Want to create an indoor map of your business or venue? These indoor map providers will do the job for you.
Indoor maps are great for every business and venue out there. With them, your clients and visitors will be able to navigate around and to quickly find their way even inside huge places such as sports arenas or airports. While it is possible to create indoor maps on your own (we will cover that at a later date) the simplest and most time-saving way is to relegate the work to someone else.
There are various indoor map providers. Some solutions come with the whole infrastructure. You get indoor maps and platforms on which users can access them. Others simply create data and maps and get them ready to be added to Google and Apple Maps. And there are solutions out there who can do everything – build your own indoor maps for you, add those to Google and Apple Maps, and also add them to their own indoor mapping systems so you can build mobile apps and web portals around your indoor maps which can be upgraded with specific features (such as location-based advertising, live updates, electronic ticket and payment systems, and more). Before delving into specific indoor map solutions let’s talk for a minute about how you can add indoor maps to Google and Apple Maps.
Adding indoor maps to Google Maps and Apple Maps
In order to incorporate your indoor map to Google Maps and Apple Maps you first have to create a detailed floor plan by using a supported software such as AutoCAD. From then on, the procedure is different depending on the app.
Apple Maps require the floor plan to be converted into an Apple proprietary indoor mapping format called IMDF (Indoor Mapping Data Format). You can do this manually or you can ask your indoor map provider to do the job. Once the IMDF of the venue is ready it’s time to submit it to Apple Maps Connect for Apple to validate it.
Once the venue’s IMDF file is validated it’s time to map Wi-Fi access points (used by Apple’s indoor navigation solution) by using Apple Indoor Survey. Once the indoor survey is completed and approved you will be able to submit it for public access in Apple Maps or use the venue indoor map in other iOS apps that support it.
Google incorporates a simpler way to implement indoor maps. First, you have to create a detailed floor plan and then the floor plan has to be converted into a standardized image format such as as.JPG or.PNG. Next, visit the Google Maps Indoor Maps page and add your floor plan. Remember that in order to be able to add your floor plan you have to be authorized Google Maps partner and to provide proof that you own the building the specific indoor map is created for.
Once you add the floor plan it is time to pinpoint the building you want to provide an indoor map for and to align the floor plan with the building. Next, all you have to do is to wait for Google to implement the indoor map to its Google Maps API. Once they’re finished everyone will be able the indoor map of your venue on Google Maps and you will be able to use the floor plan on your mobile app or a website, as long as they support Google Maps API.
Now that we covered the basics of adding indoor maps to the two most popular digital map apps, let’s talk about proprietary indoor mapping providers. Compared to Google Maps and Apple Maps, they offer much more comprehensive indoor map solutions that offer quick changes according to the changes in your venue; more detailed indoor maps supporting additional features (like those we mentioned above); business-oriented services that serve business owners, their needs and needs of their customers instead using indoor maps to collect user data and provide value for Google and Apple. Here are the best proprietary indoor map providers many of which come with proprietary indoor map solutions.
Esri created ArcGIS Indoors, a powerful indoor mapping and analytics platform that provides many features such as 3D maps, location information along with optimized route navigation, support for multiple indoor positioning technologies (Bluetooth beacons, Wi-Fi access points, smart lighting), as well as detailed and real-time building information allowing asset monitoring and analysis. ArcGIS mobile apps can be found both on iOS and Android and Esri’s indoor mapping solution targets large building complexes such as shopping malls, hospitals, and airports.
Details offered by ArcGIS are incredible. Clients can see extremely detailed floor plans that include stuff like locations of fire extinguishers, devices in each office (such as computers, printers, etc.), equipment found in each room in a hospital, and much more. The web and mobile apps can be used by clients and visitors but aren’t universally available so you cannot preview the solution as easily as is the case with some other indoor mapping platforms. Further, the solution doesn’t support simple map exporting that can later be used on Google or Apple Maps. But if you want a detailed, powerful indoor map solution that comes with a plethora of features ArcGIS Indoors by Esri is the way to go.
Here Venues is a branch of Here, one of the biggest digital map and navigation providers specializing in indoor maps. The solution offers simple integration of your indoor maps to Here maps system. All you have to do is upload your floor plans and Here Venues will do the rest. Here Venues tools will transform your floor plans into interactive indoor maps that support a variety of features.
Addresses is an interesting feature allowing clients to mark their map with detailed POIs such as offices, room numbers, cubicle numbers, elevators, all kinds of special location (such as fire extinguishers or vending machines), and any other POI you can think of. Here Venue indoor maps also come with navigation support and they support every kind of indoor navigation tech. Finally, with the help of Here Venue Maps SKD and Data APIs clients can easily integrate Here Venue maps into their mobile and web apps.
Informap offers indoor map solution for shopping malls. There are multiple versions of indoor maps offered, each with a wider range of features. They support indoor navigation, indoor routes connected to specific searches (for instance, the app will offer visitors a route to a store they searched for), location of visitors and their movement as well as tools for analyzing the value of various stores inside malls. Finally, the solution offers proprietary Bluetooth beacons needed for accurate indoor navigation, visitor positioning, and best user experience.
Maps by Informap look detailed, support color codes (in order for visitors to quickly find types of stores they’re looking for), offer multiple floor maps, and come with mobile apps that can be easily installed both on iOS and Android devices.
Jibestream is another indoor mapping solution that supports simple import of floor plans and the creation of detailed indoor maps that can later be exported in a variety of formats while preserving all information contained in them. Further, the solution offers a plethora of features for different clients. There are turn by turn directions for visitors between different POIs; custom map profiles are great for different users based on permission-based profiles (for instance a visitor to your manufacturing facility will get different data and navigation than your employees); a powerful analytics engine allowing clients to monitor and analyze user-generated data; integration with mobile and web apps, and much more.
But that’s not all because Jibestream offers even more features for different clients. There is support for different indoor navigation technologies, indoor geofencing (great for analyzing traffic at a specific store inside a shopping mall), proximity messaging (send real-time targeted messages to visitors or notify them when they are near POIs they searched for before), indoor location sharing, asset tracking (great for business clients), combination of outdoor and indoor navigation (cool feature for universities to help students find their way around the campus and into the faculty building their next class is taking place at), and more. Jibestream offers a powerful platform suited for a variety of clients. It can be adapted to provide virtually any option you might need.
Mappedin is a powerful indoor mapping solution aimed at large venues, shopping malls, hospitals, smart buildings, retail businesses, and city districts. Mappedin offers detailed 3D maps custom made for each building. Those maps come with a plethora of features depending on the purpose of the building. Shopping malls maps support smart search, predictive matching (allowing returning visitors to easily find stores they need), special events and promotions, ad integration, and more. Healthcare maps come with mobile pass support allowing visitors to easily find appointed physicians, smart directions, powerful search tools, and more.
The solution also offers easy and simple Apple Maps integration for your indoor maps and comes with potent map editor allowing users to make all kinds of changes to their indoor maps. Mappedin also supports various integrations. Clients can opt for advanced indoor navigation systems such as Bluetooth beacons, can integrate digital kiosks, touchscreens or media players to offer visitors better indoor navigation experience, or integrate ads and special events to their indoor maps. Mappedin is a powerful indoor mapping solution that offers a variety of features and is adaptable to different types of clients.
Mapwize puts simplicity above everything else and we like that. The process of implementing your indoor maps into the Mapwize system is super easy and it can be done by anyone. All you have to do is produce a floor plan in one of the supported formats, find the building on the map, name it and draw borders around it. Next, you need to edit your account and API access, drag and drop floor plans and align them to building borders (there is support for multiple floors), mark POIs (such as entrances, offices, reception, etc.), draw routes between different POIs and that’s pretty much it. Once you click on the “publish” the map will be seen by everyone who visits Mapwize digital map that includes every indoor map in their system, which is a great way to preview the platform.
Mapwize maps support indoor navigation, indoor and outdoor map combination (e.g. for showing both the campus and buildings in case of a university), and support for virtually any type of indoor positioning system. Finally, Mapwize studio is a powerful tool to import, customize, and modify indoor maps as well as add additional features such as preexisting routes, special events (such as sales in specific stores in shopping malls), easy way to locate items of need in manufacturing sites, etc. Aside from offering indoor maps for buildings and venues, the solution supports indoor maps for events allowing organizers to offer visitors navigation and simple way of finding POIs they are looking for.
MazeMap is an indoor mapping solution focusing on large buildings such as shopping malls, hospitals, universities, airports, conference venues, and offices. The platform offers excellent preview in the form of an interactive map showing every building mapped by MazeMap. You can see map design, details and other features of each map and quickly decided whether the service is right for you. We found this really helpful and it is probably the best preview of all the services shown here.
MazeMap indoor maps support directions and indoor positioning as well as simple map export images that can be integrated into other indoor map platforms, such as Google Maps. Clients can use MazeMap maps as platforms for IoT projects and can equip maps with additional features thanks to developer APIs available for all clients. We like the simplicity and general looks of MazeMap indoor maps as well as easily viewable collection of all MazeMap indoor maps.