Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography

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Let me preface this initial post by coming clean before I even start: the ideas I am about to spill forth are complicated, probably a bit on the expensive side and require quite a bit of development to accomplish. However, you know what?

I don't care. Like, at all.

In this present technical day, anything is possible. Literally. Anything. No joke.

So don't pass this off as a rant. Well, OK, this is a bit of a rant. However, it is a rant with a point. I want cool technical gadgets, applications and toys to play with and as far as I can tell, the whole picture of what I am describing does not exist. Parts do. Little bits here and there, but not the total package.

So, what exactly, do I want right now?

Having just watched the last World Series game last month, I am reminded of an idea that I want badly. You see, I love baseball. Played the game. I watch the game closely. I attend the games, especially at the Bay Area jewel known as AT&T Park in San Francisco.

I love going there. I love the smells (garlic fries!), the sights (the view from the View Box is unparalleled), and of course the sweet sounds of a baseball on a bat.

However, what I do not love is getting up to find a bathroom, grab an adult beverage, or find some food and missing multiple at-bats, pitches, or innings because of a variety of reasons.

I think you see where I am going here.

Now, Major League Baseball does have a stadium map on the MLB At Bat app, but it is a static map with no real interactivity and not enough detail.

I want to pull up a map on my mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android, don't care what your mobile religion is) and be able to do the following just by TOUCHING the map.

That is ALL I want to do. Touch the map.

I touch the precise location of the snack stand (and I mean PRECISE – I don't want to touch it only to find that the data is from last week, month, year) and I get a quick menu, what beer is on tap, how long the line is, and, MOST importantly, how the heck do I get there QUICKLY.

You see, one thing the Giants do VERY well is offer all kinds of food at their park. Everything is there including Caribbean, Irish, Mexican and even a sushi bar. This is an awesome feature but it becomes cumbersome when you cannot find these spots or figure out how to get there.

And to add to the complication, the Giants tend to move these food carts/spots around on occasion, so the concept of an accurate map with precise, up to date information becomes critical to the success of an idea such as this.

The bottom line is that I don't want to guess.

I don't want to have to think.

Just lay it out for me and I follow the route to quickly get there and back before The Panda hits again ( Pablo Sandoval, Giants third basemen for those not in the know).

OK, let's stop here for a second.

Some of you may be reading this thinking, “I know I've used an app like this before”. Well, like I said, there are small parts of this idea strewn throughout the collective application availability, but I have yet to see it all come together in a fully contained, I have to HAVE that, type of an application.

I want it all. I'm greedy.

I want to know where the bathroom is at a glance with a full route to get there and back quickly.

Think about this weird statistic: how many hours of sporting events are LOST at the snack stand, bathroom, in the parking lot because fans don't know how to get somewhere, went where everyone else is or just plain could not figure out the stadium facility.

I would be willing to wager that the average Giants game where roughly 42,000 fans attend, each fan misses an average of 20-30 minutes of the game.

Think about that stat. What if we could cut that down to 10 minutes with a SUPER accurate map and killer application built on top with everything a fan needs.

Talk about raising the fan appreciation.

Now, I can kind of guess what the technical requirements are with the idea I am describing here. I am one of those product / engineer types myself, so I have an idea of what is involved here.

But, like I said, I don't care.

Make my experience at the game better. Enhance it. Give me that map application that will eventually be engrained into my stadium experience just like grabbing a cold beer and a hot dog is today.

Make an incredibly awesome application that is just a requirement to be at the stadium and not some hip feature that only the cool kids know about.

Make it pervasive. Make it ingenious.

That is what I want.

Now.

 

November 9, 2011
TechCrunch Disrupt featured the "Disrupt Battlefield", the premiere start up launch competition by TechCrunch. This is a two day competion for founders and entrepreneurs to submit their new and unseen startup companies for the opportunity to launch on technology’s biggest stage in front of a panel of judges consisting of the biggest innovators, angels, VCs and influencers in the Tech community. Reviewing the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield  alumni, micello is thinking about how these companies could benefit from indoor maps; its been said before- indoor maps will be a game changer, and we believe that's true.   
 
CardFlick, a mobile application that sends your business card in one flick could definitely benefit from indoor maps. Conference maps are a great way for attendees to find their way to their favorite booths and network with other attendees. Exchanging business cards is a professional pastime; you meet someone, shake hands and exchange cards.  Business cards can often get lost in the shuffle, or have to be transferred to a database of contacts.  Being able to exchange cards from your mobile device is a great convenience; now imagine having an indoor map that tells you where that contact is located, and turn by turn directions for that hand shake.
 
Another company that could integrate indoor maps with their program is Trippy.  Trippy ties into social sites like Facebook to find your friends who know about where you're traveling to, and who already know your personal details.  Tapping into the travel experiences of your friends is a whole lot more valuable than getting questionable info from random strangers.  Indoor maps could make this process a lot easier and more effective.  Friends can share maps of shopping malls, hotels, airports and more.  Being able to recommend a shopping center or tips on making your way through a certain airport would be a vital part of this program.    Indoor maps would serve as a visual aide, not only would the user have turn by turn directions, they would actually see the layout of the area, just in case their friend forgot an important detail; the indoor map would keep them on track.  
 
Location-based services are increasingly moving indoors. Hundreds of applications on various mobile application stores provide compelling value propositions for consumers. Micello is excited to be part of this growing industry.  The indoors is considered the final frontier, the last uncharted mile in location-based services.  Our maps have and will continue to change the game of indoor location based services.
November 7, 2011

We were so excited to be part of the new Asana launch video.  Micello has been using Asana for almost a year, and honestly we couldn't imagine our office life without it.  

Asana is a web application that keeps teams in sync - a single place for everyone to quickly capture, organize, track and communicate what they are working on. It was founded by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, an alum of both Facebook and Google.  
 
Task management and office organization are key factors for staying on track in a busy office.  Asana allows us to stay organized and focus on what we really love- making maps!  
 
View the Asana launch video here:

 

November 7, 2011

The future of Indoor Location Based Services isn't an exact science, however, it is a game changer. Yesterday at the Geo-Loco conference, Micello's CEO spoke about Indoor LBS and just how game changing it is.   Geo-Loco dove into brand, advertiser and the location convergence in the context of the Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) marketplace — and explored what it means for big brands, consumers, SMBs and the location industry.  Attendees at Geo-Loco learned from real-world successes in mobile-loco advertising, location platforms and more. Executives from Starbucks, Google, Waze, Facebook and leading investors addressed these topics in a highly interactive setting.

Its been said before- indoor maps will be a game changer, and we believe that's true.  Location-based services are increasingly moving indoors. Hundreds of applications on various mobile application stores provide compelling value propositions for consumers. These applications allow people to do comparison shopping, find their friends in the neighborhood, or get the latest flight details at an airport. The indoors is considered the final frontier, the last uncharted mile in location-based services. 

Location Based Services and maps go together like (Bob) Marley and Reggae, peanuts and payday; what good is location without a map? Micello maps have and will continue to change the game of indoor location based services.  We're thinking outside the box, we've conquered shopping malls, released the top 100 airports in the United States, and we're growing our international presence. 

November 4, 2011

Internships at micello aren't the typical getting coffee, distributing mail and running office errands; its actually a valued position.  Micello thinks of interns as real people with common interests and valuable input.

We've been lucky to host new talent from colleges in our neighborhood as well as international students from Europe and Asia. Our interns have contributed in all parts of the company, from engineering, map operations, marketing and business development. 
 
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Siqi Cheng
June 2011 to August 2011
Marketing & Business Development Group
 
 
 
"As a foreign intern, I appreciated the open working environment at Micello. Just beside my desk there is a wish wall. Some of the wishes have already come true. Every advice is considered as long as it helps improve the company."  Siqi Cheng
  • Siqi joined the micello team as a summer intern.  She focused mainly on the micello strategy for indoor maps coverage in the Asia markets, specifically looking at Singapore, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.  Siqi also spent an extended time with the Micello Japan team looking at startegic customer opportunities. 
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Eyasu Kifle
April 2010 to June 2011
Engineering Group
 
 
"My experience at Micello was a combination of intense problem solving, rushing to meet deadlines and creative fun with maps and graphics. I gained a lot of real world experience and technical expertise by working in the nurturing team environment."  Eyasu "Josh" Kifle
  • Josh originally started with our map operations group making indoor maps.  After taking a few computer science classes in school he started showing interest in coding at micello.  He worked very closely with the engineering team focusing on the tools for provisioning maps onto our product systems. 

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Jonathan Tran
December 2009 to August 2011
Map Operations Group
 
 
 
"Life at Micello was a really fun, eye opening experience for me.  It was the first time I was immersed into an office/start-up environment surrounded by knowledgeable, working professionals, which I think is a really cool thing to witness from the inside as a college student.  Simply by observing and listening to the day to day tasks and conversations, I got a better feel and understanding of how a good team works...  Who knew work could be so fun?"  Jonathan Tran
  • Jonathan was part of the map operations team.  He joined micello when we had about 200 maps, and saw the factory scale to our 5,000th maps release.   Jonathan spent most of his time focusing on quality and accuracy for micello maps.  Jonathan’s efforts set the tone for future micello interns.  

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Tommy Pham
November 2009 to January 2011
Map Operations Group
 
 
 
"It was fascinating to be a part of Micello during its rapid growth spurt. I was lucky enough to witness the expansion of the company's innovative vision. Although small in numbers, the Micello employees made up for it with their dedication and talent....Micello's work environment, for me, was very conducive for innovation. Despite being only a part-time employee, my suggestions and ideas still bared weight."  Tommy Pham
  • Tommy was a key operations intern at micello- he made maps from the days before there were any tools for making maps.  Tommy spent most of his time testing the new tools and was involved in the early version of internal mapping tools.  We always rememeber his favorite map - the Great Mall of the Bay Area, mostly because every time he made the map, our tools would crash for some reason or another!  Now our tools are of course, much more stable and Tommy can say he was part of the process of making it happen. 

Life at micello is fun, challenging, experimental, and most of all we give you the opportunity to learn and explore the tech world. Micello interns have had several exciting opportunities like getting published in top tech books (like Enchantment, a book by Guy Kawasaki), being responsible for researching international map opportunities for company growth, and of course everyone gets to help build the largest indoor map collection in the world! 

If you're interested in an internship with micello, let us know here
 
November 4, 2011
Yesterday, micello attended the CSR Locations and Beyond Summit.  The Locations & Beyond Summit brings together global leaders in the location ecosystem, to discuss trends, share ideas, and  create a unified approach to market growth and innovations.   This event gave micello the opportunity to meet with the who's-who of location based services, and showcase the micello map created for the conference on the guidebook application.  
 
 
Guidebook utilized the Micello platform in conjunction with the early access CSR APIs to access micello's geospatially accurate map with indoor positioning. This provided attendees with the ability to navigate the conference easily as their location was clearly shown on the indoor map.  Check out some screen shots below.  
 
 
By mid-day there were conference attendees coming to the micello display to view the live map.  Several people took the phone displaying the map and began to wonder around, watching the blue dot move with each step they would take.  For LBS professionals it was a "pretty cool" experience.  Someone in a hurry asked "where's the bathroom"- he was very happy to find our map.  Conference maps give us the opportunity to help professionals make the most of a short amount of time, knowing where everyone and everything they need are located. Watching people use our maps and witnessing the moment they "get it" is exciting.   
November 2, 2011

Last week, Bee Media showcased the Micello interactive map at the International Shopping Centre Counsel Conference in Toronto (October 20th and 21st, 2011).  Bee Media is a virtual shopping assistant that helps you find the best deals wherever you are by sending fantastic offers from shopping centers and retailers in your vicinity to your smartphone, so its only fitting they attend the largest retail conference in Canada.  

Most conferences show floor are a maze.   ICSC is the largest retail convention in Canada.  Featuring over 800 retailers, 2,500 attendees and 150 exhibitors; it is the place to be in order to network with the whos-who of retail.

Bee Media showcased our interactive map of the conference floor and how an attendee could easily navigate from place to place clearly identifying the locations along the way.  "To say it was a hit was a understatement!... It was wonderful!" Kristen Dalrymple,Director, Operations, Bee Media

Conference maps give us the opportunity to help professionals make the most of a short amount of time, knowing where everyone and everything they need are located.  Watching people use our maps and witnessing the moment they "get it" is exciting.   

 

 

 

October 25, 2011

Micello was invited to present at the App Planet Mobile China conference last week.  This was a one day app conference surrounding the Mobile App world between China and Silicon Valley.  Mobile China Forum is an open and non-profit community for the mobile industry in Silicon Valley providing valuable information for the Mobile & App world.  Micello was among many developers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and visionaries at this event.   The focus of the conference includes apps, platforms, devices, solutions, tools, and startups.

Check out Micello's David Lo, Director, Customer Solutions was on-site presenting.

You can see more information about App Planet Mobile China here, or check out more photos of the event here.  

October 24, 2011

This year the DEMO Team celebrated 20 years of finding innovation where it lives.  In the last 20 years DEMO has selected 1,500 companies to launch on the DEMO stage.  Reviewing the DemoFall 2011 alumni, micello is thinking about how these companies could benefit from indoor maps; its been said before- indoor maps will be a game changer, and we believe that's true.   

The winner of DemoFall 2011, Aurasama, is an app that uses technology that is capable of recognizing images, symbols and objects in the real world and understanding them.  Imagine micello maps integrated with this technology.  Not only could indoor maps be useful for the object placement recognition but also for an exact location of the venue displayed on the app.  
 
Companies like trueRSVP and schedulicity, applications that manage calendars and events could also benefit from the use of indoor maps.  If these applications offered a map of the event, for instance the layout of food tables, bars, dance floor or just a map of the office building for meetings, imagine how useful it would be for the user.  Other consumer based companies like GIMME!,  an application that allows shoppers to redeem discounts at the point of sale using a smartphone instead of a paper voucher, and Get.com, a website helping shoppers make faster and smarter decisions about their purchases could use indoor maps to show the consumer where these products are available, and exactly where in the store the item is located.  This strategy would put a new meaning to doing your homework before you shop.  
 
Location-based services are increasingly moving indoors. Hundreds of applications on various mobile application stores provide compelling value propositions for consumers. Micello is excited to be part of this growing industry.  The indoors is considered the final frontier, the last uncharted mile in location-based services.  Our maps have and will continue to change the game of indoor location based services.

 

October 20, 2011

Last week, we updated micello.com with a fresh new look.  We've changed things up, added some new tools and of course we've added more indoor venue maps.  This new design offers a one stop shop for users and developers.  From the new homepage you see the latest news, find your favorite maps, find our blog, and contact us.  Everything you need is one click away.  

Whats new?  
 
- We've taken the guess work out of finding maps.  Now, you can simply click the Maps Everywhere tile and find all of your favorite maps.  
- We'll share some of the maps that are coming out next week. Check it out on micello.com/upcoming (its a little rusty right now, we're cleaning it up). 
 
 
- You can also learn more about people at micello.  Our team page gives you an inside look at faces behind the maps.  
- Check out some amazing work done by current and former micello interns, and if you interested in joining our team, check out the job opportunities page. 
 
 
You can find us on facebook, check out our map of the week and watch micello videos on youtube from our new homepage.  These features give our users a developers everything they need to become more familiar with micello and our maps.  
 
We hope you like it as much as we do, remember, new look- same great maps!
 
 

 

October 18, 2011

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