Monday, January 9, 2017

Mapping solutions enables their users to find their way easily, using mobile, website or kiosk.

Wayfinding solutions support our daily lives in finding our way and optimizing our time. We use them naturally to find the fastest, shortest or optimized route to our desired destination. In many cases it is still connected to outdoor routing like car navigation, hiking, or biking. In addition since several years we face a trend that more and more people move to cities (more than 50% of world population life in cities; mega-cities are growing) also man-made structures and buildings become more and more complex sometime giant. Those buildings include shopping-malls, airports, hospitals, universities, large office structures or government buildings.


Navigation within indoor constructions become challenging for people even if they are familiar to those building. There is an increasing need for solutions that enable fast and easy indoor navigation. Modern Indoor solutions have to be intuitive to use and always accessible.

For indoor navigation similar principles are applied as for outdoor navigation. In fact a routable graph is build based on a digital map of the building. Localization is supported by tags (e.g. RFID) or signal strength of mobile communication networks, using of sensors, IPS, NFC, etc.

One solution is offered by Visioglobe, a company which targeted an outdoor market: navigation on roads, ski slopes, hiking paths, golf courses embedded in a PDA and other hardware. From 2011, the company set its sights on the indoor market with a focus on smartphones. Visioglobe today covers some of the world’s largest malls, most prestigious airports, hospitals in the USA and thousands of square meters of office space, where the Visioglobe maps have replaced paper maps. Other companies offer similar solutions for the increasing indoor wayfinding problem.

Key for indoor wayfinding solutions is accessibility for users. It shall be available on mobile devices, internet, kiosks, info points. The implementation on all of these platforms has to be consistent but adapted for their specific use cases. 

You can find more general information about indoor navigation on the following wiki: http://www.indoornavigation.com/

Some interesting questions answered there:
  • Indoor GPS: How does navigation work without GPS?
  • What does a good indoor navigation system look like?
  • Indoor navigation using Augmented Reality apps
Related topics are: Location Augmentations, IPS, Augmented Reality, Mobile Mapping

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