map helps you easily navigate between the floors of a building, and can locate amenities such as individual rooms or offices, kiosks, and other specific locations within the building.
This post focuses on ArcGIS systems which, like it sounds, are the GIS navigational system designed for exploring inside an architectural framework such a building or series of buildings. A digital indoor map can include a 3D rendering of things like restrooms, first-aid cabinet locations, fire extinguisher locations, smoke alarms, fire suppression systems, and other necessary lifesaving attributes of the building.
Indoor maps can be used in many applications, from planning for large events to being used in emergencies by first responders.
Digital 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.
What is Indoor Wayfinding?
Indoor wayfinding is one of the components that makes digital indoor mapping so unique and useful. Wayfinding is how we use and interpret the indoor 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, airports and healthcare facilities.
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, 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
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, including Maptelligent will offer a free version or a demo video of their product if you are just looking to test the waters of indoor mapping. Reading about digital indoor mapping is helpful to conceptualize the functionality of the technology. However, seeing a demo of it can help people understand the true impact of how digital indoor mapping can transform your business.
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.
Digital Twins and 3D Mapping, What are They and How They Work
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 building. 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.
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.
Maintaining Digital Maps
One of the major benefits of working with a digital mapping company is the support you can receive in maintaining your indoor maps as you experience changes in the layout and use of rooms or buildings. For example, if you are using a digital map in your manufacturing facility, and end up replacing old equipment and re-organizing the flow of your workspace, partnering with a company that specializes in digital twins and 3D indoor mapping can streamline the process of updating your maps. Finally, this support is helpful since ArcGIS technology is constantly evolving and improving, so you’ll want to have the experts on your team to ensure you have access to the best possible technology.
Now, let’s take a look at how Maptelligent can put these assets together for your individual indoor mapping needs.
The Benefits of Real-Time Indoor Mapping
For large buildings that attract crowds of people such as concert venues or shopping malls, real-time indoor mapping can give a helpful picture of what is happening in the space. Safety personnel and management staff can have a birds eye view of how pedestrian traffic is flowing throughout buildings, and if any area is getting congested or unsafe.
Real-time indoor digital mapping can be used very effectively in spaces like airports so that travelers can use their handheld devices to find their way all the way from the security line to a lunch restaurant to their gate.
Similarly, if a first responder or fire and rescue team has access to a 3D map of a structure, they can focus their efforts where they are needed most. After all people are accounted for, digital twins and 3D mapping can be very helpful to the insurance companies and contractors that will be rebuilding those structures.
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 and creating highly customizable systems are Maptelligent’s specialties. Our focused GIS (Geographical Information System) 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 all types of situations from event management to 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. All you need to do is visit the Maptelligent website and have a look at some of our videos to see our capabilities or request more information on our indoor mapping software.