Google today unveiled its latest version of their popular Android application, Google Maps, adding support for inside malls and airports. Now, instead of seeing a generic outline of places such as the Mall of America or Atlanta’s ultra-busy airport, users will be able to see names of stores and their relative proximity.
Although not widely available (select U.S. and Japanese locations), it’s certainly a step in the direction of awesome. Check out a few before and after photos of various spots from around the world. Here in the United States we can look forward to maps for retail stores including IKEA, Macy’s, Home Depot, and a few others.
Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on. All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of ‘My Location’ for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned for indoors.