Google Updates Maps and Bar, Helps You Find Your Way Indoors

Google released its latest update for Google Maps on Android devices.  The update features a new service that takes Google Maps to the next level by bringing it indoors.

According to a blog post by Mike Chu, software engineer, Google mobile team,

“My Location is a new beta technology from Google that uses cell tower identification to provide you with approximate location information, so it will work on phones without GPS. Simply fire up Google Maps for mobile, press [0], and the map will indicate your approximate location by centering on a blue circle.”

This new service will greatly help those individuals who seem to lack a sense of direction, the ones who are constantly lost, even if they are just inside a mall.  The blue dot indicates exactly where you are in your environment, so no more running around like a headless chicken.

“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,” Brian McClendon, VP of Engineering, Google Earth and Maps wrote on his post.

Google Partners

  • Mall of America, IKEA, The Home Depot, select Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Daimaru, Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi locations and more. Watch an IKEA demo here.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Narita International (NRT), among others.
  • JR and Tokyu Corporation

You can get the updated Google Maps here.  If you’re a business owner and you want to be more visible to the public and you want your floorplan to appear on My Location, go here.

Aside from the Google Maps update, Google is also rolling out a redesigned Google bar, which will allow users to effortlessly navigates between Google services and share whatever pleases you on Google+ with ease.

“Instead of the horizontal black bar at the top of the page, you’ll now find links to your services in a new drop-down Google menu nested under the Google logo,” Eddie Kessler, Technical Lead, wrote on his post.  “We’ll show you a list of links and you can access additional services by hovering over the “More” link at the bottom of the list. Click on what you want, and you’re off.”