Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography
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Singapore is no stranger to indoor maps. In fact, beside the U.S., Singapore was one of the first places we looked to bring indoor maps. Naturally, we were the first, but that did not stop the imitators from quickly following. But what should an indoor map API in Singapore encompass?
Singapore, although small in total size, is actually a really big place. The only thing is Singapore is not wide, but tall. Singapore loves to build up and out, so naturally this means multi-level mega malls and airports that only the Mall of America could compete with. Micello has close to 100 venues completely mapped out in Singapore alone, making us the leading indoor map maker in Singapore.
(Updated on October 2, 2014)
But when we say an indoor maps API done the right way, we mean it! Micello is the only large indoor map supplier in the world that gives developers full control over the entire map. In fact, we put our customers in the cockpit by turning the control of the map over to them.
The internet is a big place so naturally you’ll find some map APIs out there that will claim to do indoor maps among other things, but at Micello we only do indoor maps. Our entire company is built on the goal of mapping every interesting building on the planet.
So how does this make Micello any different? Developer control makes all the difference when it comes to owning both the content and data that goes into building a great application. We hear a lot of things from our customers who have looked at those small indoor map imitators, but the thing that has always separated Micello is our hands off approach. Now, let’s remember that hands-off doesn’t mean we won’t be there when you need us, but rather, hands-off means we don’t dictate how you decide to implement, change and customize the map on your application.
Because we are not in the business of collecting data, advertising, or any other activities those other APIs do on the side, we simply build the map and let you build the application.
Indoor positioning has been in the news a lot in the past couple of years. Like any good technology, there is always a competition to see which positioning technology will win out. Bluetooth (beacons), WiFi triangulation, echolocation, and even hardware solutions are all racing against each other to become the one indoor positioning technology (IPS) to rule them all.
If you’ve seen all the headlines but still don’t know what Indoor Positioning is, check out this short clip of IPS in action:
(This video was created by Micello partner SenionLab in 2012)
The ability to monitor and track a user’s location as they move along a map is one of the most common requests we hear from developers. In all fairness to developers, it’s definitely understandable why this is necessary to have. Here are just some of the abilities that are possible after plotting a user’s location on a map:
This seems to be a very popular idea among enterprises, but what exactly does this mean? By knowing a user’s location as they move in real time on the map, the ability to ingest this data gives enterprises the ability to better target their promotions. Think of it like this, would you be more tempted to buy an item if you saw an advertisement for the item while you were relaxed and sitting on your recliner at home, or would you be more tempted to buy the item while you were only one aisle over from the item itself? It may very well be the same exact advertisement, but when companies know where you are in their stores, they can better target their promotions. This is just one of the benefits of retail data. This doesn’t even begin to describe the implications it might have on internal tools.
It’s not a surprise to anyone that people are increasingly using their smartphones more and more. The desire to remain connected is ever present in our lives. So what does this have to do with indoor positioning? Giving users context of the world around them is at the heart of indoor wayfinding. Knowing where you are is definitely important, but what’s also important is knowing where your friends and family are. Think back to how many times you simply ‘bumped’ into someone while you were out shopping. Now add indoor positioning into this scenario and suddenly, you provide familiarity and control to the user. Now they get to see which one of their facebook friends is shopping in the same mall they are, or which one of their linkedin contacts is walking around at the same business conference. What’s important to remember here is that unlike outdoor wayfinding, indoor wayfinding applications can fill much more uses cases than just finding your way around. If the world wide web created a new frontier, then indoor wayfinding is about to show you where you’re standing in that frontier.
If all the other reasons weren’t enough to convince you of the awesomeness of IPS, perhaps increasing shopper efficiency will. Think back to your last online purchase. Whatever it was, why did you buy this item online? Maybe it’s because that was the only place you could find it, but what’s more likely is that it was to get the best price and save a trip to the store. Smartphones and online shopping are making it much easier to shop online. Why is it so easy to shop online versus shopping in the store? Mainly because I sit at my computer, type in the product i’m looking for and presto….I find it, then buy it. Before people start saying this is the end of brick and mortar stores, let’s remember that there still is some luxury in being able to see what you buy before you buy it, no matter what it is. The only issue with brick and mortar shopping is the thousands of products that are thrown at you as you walk in. Basically, it’s just really hard to find stuff sometimes. It takes time to first find the section of the store the department is in, then to browse up and down the aisles looking for it. IPS can give users the ability to instantly see where they are in the store, then instantly know where they need to go to find what they are looking for. Now instead of aimlessly moving across the store from one department to the other, IPS allows me to plan my shopping by routing me to the exact brands i’m looking for in the order they appear by proximity to my actual location.
Micello works with some excellent indoor positioning companies to offer fluid indoor positioning integration on our map. Like adding custom colors on a map, indoor positioning is just another feature that the Micello API can fully support. While all of our maps by default come equipped with navigation routing, IPS is something we love to see coupled with our maps. And because our maps have the ability to overlay objects on the map, we can work with your favorite IPS technology (no matter what it is) to integrate with our maps.
In April 2013, Micello announced that it had over 15,000 indoor maps available on our platform. It’s now over a year later we’re still hard at work continuing our mission of covering every interesting building on the planet. Speaking of coverage, we’re excited to highlight our coverage tool micello.com/places. We’re definitely a data visualization kind of bunch so we figured why not visualize our coverage around the globe for the world to see?
When you first open www.micello.com/places, you’ll notice a Google outdoor map appear inside the Micello.com window. As the page loads, various colored pins will drop on the map signifying the location of a Micello map. It may take a few moments to fully cache, but don’t worry you’ll see the pins soon!
See that Now Viewing bar on the left side of the map? This is a smart tool-bar which tells you exactly how many different types of maps are located in the specific area your window hovers over. It also allows you to quickly jump to major cities and different countries.
Feel free to pan and zoom around the map and find all the cool places Micello has mapped near you. Once you find a venue that looks interesting, simply click on the desired pin. See that pop-up window below? There are three ways to view the map. If you’re on your phone go ahead and select Mobile. If you are at your computer, Place Page and Preview the Map are great ways to open the map. After selecting any one of the three options, a new window will load in your browser displaying the Micello map.
For this example, I’ll go ahead and select Place Page. Now the map’s place page appears in the browser. Some Micello fans might not have known this, but each map’s place page offers a great example of the various social media API integrations. Foursquare, Yipit, Flickr, Twitter and Instagram post appear via their proximity on the map in this example.
Our micello.com/places is a great way to check out the awesome places that Micello has already mapped. If you check it out and don’t see the map you’re looking for, don’t sweat it! We’ll make the absolutely free: www.micello.com/maprequest
Make sure to check out all the latest indoor location news by visiting: www.micello.com/blog
By 2014, it’s safe to say that Micello has led the way for bringing indoor maps to where they have never gone before. Now we say adiós as we head south of the border to bring our developer community some brand-new indoor maps of all things Mexico.
For the last couple of years we’ve seen many companies trying to build indoor location technologies in other parts of the world, but map coverage in Mexico has always been lacking. No more !
Thanks to Micello, our customers can now begin building solutions that incorporate all parts of South America, including Mexico!
Take a peek:
Blvd. Puerta de Hierro 4965, Puerta de Hierro, 45116 Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
Av. February 5, 99, The Viceroys, 76175 Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico
Av. Ruiz Cortines No. 255 , Col. Las Margaritas, Atizapan, Edo. of Mexico
Centro Santa Fe
Av. Vasco de Quiroga 3800, Santa Fe,Mexico City, 05109
Mexico-Acapulco highway 87.5 km corner Av. Meters of Fifty, Col. Flores Magón. CP 62370, Cuernavaca, Morelos
Zona Sin Asignación de Nombre de Colonia 57, Chilpancingo de Los Bravo, Guerrero, Mexico
You’ll find access to all of these maps and a whole lot more at www.micello.com/workbench and make sure to learn more about all of our exciting news by visiting www.micello.com/blog every day to learn cool new stuff about indoor location.
Looking to still get away this summer? Of course you are. The kids are back to school and the resorts are empty. Well, sort of. That’s why we’re dishing out some cool new maps that are going to help you find your way around the best vacationing spots in the world. Our first stop, San Diego!
Nestled in the middle of San Diego Bay sits Hotel Del Coronado. This luxurious beachfront resort is defined by its beautiful victorian architecture and remains one of southern California’s premier summer destination spots.
In 2011, USA Today’s travel blog listed Hotel Del Coronado as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. So it’s no wonder we had to make a map of the awesome place!
We could talk about all the “Del Perks” Hotel Del Coronado has to offer, but why not just share some sweet screenshots from their Instagram that tells it all.
Yep, we wish we were there too! If you are ever in the San Diego area looking for a great hotel, Tripadvisor gives them 4 stars.
Check out this great video which shows a family making fantastic memories at Hotel Del Coronado
Don’t forget to carry the Micello map with you as you explore this place. It’s pretty big!
A brand new e-book was just released last week by technology writer Karen Frenkelin, in honor of the CTO forum that took place last fall and included leading scientist and technologist for the conference. The two-day event, which was packed with many keynote speakers, academics and industry panelist, served as a great home to discuss the state of new and exciting technologies that are changing the way we operate. We’ve gone ahead and compiled the highlighted points from the CIO Insight report:
”Indoor GPS Helps Consumers
People spend 80% of their time indoors, but GPS can't penetrate most buildings. Electronic mapmaker Micello builds indoor maps of shopping malls, stores, hospitals, garages, business campuses, movie theaters and more, enabling customers to reserve seats at AMC movie theaters or quickly find new deals at Wal-Mart.
Introducing Location-Based Services
This fall, consumer electronics firm CSR will unveil a location platform for handsets that will report a location to within a few meters. Likewise, an app could enable asthma sufferers to pinpoint locations where they've had to use their inhalers.
Cognitive Computing Aids Decision Making
Cognitive computing systems learn and interact with people to enhance what they and machines do independently. They improve human experts ability to make better decisions with the help of big data.
Too Little Data, Not Too Much
Contrary to what many people think, we have too little data, not too much, according to the report. "More data gives us better context to understand what's important," notes the report, which says that data-centric systems are needed to process and make sense of massive amounts of data. In the future, for example, IBM's Watson computer may bring computation to data instead of bringing data to the computation engine.
Miniaturization of Machines and Interfaces
Unlike IT, multi-, micro- and nano-scale devices will not be shrunken versions of previous ones, so the challenges to building them and their interfaces are different and will create opportunities for small companies. Graphene researchers, for example, are creating flexible electronics that can be inserted into the brain or painted on skin.
Data to Improve Manufacturing Efficiency
Thousands of sensors in factories will measure temperature, humidity, air pressure and other relevant factors. Machine's operational data, for instance, will alert workers so that they can prevent machine malfunctions and adjust work processes.
Additive Manufacturing With 3D printers
Additive manufacturing is making complex products more affordable. Examples include parts for jet engines, hearing aids and dental implants. But parts must be designed differently and "brilliant" factories must be built, offering challenges to engineers trained in subtractive manufacturing.
Robots Working Alongside Humans
Baxter, the robot made by Rethink Robotics, works safely next to humans in factories. Its arms have seven joints, each hand has a camera and accelerometer, and the robot interfaces with a factory equipment's programmable logic controls. "Workers like the robot because it takes over the unappealing jobs," says inventor Rodney Brooks.
Open Source Robots
Loosely defined tasks require highly complex software too challenging for one lab or company to develop alone. The Open Source Robotics Foundation is developing a Robot Operating System to facilitate collaborative authoring of robotics software with flexible middleware and a library of common robotics tasks.
Biotech: Genes Affecting Life Span
Biotechnology researchers have discovered a gene called DAF-2 that codes for a hormone receptor that controls aging in worms. The gene resembles human hormone receptors for insulin and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) and may control the rate of aging.
More Years for Moore's Law
With materials and new micro- and nano-scale structures, Moore's Law may applicable for 20 to 30 more years. For instance, the first carbon nanotube computer was demonstrated in 2013 and is expected to transform the industry. And researchers have made progress in harnessing Germanium, an element that resembles silicon, and are overcoming its stumbling block, which is light emission.”
We’re very excited to learn that our partner CSR has also joined Micello on this list. We’ve been working extremely hard these past few years helping to bring familiarity and awareness to both the consumer and the enterprise. To see the full article visit: http://www.cioinsight.com/it-news-trends/slideshows/seven-emerging-technologies-you-should-know-about.html#sthash.c5qj0ZuZ.dpuf and learn more about indoor maps by checking out www.micello.com/start
To check out all the latest Micello blog post, visit: www.micello.com/blog
Parking Lots are a lot like people! They come in shapes, colors and sizes. In fact, parking lots can be so complex, people may find themselves spending more time dealing with their car in the parking lot than actually shopping. That’s why we want to help as many shoppers, travelers, guests and anyone who has ever said, “where did I park again?” with our awesome parking lot maps.
There are a couple of different ways we build parking lot maps. These maps can either be completely separate maps that act as their own separate venues. We find this type of map to be great for multi-level parking garages, separate parking application etc.
For smaller parking lots and lots that are located on the side of shopping centers, we like to include these parking lots as part of the same venue. You’ll recognize this style when you see the parking lots appear right alongside your map.
Why did we decide to include parking lots in the maps we create? Well, we believe that the ultimate wayfinding experience should begin from the moment you park your car. The days of wandering up and down the parking aisles looking for an open space or trying to find your car are now over!
Integrate Micello Maps API today to begin helping your customers quickly find open parking spaces, track their parking location, and have more time to spend money and have fun!
To find out more information about how to get started head to www.micello.com/start and make sure to follow our blog (www.micello.com/Blog) to stay up to date with all the exciting news in the indoor location world.
The first half of 2014 has been very exciting for Micello so far! We’ve made some awesome new friends, but we are especially excited about our partnership with navigation leader TomTom ®.
On March 5th, TomTom announced a strategic partnership with worldwide indoor mapping leader, Micello, extending its range of mapping products to include indoor venues.
“The indoor mapping functionality means that step-by-step guidance can be integrated into daily life for a wide variety of venues, including shopping malls, airports and retail stores. By partnering with Micello our customers can now develop smarter apps and locations-based services helping users navigate with ease in and out of the car.”
Managing Director, TomTom Maps
We definitely agree with Charles on this one! In fact, we think TomTom’s customers will now have the upper hand now that their navigation doesn’t have to end once someone parks their car.
“We’re excited to be partnering with TomTom, the global leader in navigation. Our agreement means that TomTom’s business customers can use our indoor venue maps and incorporate the content into their automotive, online, or mobile solutions.”
CEO & Founder, Micello
We’re definitely looking forward to seeing all the cool ways TomTom customers integrate indoor maps. It’s a terrific thing when an outdoor and indoor mapping company can come together, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it! Interested in learning about Micello's partnership with Westfield Malls? Make sure to check out the latest indoor mapping news and Micello announcements at: www.micello.com/blog
Well, it’s not exactly Batman, but we are still learning about new research coming out of Berkeley which shows that a phone’s speaker and microphone could potentially be used to navigate a building using echolocation technology.
For those of you Batman lovers (spoiler alert), echolocation was the technology that Bruce Wayne used to pinpoint the Joker’s location in Gotham City during the second movie in the Dark Knight series.
OK sure, the new research is definitely not the high powered software of Wayne Enterprises, but it’s actually quite similar. Researchers emit a certain sound frequency for a specific duration which allows them to listen to the sounds reflecting off walls, furniture, humans, and other objects. The breakthrough in their research comes from the specialized algorithm that is able to filter out noise and confusing data. Using the algorithm, researchers were able to echomap the location and distinguish different UC Berkeley rooms with 97.8% accuracy.
In case you're wondering, real bats have a similar filtering process through their physiology with their ear and auditory brain structures which are specifically tuned to amplify returning echoes over other confusing noise.
This is pretty cool stuff and while it may take some time before it would be ready to go to market, we already can’t wait to see it in action. Now if only someone can get ahold of Bruce Wayne and tell him how easy it would be to integrate his IPS onto our maps!
Make sure to check out the full article by Graham Templeton on ExtremeTech to learn more: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/187116 new-indoor-positioning-system-lets-you-do-batman-like-echolocation-on-your-phone & www.micello.com/start to learn about indoor maps.
Over the last year we’ve been working to take our map coverage worldwide. Next Stop…..Russia! We’re excited to begin offering an assortment of Russian indoor maps that developers can begin using today on the Micello platform. From Moscow to Kazan we’re constantly releasing new Russian maps that is going to blow your socks off! Here is the list of our top 10 Russian shopping malls:
1. Mega Mall Khimki
микрорайон номер 8, Химки, Russia
Square Meters: 174,000
2. Golden Babylon @ Prospect Mira
211 Mira Prospect, 129226 Moscow, Russia
Square Meters: 170,000
3. Mega Mall Dybenko
12-й км Мурманского шоссе, Всеволожский район, Ленинградская область, Russia
Square Meters: 158,400
4. Mega Mall Belaya Dacha
1-й Покровский пр., 5, Котельники, Moskovskaya oblast, Russia
Square Meters: 131,300
5. Mega Mall Omsk
бул. Архитекторов, 35, Омск, Russia, 644000
Square Meters: 130,000
6. Mega Yekaterinburg
8TH Marta Street, C.C. Ekaterinburg Greenwich, Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk, Russia
Square Meters: 118,500
7. Mega Kazan
prospekt Pobedy, 141, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia
Square Meters: 115,000
8. Afimall City
Пресненская наб., 2, Moscow, Russia
Square Meters: 114,200
9. Mega Mall Parnass
просп. Энгельса, St Petersburg, Russia, 188660
Square Meters: 103,300
10. Mega Mall Novosibirsk
ул.Ватутина, 107, Новосибирск, Russia
Square Meters: 103,000
We’re excited to see the love for indoor maps spreading globally so we’ll be checking in on tons of different places around the world and bringing you maps of all the interesting places we find. If you’d like to use any one of our thousands of indoor maps in your application, simply visit www.micello.com/start to learn more!