Digital indoor mapping: How technology is offering an immersive experience

Photos courtesy MappedIn

Photos courtesy MappedIn

By Cara Hueston

As digital indoor mapping begins to catch up with its outdoor counterpart in terms of widespread usage, it is important businesses understand their wide variety of uses in addition to wayfinding and navigation. From logistics and operations to safety, and even sales, there are many unique applications for digital indoor mapping.

Indoor navigation

At their core, indoor maps are used to provide context and guide users to a desired destination. While this can be achieved with a simple and static 2D map, digital interactive maps unleash a variety of new ways for maps to be used.

Wayfinding, search, and categories

Digital indoor maps provide flexibility to users. Regardless if someone is searching for a specific destination (“Apple Store”) or any location that meets a certain criteria (“technology”), or if they are unsure of their needs and want to familiarize themselves within the venue, 3D interactive maps help to provide this context. 

Logistics

Digital mapping applications are often associated with public-facing applications and their purpose limited to the previously mentioned wayfinding, search, and categories. Some of the most useful applications of indoor mapping technology, however, are used in the background and as one component of a larger ecosystem. One of these ecosystems includes internal building functions, such as asset tracking, data integrations, line management, and other logistical items.

Asset tracking

Asset tracking is one of the unique ways businesses can use digital indoor mapping solutions. By combining indoor positioning with a platform to visualize the venue and its layout, logistics teams can access a detailed view of where assets are located around the building. Whether tracking inventory in a warehouse, medical equipment, or personnel in a hospital, various technology in a school or office, or documents on a construction site, indoor maps enable these experiences.

Data integrations

Depending on the venue type or industry, there may be lots of data floating around—both for internal staff or external visitors. Without a way to sort or display this information, the data can be easily lost or misrepresented. In an airport, for example, travellers must locate dynamic displays in order to find their boarding gate. From there, they must follow static signage to locate that gate and hope their destination hasn’t changed while they travel from point A to B. One way to alleviate this is by integrating data sources with a digital indoor map, wherein users can access up-to-date flight details across any device and populate the most efficient route from the same platform.

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Another example of this is an office building. Particularly as more offices move to a hybrid model, employees may need more transparency around what resources are available to them in order to work efficiently. Everything from office supplies and technology, to meeting room availability, or hot desk reservations. With a digital indoor map, employees can access all of this data and use one integrated system in order to make requests or reservations across their workplace.

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