Given the current British weather, we seem to be spending a lot more of the summer than we’d hoped indoors. The thing about being indoors is that people often get lost - I’m not talking about in your own home, of course, but when you’re out and about, in train stations, museums, department stores and shopping centres.
We’re happy to announce that today Google is launching indoor maps for Android devices in the UK. 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.
Just open Google Maps on your Android mobile phone, zoom in to the location you’re in and the indoor floor plan magically appears. And for buildings where the information is available, we’ll even show you where you are on the map with a familiar blue dot if you’ve enabled the My Location feature. Next, search for the location you’d like to get to (Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station or Peter Jones in Sloane Square) and we’ll provide directions to help you get there - even if you’re on a completely different floor.
40 venues in the UK have worked with us to have their indoor floor plans appear on Google, ranging from train stations to art galleries, department stores to sporting venues. In fact, any building owner can upload their maps for future inclusion in Google Maps.
I know that I’ll definitely be using the indoor maps feature this summer to find my way around London as I start my work as a volunteer this summer. And no doubt I’ll also be using it in between my shifts, perhaps for a spot of retail therapy at Peter Jones or to check out the James Bond exhibition at the Barbican.
So whatever the weather, take time to explore the indoors this summer in the UK.