Someone gave me the heads up on this today : Google Business Photos. In a nutshell, it allows a business to bring Google mapping inside their business premise, as Zweifel & Co. of Germany have done with the wine business here;
The now 5 year old yet still very impressive Google Street View technology has a new string to it’s bow – it can now go indoors. We’ve seen indoor panorama photographic technology executed to a varying degree of success over the past 15 years – there’s nothing particularly new there, but the bit that excites me about this is that it’s from Google, and that you can move around the virtual environment using the oh so familiar Google orientation controls.
You can imagine the applications for this – from Real Estate to Retail, from Education, through Government, Tourism, Transportation – the list could go on and on. Google may have done it again – fill a vacuum of a marketplace that no one knew existed -interior orientation.
I use digital maps a lot – they’ve proved themselves invaluable time and time again from researching an adventure, to being my sat nav to being fun ( in Geocaching) -They’ve got nearly all bases covered. Recently though, Bing Maps have pulled a trump card from it’s sleeve – they’ve made 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Maps (traditionally paper) available as a layer on their standard digital maps. OS maps are the ultimate map in my humble opinion – the richness of information you can glean from them, is second to non – Open Maps are pretty good, but not a patch on OS for trustable outdoor awareness.
Here’s an idea
Back to this interior orientation though. I’m sure I’m not the only one who now instinctively turns to a phone or portable device when I’m outdoors to find things and places. I’ve found myself doing the same thing in supermarkets, only to remind myself that I’m in a supermarket and maps don’t work there, silly, and besides, you can’t pick up GPS. Perhaps if the latter could be emulated indoors, an in store product finder could be invented to help shoppers find things, perhaps the go to phone to find outdoor things generation would go to phone to find things indoors in a supermarket as well. Kind of indoor geocaching. Indoor geocaching with augmented reality. Indoor geocaching with augmented reality remote control robots so you wouldn’t even have to go to the supermarket. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I’m erring to the ‘yes it is’ though. I’d be able to spend more time being in a virtual countryside instead.
Anyway – bit of a tangent – time for me to plot coordinates to get this post back on course. You have reached your destination.