The acquisition of digital map vendor HERE by a consortium of German car makers could indicate that pedestrian maps are not a focus of HERE any more. Actually it does not seem so.
Based on a recent discussion with HERE even car makers seem interested in indoor maps to provide pedestrian directions out of the car to bring drivers to their final destination on feet.
As an example, Garmin is using HERE’s indoor maps to direct drivers to the nearest parking area when the destination entered is a specific shop in a shopping mall.
GPS Business News caught up with the latest development on that front with Joseph Leigh, Head of “Venue Maps“ at HERE.
GPS Business News: How many indoor location maps are you offering nowadays?
Joseph Leigh: We have mapped 90,000 buildings at 13,000 venues, in 86 countries. The total footprint is 1.1 billion sqm.
GPS BN: What is the regional segmentation?
JL: Roughly 50% of our venue maps are in North America and 35% are in Europe. The rest are spread around the world, across 86 countries.
GPS BN: What is the vertical segmentation, meaning per type of venue?
JL: Roughly 70% of our venue maps are retail specific. We also have mapped over: 2,000 train stations, 1,900 universities, 350 airports (including the world’s largest airports), 300 museums, 170 zoos, 130 amusement parks, 100 hospitals, and 30 casinos (mainly in Las Vegas).
GPS BN: How are you creating and updating Indoor maps?
JL: The mapping and updating process is a lot more complex than with outdoor maps. It is based on a mixture of source information including architect diagrams, the latest commercial lease plans and ground truth information collected on-site. We are also not just talking about X (longitude) and Y (latitude), but Z (which is the different floors that might exist in a venue).
GPS BN: Who are your customers for these maps?
JL: Customers include Garmin (for ‘last mile’ car and pedestrian navigation), BING Maps, Qualcomm, ESRI, Amadeus (the travel company) and several other industry players. We’re also seeing growing interest from airlines, rail operators, universities and even hospitals.
Joseph Leigh was also recently a speaker at the Where Camp conference in Berlin. Watch below his full presentation: