Google is launching indoor maps for Android devices in the U.K., to enable smartphone users to easily find their way around train stations, sporting venues, art galleries, shopping centres and department stores.
More than 40 venues in the UK have so far submitted their indoor floor plans to appear in the Google mapping system. Google said any building owner can now upload their maps for future inclusion in Google Maps.
To use the system, Android smartphone users open Google Maps on their device, zoom in to the location they're in, and the indoor floor plan will automatically appear. The indoor maps function of the software launched last fall with a selection of U.S. venues.
Users will also see where they are in the building via a blue dot on the map -- if they have enabled the My Location feature on their phones. Kings Cross station, the Barbican Centre, and the Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square are among the indoor locations currently supported, said Google.
Razia Ahamed, Google geo indoor partnerships lead, said: "You'll no longer need to feel clueless when you're at the railway station, trying to figure out where to buy a coffee before you rush to catch your train.
"Nor will you feel embarrassed about asking for the lingerie section when you're in the department store, because you'll have all the answers in the palm of your hand."
Last month Google launched a location-based tool that combines its mapping technology and Android smartphones to deploy offsite staff effectively depending on their locations.
Using the new Google Maps Coordinate app, Google said call centre employees at a company could quickly send staff to a trouble spot or where service is required quickly, by finding out which of its employees are closest to the problem site.
This story, "Google Expands Indoor Maps Selection" was originally published by Computerworld UK.