Google Showcases Indoor Maps

Google Showcases Indoor Maps

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means two things: lots of turkey and empty wallets. With Black Friday and holiday shopping fast approaching, the official Google blog recently posted a blurb about indoor Google Maps for Android devices. Their plug is timely, convenient and one step ahead of big-time competitor Apple.

Indoor Google Maps have been a thing since early 2012, but holiday shopping makes this handy feature-of-the-future way more convenient. Big-box stores like IKEA, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Nordstrom already participate in high-traffic locations, and vendors are encouraged to bring Google indoors for zero cost. Business owners simply submit their floor plans to Google, which then builds the layout and adds the store as a participating location to its indoor GPS.

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The benefit to the customer: fewer headaches during chaotic shopping seasons like the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. From the Google blog:

On Black Friday and throughout this holiday season, simply zoom in to a participating store on Google Maps to devise your shopping game plan. An indoor floor plan with helpful labels will automatically appear, and the familiar “blue dot” icon will help you figure out the fastest way to the accessories department, the food court when you need to refuel, and the closest restroom or ATM when you need a break from your marathon shopping session. For many locations, you can even get indoor walking directions to find the best route from one store to the next.

Google isn’t limiting its services to department stores; the company is in the process of mapping airports, transit stations, and entertainment venues like museums and shopping malls. It’s a big move for smartphones, and an even bigger move for Android, especially because Apple currently does not have a reliable indoor GPS feature for its mapping software.

What are your thoughts? Would indoor maps help or hinder your holiday shopping? Let us know in the comments.

Scott Kaufmann
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Scott is Partner at Lucid Agency and a lover of all things technology, marketing, investing and entrepreneurship. Scott volunteers on the board of the Denver-based Nonprofit Celebrate EDU and as a mentor for SeedSpot (a Phoenix-based social startup incubator).

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