Google is expanding the indoor maps feature it introduced last year in the US and is now making it available in the UK. Users will be able to bring up Google Maps on their phones and get their bearings in train stations, large malls and so on.
The idea is to make interior locations as easy to navigate as exterior ones. It's an ambitious undertaking and it's going to be a while before Google can have the same coverage for interiors as it does for the outside world, but it's impressive as it is right now.
"We’re happy to announce that today Google is launching indoor maps for Android devices in the UK," Google's Razia Ahamed wrote
"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 from platform 11; 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," she added.
Google has worked with several venues to make interior maps a reality in the UK. For now, about 40 venues are available, but more will be added in time. Businesses can upload their floor plans to have them included in Google Maps. For now, places like train stations, art galleries, department stores or sporting venues are included.
You can see a full list of locations supported in the UK here
. Other interior locations from around the world are also listed there. Google has rolled out the interior maps feature in the US initially and then later to Japan and Switzerland.
Google is not the only one doing interior locations, Microsoft announced last week that it's expanding its similar feature, Bing Venues, which offers interior maps for malls. The feature is now available in North America, Europe and Asia for some 2,700 locations.