Google has enhanced its mobile mapping experience in anticipation of the 2016 Olympics in RIO. In April, it launched “real-time transit for 1,300 bus lines in the Rio metro area, as well as bike routes throughout Rio and the rest of Brazil.”
Today,the company announced the addition of Street View imagery for the many venues hosting Olympic events. In addition, Google added maps of the 25 indoor venues and will be adding more information for the 12 outdoor venues.
Below is an indoor mapping example for the Maracana soccer stadium.
All the major mapping providers (Apple, Google, Bing, HERE) have rolled out indoor mapping to varying degrees. But the promise and initial expectations surrounding indoor maps haven’t really been fulfilled, even as location intelligence and analytics have surged ahead.
Consumer access to and usage of indoor maps is “really low,” according to Micello CEO Ankit Agarwal. Micello is an indoor mapping provider that operates an open ecosystem, allowing indoor maps and data to be used and distributed broadly. It captures mapping data directly from venues and building owners.
Agarwal’s company has mapped roughly 25,000 venues globally. However, he explains that indoor maps have emerged in the past several years as mostly an enterprise play with many, often unexpected, use cases. The market has not developed as much on the consumer side.
Agarwal believes that the benefits of the indoor location and mapping infrastructure, however, will ultimately make their way to consumers through syndication of the data to existing apps and mobile experiences, rather than specialized indoor mapping apps.