Nokia's digital mapping arm Navteq on Monday today announced the launch of NAVTEQ Destination Maps, a set of interior map attributes that enables users to more efficiently navigate and explore interior spaces.
With NAVTEQ Destination Maps, location-based applications can extend beyond streets and sidewalks and into complex interior spaces.
NAVTEQ Destination Maps moves the industry beyond the interactive floor plan maps available today and into a three-dimensional data. It does this by providing pedestrian-specific attributes unique to interior requirements like stairs and elevators as well as recognizing different floor levels (called Z-levels) that are essential for applications to "understand" movement between floors once inside a venue and generate routes and guidance. NAVTEQ Destination Maps also include a Virtual Connections feature that enables more intuitive guidance by recognizing how pedestrians "cut across" open areas.
The product even includes access restrictions to avoid being guided to an "emergency exit" as well as precise locations of important points like the nearest public bathroom. Additional POI detail such as meta-tag data enables search to be associated not just with a POI (e.g., a department store) but with specific sub-information (e.g., perfume) within those categories.
Initially, the company said that it would focus on mapping large shopping centers in the U.S. but plans to extend the product to include other types of complex destinations in the future.
"The concept of interior mapping and navigation is still relatively new," said Tom Fox, vice president, Maps and Content Americas, NAVTEQ. "And we recognize that the interior of shopping centers is just the beginning: as future indoor positioning technologies are deployed, NAVTEQ Destination Maps will support even more sophisticated applications like seeing where your friend is in the mall or how crowded a restaurant is in real-time. NAVTEQ is actively working with its customers to help shape future indoor mapping applications."
NAVTEQ Destination Maps currently covers more than 200 of the largest shopping centers in the U.S. (e.g., average of over 750,000 square feet) with expansion plans for more shopping centers and more types of destinations throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.