Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography

Stay in touch with Micello by following our blog as we cover a wide range of cartography and company topics.

 A survey on the uses of LBS by Wi-Fi provider J-Wire, found that 61% of respondents found store location to be the most important LBS feature:










Surprisingly, 89% of respondents reported that they would use some sort of LBS tool during the holiday shopping season — an enormous difference from the 4% reported in the latest Pew Survey. This actually makes sense –the vast majority of these users are traveling and are turning to public Wi-Fi over their mobile network. While traveling,  people need help searching for basic location information, especially store location information if they’re doing some shopping. You’ve got to find the store before you can shop there.

Read the full report here.

via Retailigence

Nov 19 2010

Ask someone under 30 if they’ve read the Harry Potter books and, most likely, you’ll get yes for an answer. It’s no surprise then that last week’s company lunch was full of talk about the upcoming seventh movie (to be released on 11/19). In fact, we got so excited that we decided to try something new: create a fictional map of the Hogwarts Castle.  It took some time and extra imagination, but as of tonight, Hogwarts stands to be explored in the Micello Maps application (iOS/Android), somewhere in the reaches of Scotland, bordering the shores of an icy loch. It’s like a Marauder’s Map for your smartphone (which I’m sure Harry would have appreciated.)


This is not only our first fictional map — it’s also our first published map in Europe. We’ve added navigation, but trust it at your own risk – the walls and staircases of Hogwarts are subject to random shifts. There are 10 castle levels filled with your favorite places and complete with nifty descriptions:

Snape’s Private Potion Store:

“Monkswood and wolfsbane, bezoars galore

Veritaserum and liquid luck in store

Rat tail, beetle eye, sopophorous bean

For any elixir or concoction you please

Gather your ingredients before class begins

Just don’t let Snape catch you breaking in!”

The Divination Tower:

“To sense more than just stars deep into the night

To decipher tea leaves and possess the Sight

Broaden your mind, you must look beyond

No use for textbooks or tricks of the wand

Does your Inner Eye See? Are you gifted inside?

Divination will lift you and open your eyes”

Here’s a screenshot of the ground floor as seen on an iPad:


We do want give credit to DeviantArt user Hogwarts-Castle for fabulous drawings of Hogwarts and the Harry Potter Wiki for many of the room descriptions. We also want to thank Anita Subramanyam, Chitra Subramanyam and Roma Parekh for helping us come up with a number of hidden gems.

Be sure to send us any feedback or ideas for room names! We would love to continue updating the map. And, finally, if you want your own Marauders Map, we’d love to map out your school for you!



Nov 17 2010

Micello will be at a couple of events tomorrow:

CTO Prakash Narayan will be presenting at the TelecomCouncil’s Mobile Forum, as part of a panel discussing “hyperlocal” mobility. He will be joined by Mayank Mehta, Product Management Director at CoolIris, and Marcus Wandell, CEO of Antengo. The event is being held at Ericsson in San Jose, from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM and the panel will be starting at 9:45 AM.

Later in the day, both Prakash Narayan and Micello VP Business Anil Agarwal will be taking part in GIS Day 2010 at UC Berkeley’s Mulford Hall. They will be speaking about the importance of indoor maps from 5:30 to 6:00 PM.

Hope to see you there!

Nov 16 2010

 Micello CEO, Ankit Agarwal, will be speaking as a panelist tonight for the “Going Mainstream with Mobile Marketing” event put on by VC Taskforce. He will be speaking about the importance of location in the Mobile Marketing arena and the different levels at which consumers can be targeted.

Ankit will be joined by a number of other panelists, including Dhana Pawar, the co-founder of Mobmark; Deepak Thomas, General Manager at eBay Classifies; Iryna Newman, Head of Mobile Marketing for SendMe; and Michael Bayle, VP of Monetization and Marketing at Amobee. The event will be moderated by Stephen Burke, the VP of Mobile Strategy at Resource Interactive.

The panel begins at 7 p.m. tonight and will be discussing the latest trends mobile marketing and how they are helping to shape this nascent industry. Register here.

Nov 15 2010

You can watch all of the Fast Pitches from this year’s Under the Radar conference here, including the Micello pitch given by CEO Ankit Agarwal.

Micello was given a perfect score and was one of three finalists! Check out Mashable’s write-up of the event here.

Nov 12 2010


Mashable has chosen Micello as one of ten companies (narrowed down from over 160 applications) to participate in their “Fast Pitch” competition at next week’s Under The Radar event. Each startup will be given two minutes to present on stage.

Here are the other nine startups we’ll be competing against:

Empire Avenue









… Wish us luck!


Nov 11 2010

 A great piece written by Janice Partyka and published last month by GPS Worldoutlines the broadening horizons of mobile solutions for enterprise, as business users move away from RIM and towards iPhone and Android devices. What consumers are getting for free from apps, businesses are willing to pay for. And this goes for the burgeoning location-based sector as well. The whole article is worth a read, but here’s our favorite part:

[What’s the] next Location Killer App? So what’s next? Development of indoor location will unleash new apps and enhance existing apps that are currently confined to an outdoor experience only. “The most suitable technology for indoors,” asserts Kanwar Chadha of CSR, “is a combination of GNSS with accelerometers, gyros, and Wi-Fi.” People assume that what they can do outdoors, they can seamlessly do indoors, like geotagging a photo. Chadha adds that another challenge is that the indoors is not mapped. This is not a small undertaking, and the burden may rest on facilities providing content providers with mapping. Consumer-saturated locales like shopping areas, stadiums, resorts, hotel, and convention centers will likely be the first.

It’s not easy and it’s no small undertaking, but we couldn’t be happier shouldering the indoor “burden”!

Nov 10 2010

 Like the run-up to every Halloween, the preparing of costumes and (possibly) livers, for a weekend of tricking, treating, and brushing the caramel off your teeth, is in full throttle. It might just be that the Giants, conveniently orange and black, won game 1 of the World Series last night, but Halloween spirit seems to be at a fever pitch.

Even the world of startups and tech is showing off its inventive Halloween goods. Don’t yet have a costume idea? Pick up the Scoopertino iWear Steve Jobs theme kit – complete with 34-inch denim jeans, a black turtle-neck shirt, and wire frame glasses. Terrified about the Rise of the Infographics? Then Candynomics will make you turn over in your grave. How about a sweet treat? The UPC scanning/savings app Checkpoints will be giving away the equivalent of a $1 gift card for every two referrals you get to sign up – but only until Halloween.  Need to find your way around the mall? Navigate to the novelty store in Halloween style with the Halloween themed indoor maps available on our free Micello app. In a similar vein, find your closest Haunted House via MapQuest! Itching for some shriek-inducing gameplay? Check out 20 spooky iPhone and iPad games that will make your blood run cold. How about some dead time? Sit down, relax and carve a Foursquare-themed pumpkin (or your favorite startup!) Of course, you know things are really getting grim when VCs are getting into the mix

Here are some screenshots of our new theme in action. Check it out today on your iPhone or Android!

Oct 28 2010

 As we’ve mentioned before, indoor maps will serve as the infrastructure beneath the coming boom of LBS and social retail. A recent report published by Gartner, confirms that “mobility” will pass the trillion dollar mark by 2014 — fueled primarily by applications and mobile social services. Gartner includes mapping systems as one of the major platforms that will fuel the upward trend for the industry.

Positive news backs this up: Navteq sales increased 52% year over year in Q3 and Nokia’s OviMaps has seen a doubling of usage in the last quarter. This just confirms our excitement of being one of the major players in the indoor mapping space. There is a lot of room to grow.

But the value of indoor mapping data grows significantly with the accuracy of indoor positioning on mobile devices, which would allow for some game-changing functionality in indoor navigation. Given that a lot of great minds and companies are working on improving it, we see this as inevitable. Indeed, the last couple of weeks (and days) have given us more reason to be optimistic about the positioning space.

A number of positioning companies are getting significant levels of funding, which is evidence that the need and interest is getting to a fever pitch. This week Insiteo, a geo-location startup, raised a respectable 3.5m euro for their second round of funding. (Congratulations, guys!) Insiteo claims its assisted-GPS provides sub 3-meter positioning. Qubulus, another indoor positioning upstart, completed an agreement with Scandinavian telecom Telia Sonera to use their radio footprint patents to integrate into their technology. Qubulus is definitely a company to watch in the coming months. Finally, Israeli GPS provider CellGuide is integrating a digital elevation model to improve GPS on the Z-axis (very exciting for those of you using our maps in malls.)

Oct 21 2010

Do you have a favorite local spot that you think would be useful for others if added to the Micello Maps application? Well, we’d love to map it out! You can always email us a request via:


Even better, if you send us three photos of  maps with indoor details (malls, university buildings, convention centers, or whatever else you can think of), that are not yet in the Micello Maps application, then we’ll send you a Micello T-Shirt as a token of our appreciation. You can typically find these maps in brochures, on directory signs, or by emergency exits, depending on the type of place. Found one? Just snap a photo with your phone or camera and we’ll do the rest.

Happy hunting!

Oct 14 2010