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Technology / AI and automation

Google Maps heads inside US museums

Google announced that it has added more than 20 popular US museums to its collection of over 10,000 indoor maps that will allow martphone users to find their way through.

The project to add these important indoor spaces begun in November and the feature will now be available in Google Maps on Android smartphones and tablets, with indoor maps and walking directions for US museums, users can plan their route from different exhibits, identify points of interest along the way, including between floors.

The addition comes just one week after Google Maps was launched in the UK.

Some of the museums added include the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and 17 different Smithsonian museums including a zoo.

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The technology allows visitors with Google Maps for Android to navigate within and between each museum.

Users will see themselves on the map as a blue dot that will show their location and orientation within the context of exhibits, stairs, restrooms, eateries and other features.

"To access the floor plans, simply open Google Maps on your Android phone or tablet and zoom in on the museum of interest," writes Cedric Dupont from the Google Maps for Mobile team.

"To find the museum, either search for it by name using the magnifying glass icon or, if you’re already there, use the "My location" feature to orient yourself."

With the My location feature enabled, users can even get indoor walking directions as well.

Google says more museums will be adding their floor plans to Google Maps for Android soon, including the SFMOMA, The Phillips Collection, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Anyone interested in getting their museum’s floor plan included in Google Maps, can use the Google Maps Floor Plans tool.

Along with the Google Art Project, indoor mapping is one more way the company is working with museums to bring enhanced access to revered cultural and educational institutions around the world, according to Google.

Tap into the latest version of Google Maps for Android in Google Play, and enjoy exploring the art and science of the great indoors.

"An increasing number of our visitors now turn to their mobile devices and familiar applications to help them find their way and get information about the Smithsonian," Smithsonian museum mobile strategy and initiatives head Nancy Proctor said in a press release.

"Indoor Google Maps helps us achieve our goal of putting the Smithsonian in their hands, both literally and figuratively."

The mapped indoor spaces of the Smithsonian total more than 2.7 million square feet and include several hundred clickable points of interest and stand-alone objects, each of which can be tapped to set as a destination.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.

CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.