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Google Maps Takes Indoor Mapping Project to the UK

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Google Maps for Android now helps you navigate UK department stores, too.

Google Maps has become a massively useful tool for when we're visiting new cities, driving through an unfamiliar part of town or trying to find the nearest subway station. However, the tool has always been more of an outdoors thing. Sure, it can tell you where you are on the streets of London or how to get to Westfield Shopping Centre, but you're on your own if you plan to spend the day shopping there. At least, until today, you were.

Back in December of last year, Google launched Google Maps 6.0 for Android, which brought indoor maps to shopping malls and airports in the United States. Now UK users of the application are getting the same treatment, Google today announced.

"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," Google's Razia Ahamed writes.

Ahamed says Google has partnered with more than 40 venues in the UK, including train stations to art galleries, department stores and sporting venues, but any business can upload their maps for future inclusions so expect that number to grow. The project also includes several airports around the UK, including London City airport, London Stansted airport, London Luton Airport, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Birmingham.

Check the full list below:

  • British Museum 
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Harrods 
  • National Theater
  • Victoria Albert Museum
  • Museum of London
  • Natural History Museum
  • Courtauld Gallery
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Victoria Station
  • Euston Station
  • Kings Cross Station
  • Waterloo Station
  • London Bridge Station
  • Fenchurch Street Station
  • Cannon Street Station
  • Paddington Station
  • Charing Cross Station
  • O2 Arena
  • Wembley Stadium
  • BFI Southbank
  • Barbican
  • Ricoh Arena
  • Somerset House
  • John Lewis*
  • Debenhams*
  • Selfridges*
  • House of Fraser*
  • One New Change Shopping Mall
  • Calbot Circus Shopping Center
  • Liverpool Street Station
  • St Pancras International
  • Peter Jones - Sloan Sq.

*Some locations

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  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , July 4, 2012 6:26 PM
    Keep up the good work there. Not everyone uses it, but I think that Making Maps as good as it can reasonably be is a job worth doing. It most certainly helps me get where I'm going when I don't know the directions myself.
  • 2 Hide
    spookie , July 4, 2012 7:25 PM
    got to get this for my mom! hopefully the shopping wouldn't take so long next time
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    jhansonxi , July 4, 2012 8:22 PM
    CoopCoopAwesome for criminals and terrorists.
    Only lazy ones who don't check their targets out personally.

    I was going to suggest making a tool that can convert indoor map data into a template map for FPS games.
  • 6 Hide
    blazorthon , July 4, 2012 9:45 PM
    CoopCoopAwesome for criminals and terrorists.Want to rob a store in a mall? Easy! We know exactly where it is and we know where all of the exits are!Want to kill a bunch of people in the subway? Easy! You've now got a map of the entire station on your mobile phone!Need to rob that Monet from the local art gallery? No problem!I may be a little sarcastic, but I think you get my point.


    Any criminal that needs Maps to do this is probably not intelligent enough to succeed anyway...
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 4, 2012 9:51 PM
    There should be a map for BBC's HQ. I heard that it's one of the most difficult buildings to navigate if you're unfamiliar with the place.

    jhansonxiOnly lazy ones who don't check their targets out personally.I was going to suggest making a tool that can convert indoor map data into a template map for FPS games.


    Converting RL maps to IG maps. Heh, heck yeah!

    Anyone interested in playing L4D2 or BF3 on a Disneyland map?
  • 1 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , July 4, 2012 10:28 PM
    Apple will have a tought time catching up to Google on Map tech

    I hope Walmart embraces this feature. Walmarts are huge now and this would expedite my visits.
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 4, 2012 10:47 PM
    kronos_corneliusApple will have a tought time catching up to Google on Map techI hope Walmart embraces this feature. Walmarts are huge now and this would expedite my visits.


    The only problem is that the maps would need to be updated every month or so. Some of the stores change their layouts very frequently just to force customers to walk around longer, thus increasing the chance of them buying extra stuff they didn't plan on beforehand.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 4, 2012 10:52 PM
    kronos_corneliusApple will have a tought time catching up to Google on Map techI hope Walmart embraces this feature. Walmarts are huge now and this would expedite my visits.


    ]Like A Bad Day said, I don't think that stores would be an easy thing to keep up with for this.
  • 5 Hide
    house70 , July 4, 2012 11:02 PM
    CoopCoopAwesome for criminals and terrorists.Want to rob a store in a mall? Easy! We know exactly where it is and we know where all of the exits are!Want to kill a bunch of people in the subway? Easy! You've now got a map of the entire station on your mobile phone!Need to rob that Monet from the local art gallery? No problem!I may be a little sarcastic, but I think you get my point.

    No, I don't get your point; you're saying that someone that plans to rob a store in a mall or steal a painting from a museum will rely on this to plan it? I can only pity the fool that tries that.
  • 2 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 5, 2012 12:14 AM
    house70No, I don't get your point; you're saying that someone that plans to rob a store in a mall or steal a painting from a museum will rely on this to plan it? I can only pity the fool that tries that.


    I recall last year, a Central American military force used Google Maps. They thought a certain town was on their country's territory, so they took down the other country's flag or something. What the didn't know was that Google Maps occasionally has bugs, and they were using a slightly inaccurate map.

    The UN ended up getting involved.
  • 1 Hide
    livebriand , July 5, 2012 3:09 AM
    CoopCoopAwesome for criminals and terrorists.Want to rob a store in a mall? Easy! We know exactly where it is and we know where all of the exits are!Want to kill a bunch of people in the subway? Easy! You've now got a map of the entire station on your mobile phone!Need to rob that Monet from the local art gallery? No problem!I may be a little sarcastic, but I think you get my point.

    Not that you can't get most of that info online already...
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 5, 2012 6:37 AM
    A Bad DayI recall last year, a Central American military force used Google Maps. They thought a certain town was on their country's territory, so they took down the other country's flag or something. What the didn't know was that Google Maps occasionally has bugs, and they were using a slightly inaccurate map.The UN ended up getting involved.


    Brings back the previous argument. People whom use Maps wrongly are probably not intelligent enough to know what they're doing. People messing with some town just because an online map says that the town is on this side of their border are idiots. If anything, the most that they should have done is report it to their superiors so that they could look into the matter instead of overreacting so foolishly.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 5, 2012 2:47 PM
    Gotta admit, in-building navigation is quite cool for places that doesn't have a directory.