Imagine you step off a plane into an airport you've never been. You need a bathroom, a cup of coffee, and the gate for your connecting flight. Which way do you turn? Now if you’re in the Boise Airport, you can just turn on your smartphone, and follow the map.
The Boise Airport is small, and easy to negotiate compared to say Los Angeles International. But spokeswoman Patti Miller says if you’ve never been here, you can get lost.
Now, Google’s “My Location” indoor mapping feature, on your Droid phone can tell you where to go. “The ability to be able to go in and say I’m looking for the Moxi Java, the Starbucks, you know, pick a place, and there it is, you can just walk right to it, it literally leads you there.”
A blue dot on your phone tells you where you are. The application overlays a detailed floor plan of the airport, including where things are, like bathrooms, baggage claim, and rental cars.
Only a handful of airports, including Portland and Seattle-Tacoma, have been mapped so far. But Cedric Dupont, a product manager at Google, says the list will grow. “So we would like to really cover all of the travel space, so any big transit hub that you can think of, airports, large train stations, places where people really need help.”
Google started in November building on its efforts to map important indoor spaces. So far it's mapped over 10,000 indoor spaces for Android phones and tablets... including all 17 Smithsonian Institution museums. As for Boise's airport, Miller says the new indoor map is catching on with travelers.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio