Discover and Share Your World

2016-03-08
Indoor Maps

Google Maps supports indoor maps. The easiest way to understand them is via a screenshot.

Ground Floor Third Floor

You can use the Disc web app as well as IOS app to create posts for places. In particular, you can select a floor for a post, and the DiscPlaces IOS and Android apps will display your post for the appropriate floor.

For example, I’ve created posts for each of the rooms in the British Museum. Here’s an example of a post for the room with the Parthenon exhibit.

Check out DiscPlaces for examples of how you can overlay posts on Google indoor maps, as well as search for posts.

Adding an indoor map to Google Maps

Google has support for user-contributed indoor maps, but the process is somewhat confusing.
Once you have your floorplan (creating a floorplan is described in the next section), go to
Google Floorplans and go through the following steps.

  • Choose a place
  • Add some meta-information and upload your map
  • Line up your map
  • Submit for review, and be prepared to wait for several weeks
    The restrictions on indoor maps seem fairly lenient, the primary one being the map has to be of a public place.

Creating indoor maps

I did a couple of test maps, in conjunction with Alex Frantiuc and Hamo Hapic, designers with mapping experience. It was a painless experience, thanks to their spreme competence and cooperation. Here’s what we created, you can compare with the starting specification.

Here’s notes from Alex on the methodology he followed. Basically, we tried to mimic the floor plan for the British Museum.

  • Used software: ArcMap 10.3, Adobe Illustrator 2015 CC and Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.
    The most used software was ArcMap.
  • To simply put it I digitized the plan. Here is an example
  • The color was also taken in ArcMap from the British Museum example that you gave me. Loaded the image until pixel level and the software has a tool that can tell the RGB composition of certain pixels.
  • The font was taken from a description of British Museum floor plans. I wasn’t sure about it. I went with the idea of testing it, as example, wasn’t set on using sans serif. But you did liked it and as long as it fits your needs it was good for me.:)
  • Illustrator was used to convert the icon from svg to emf, because ArcMap doesn’t accept that format.
  • Acrobat was used as visualization tool and to bind the pdfs together. The transparency was also set here. Access ctrl+k, go to page display and check the show transparency grid box and that’s all.
  • Related to the scale, one work around would be the make the page greater then an A4 format.
  • The solution would be to draw them to scale.If you’ll look into the lower right corner of the pdf document that you have sent to me there is written “2/07” and I assume that is the scale.
  • For the next project I’ll try to do it in AutoCAD, as ArcMap is not made for indoor floor plans.
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