Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography


Japan News.PNG


With the first month of 2015 already passing us by, we’re anticipating the new opportunities the rest of the year has to offer. Excitement has already been building in Japan as just last month we announced a new partnership with our friends in Japan to be the premier indoor mapping provider for Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure & Transport. As the country gears up to host the Summer Olympics in 2020, Japan is embarking on a new joint outdoor and indoor mapping project that will aim to assist lost tourist and travelers looking for various POIs around Tokyo. What is poised to become one of the largest public outdoor-indoor LBS project in Asia, the excitement is beginning to build and we couldn’t be more ecstatic to be apart of it.

Prominent television stations, TV Tokyo 5 & NHK News, featured a detailed special on this ongoing project and provided some excellent screenshots of the work so far. Check it out:



English Transcript:

A demonstration experiment of a navigation system took place in underground passageways in Tokyo. The system is designed to support tourists moving around and people evacuating at emergency by providing their accurate locations via smartphones even if the users are inside buildings or underground.

The project, envisioning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, has been initiated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). On 30th, the demonstration was opened to the press in underground passageways in Marunouchi, Tokyo. While GPS functions on smartphones and portable tablets outside, the current technology fails to send signals inside buildings and underground to provide accurate location information. At the demonstration held on 30th, wireless LAN and sonic devices installed on ceilings and walls were used to pinpoint locations. During the experiment using sonic devices, a member of the experiment team slowly walked down the passageway carrying a special mobile device, which was shown on the screen as a red dot moving down the map at a slow pace.

According to the ministry, they still have some issues to clear before the launch, such as the establishment of technical method for the practical use of the system or a framework to share the map information in a digital form. Nevertheless, the system is expected to smoothly navigate tourists to their destinations in underground station shopping malls or commercial buildings and, at an emergency, show routes to nearby evacuation spots.

Japanese Transcript:








Indoor maps continue to play an increasingly important role in the basic applications and tools seen across multiple verticals. With the excitement being drummed up for retail, and emergency services in 2014, one industry that is often overlooked when it comes to indoor LBS is transportation. That is why we were pleased to be included among some of the biggest industry leaders for the Japanese government sponsored LBS project planned for 2020.

Just last week, Japan’s Ministry of Land Infrastructure & Transport (MLIT) published the full list of vendors who are working to provide precise navigation and positioning for a large-scale outdoor and indoor mapping project that will aim to assist lost travelers in some of Japan’s largest cities.

Beginning with Tokyo’s station, nearly 10 vendors are already beginning the process of building’s Japan’s premier wayfinding service on top of Micello’s detailed and accurate indoor maps. The project which has been underway since Q4 of 2014 is poised to roll out in time for the 2020 Summer Paralympics which will be hosted in Tokyo.

Partnering with companies such as, Japan Systems and Hitachi, MLIT’s LBS project will become one of the largest indoor and outdoor wayfinding systems offered free to the public.

If you’ve ever visited Marunouchi station, you’ve probably found yourself wandering around this massive intercity rail terminal looking for the right place to catch your train. This is an all too common scenario for the world traveler or daily commuter, but with highly detailed indoor maps coupled with precise indoor positioning, we hope to change that.

What better location to begin testing this pilot project than Tokyo station. With nearly 3,000 trains traveling through the station daily, Tokyo station remains the fifth busiest station in eastern Japan in terms of passenger output.

Japan continues to play a key role in the development of Micello maps. Since 2011, Micello has consistently been the indoor mapping leader for some of Japan’s largest mapping companies. With partners like Zenrin, we’ve already built one of the largest Japanese indoor mapping APIs on the planet. By working with the Japanese government and various navigation vendors, we will continue to be one step closer toward mapping every interesting building in Japan.

We’ll continue to keep you posted on this ongoing project. Stay tuned to learn about awesome new updates headed to Japan in 2020 and make sure to check out our entire line of airport and train terminal maps on www.micello.com/places.

To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.

Happy Mapping!




Just before the new year began, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy piece on the massive disorienting layout of the European Parliament building in Brussels. With a headline that shouted, “Disorienting layout at buildings makes politicians late, near tears; Floor 5 ½,“ we made it our mission to save these lost politicians, staff, and visitors from being adrift.

Now, we’re proud to announce that we’ve just released one of the first seat level maps of a major governmental building in Brussels.

Espace Leopold is the name of the complex that houses the European Parliament and the legislative chamber of the EU. Constructed in 1995, the complex includes a large number of parliamentary buildings, including the famous Paul-Henri Spaak building which hosts the debate chamber and president’s office. While the official legal home of the European Parliament resides in Strasbourg, France, many of the legislative activities of the EU have begun to shift to the Brussels location over the years.

Want to visit, but not a member of parliament? No problem. Espace Leopold offers thousands of free guided tours, dining and shops to over 15,000 visitors they receive daily. In fact, this place is so huge that the ground floor alone measures in at 6,000 square meters, making it the second-largest parliamentary visitor center in the world. Visitors get a chance to play diplomat for a day as they are put through a state-of-the-art role playing system in which each visitor becomes a member of parliament given the opportunity to debate and pass hypothetical legislation.

With nearly 5 million visitors annually, there was no question as to whether or not to map this place out. Feel free to explore the map and check out the fine detail that was taken to produce one of the most detailed maps we’ve ever created. In fact, notice how every single seat is shown in the parliamentary chambers. Just in case you’re curious about where certain members of parliament sit in the legislative chamber, simply click the icon and you’ll see the full drop down list. Click on any member and the SDK will automatically center on their specific seat. You could say we’ve mapped some pretty powerful chairs!

No matter what type of seat it is however, you can bet that Micello is already working to get it mapped out. We’re excited to see the kinds of use cases developers come up with to utilize our maps. We’ll continue to focus on building some of the most detailed and high quality indoor maps designed for enterprise use.

Make sure to stay up-to-date- on all the latest indoor mapping news by visiting our Getting Started page, www.micello.com/start. To find the latest news on the entire indoor wayfinding industry, check out www.micello.com/blog.

Happy Mapping!




A recent article by Kevin Dennehy on GPS World, touched on the shifting momentum to adopt indoor location based technologies that have already been taking place in large brick-and-mortar retailers during the later half of 2014. Yet, despite the increased interest in indoor location based technologies, 2015 is poised to be an even bigger year for the adoption of indoor maps at your favorite retail store.

2014 has proven to be the biggest year yet for indoor maps. With the announcement of Qualcomm’s acquisition of Micello partner CSR for $2.5 billion, many industry observers are finding that the current state of indoor-LBS is similar to where outdoor-LBS was in the early 1990s. In fact, as the gap between indoor-LBS technology and its adoption begins to converge, indoor map prototypes and testing are becoming much more common place within the retail circle as retailers search for new ways to bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping.

Retailers such as Sears and Kmart have already released early versions of mobile indoor mapping technology powered by Micello, and many large retailers have also begun their own testing and rollouts over the last couple of months. According to Kris Kolodziej, a senior indoor-LBS advisor, beacons will continue to be the fastest growing location-proximity testing for retailers and we may even see more tests and announcements in the first quarter of 2015 if the momentum continues at its current rate.

While this is exciting news for everyone in the indoor-LBS industry, it has not always been easy to showcase the enormous low-cost advantages of indoor maps. With the ability to understand the locations of customer traffic, products and employees on a detailed store map, one of the biggest challenges that retailers are currently facing is finding the balance between consumer and internal applications.

David Hutingford, CSR’s Director of Product Line for Location believes that the big selling point for retailers is finding the right balance between advertising notifications and understanding product layouts, customer traffic etc.

“Too many irrelevant notifications while walking around the shop will result in people not wanting to run the app, and can potentially harm consumer acceptance of retail applications. The interest is already there from the retailers’ side as the benefits are somewhat obvious, but the question is what do you give back to an increasingly technology-smart consumer?”


However, as industry leaders noticed online sales cutting into the normally busy brick-and-mortar shopping season, retailers have shown huge a huge interest in the adoption of indoor maps. This early adoption also seemed to be aided by the advancements made by indoor LBS providers in their own technologies. By removing the need for additional LBS infrastructure, retailers have begun to see the hurdles removed and have become more friendly to the technology.

We’re excited to see this technology continuing to move forward and we recognize that 2015 will be a huge year not only for Micello, but for the entire indoor-LBS industry as a whole. In 2015, we’ll be moving closer to our mission of mapping every interesting building on the planet. With the introduction of Walmart black-friday maps in 2012, and Sears and Kmart maps last month, Micello continues to lead the way for a scaleable indoor map solution that puts the retailer and its developers in full control over the technology. By allowing third party plugins, countless customizations and full discretion over the functionality of the application, Micello will continue to be the premier indoor mapping solution geared for the enterprise space.

We’ve definitely have had an exciting 2014, and look forward to even bigger announcements coming in 2015!

To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.

Happy Mapping!

Read more at: http://gpsworld.com/2014-big-move-to-retail-indoor-location-market/




Earlier this month, we highlighted the FCC’s interest in the evolving indoor positioning technology that is looking to change the way emergency personnel respond to situations indoors. Now, it appears they are getting close to releasing their decision.

GPS World recently published an article highlighting the current state of the Federal Communication Commission's ruling on new indoor location tracking rules and regulations. Those of you who have been around the outdoor location industry in the 1990s might remember when the FCC ruled that mobile carriers would have to automatically locate a user’s location outdoors, once they dialed 911.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later, and the FCC is now about to make clear ruling that would require mobile carriers to provide a user’s location indoors, according to Janice Partyka from GPS World.

Partyka predicts that in the short term the FCC is looking at indoor positioning that reflects a building’s overall interior and has the ability to show emergency personnel the locations of select users. In the long term, Partyka says the FCC will move for more detailed positioning that dives deeper into a user’s location such as the office, suite, or even seat they are located in. In addition to a user’s horizontal location, the FCC is also interested in a user’s vertical location that can prove vital in multi-leveled buildings.

For the past months, the FCC has entertained a comment period in which mobile carriers, indoor-location vendors and public safety officials battled over accuracy and monitoring rules. With the comment period now over, the FCC is now positioned (no pun intended) to hand down their ruling.

We continue to keep you up to date on the FCC’s latest ruling and of course, always continue making the detailed enterprise-grade indoor maps that the industry has grown to love.

Make sure to stay up-to-date- on all the latest indoor mapping news by visiting our Getting Started page, www.micello.com/start. To find the latest news on the entire indoor wayfinding industry, check out www.micello.com/blog.

Make sure to check out the full article at: http://gpsworld.com/industry-battles-indoor-location-rules/

Happy Mapping!



indoor atlas.png


We recently stumbled upon an article that was published in Venture Beat, which discussed the powerful positioning technology of Indoor Atlas and how their magnetic variation is driving us one step closer toward our goal of bringing indoor maps and indoor positioning, globally. As the official indoor mapping partner of Indoor Atlas, we couldn’t be more thrilled to see the excitement surrounding this Finish positioning company.

You may be asking yourself, what is indoor positioning and how do magnets come into play? Well, if you’ve ever tried using your GPS indoors, you’ll no doubt find that your position is generally way off, the moment you walk into a building. This is because the initial GPS that is plotting your location on an indoor map becomes obstructed by the interior objects, such as walls. Indoor positioning, which is the technology that is seeking to solve this conundrum, has made use of a variety of technologies to try to track a user’s location indoors. WiFi access points, echolocation (think of the computer Morgan Freeman destroyed in The Dark Knight) and now magnetic variation.

Indoor Atlas’s technology works by first figuring out the signature of the building via recognizing the unique magnetic signals that are emitted by the building’s steel girders. Recording the strength of the various signals that are picked up, Indoor Atlas is then able to provide the users with a pretty accurate location of their position with their proprietary algorithm.

While this definitely is on the cutting edge of indoor LBS technologies, magnetic variation is something that has been around since the 1970s. Based off of the navigation capabilities of deep-sea creatures, this technology was initially used by submarines in the 70s and 80s, then captured by Janne Haverinen, CEO of Indoor Atlas.

Haverinen has his first "ah-hah moment" when he discovered that the building’s materials affected the building’s magnetic field. What’s more is that this variation remains constant which makes it possible for the variation to be recorded and used to provide a precise location between the walls of the building.

Dean Takahashi from Venture Beat linked up with Indoor Atlas’ chairwoman, Inka Mero to discuss some of the big announcements that Indoor Atlas has released since raising nearly $10 million from the China’s Baidu.

Mero, commented, “The whole indoor positioning market is the Holy Grail for social, advertising, analytics, and location apps,” she said. “All the big players are looking at this space.”

We couldn’t agree more with Inka. That is why we’re helping to build out this ecosystem with fully integrated indoor maps. Of course, every great indoor-positioning SDK needs a well designed indoor map SDK to really harness the power of e-commerce and analytics. By coupling indoor positioning with our enterprise-grade indoor maps, developers can have the power to not only show you where you’re standing in the mall, airport, etc.,  but they will also be able to display the information in a well-designed and interactive format, that they control. Because of our demonstrated performance with Indoor Atlas, we’re proud of the milestones they are reaching within this space and continue to wish them future success.

Make sure to stay up-to-date- on all the latest indoor mapping news by visiting our Getting Started page, www.micello.com/start. To find the latest news on the entire indoor wayfinding industry, check out www.micello.com/blog.

Make sure to check out the full article at: http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/21/indoor-atlas-uses-magnetic-variation-to-map-the-great-indoors/

Happy Mapping!




Just two weeks ago, we announced that one of the largest national retailers, Sears, has officially released interactive store maps to aid customers in finding the products they are looking for faster than ever before, all powered by Micello. Back in 2012, Micello worked with its first retailer, Walmart, to release over 4,000 in-store Black Friday maps to help shoppers with the holiday season. Now, other retail brands are beginning to take note as integrating beautiful store maps has become a vital step in bridging the gap between brick-and-mortar stores and mobile commerce.

Kmart has become the latest retailer to release their powerful and interactive store maps that give users the ability to scan across multiple departments and find the location they’re looking for almost instantly.

Incorporated into Kmart’s mobile site (m.kmart.com), Kmart is making great strides in giving their shoppers contextualized knowledge of the products around them, while they shop.

By adding Micello’s mobile-ready store maps, Kmart aims to boost customer engagement, and discover new methods for monetization that has since gone uncaptured. Kmart recognized that potentially millions of dollars of untapped revenue is lost in brick-and-mortar stores, mainly due to the fact that customers cannot always find the products they are looking for. By including Micello’s indoor mapping platform, Kmart will seamlessly bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar customers and finally be able to capture some of these lost dollars.

Of course, don’t expect for this feature to be lost overtime. Micello is delivering its services to Kmart via Micello’s enterprise-grade indoor mapping SDK, which has powered other mapping projects for companies such as, TomTom, Walmart, Nokia, Westfield, Zenrin, Bally Technologies, Pitney Bowes and more. As Kmart and Micello continue to improve and build upon their extensive SDK, expect some great new advancements for this in the future.

Since offering an indoor mapping SaaS platform, Micello has become the premier indoor mapping SDK for some of the biggest names across multiple industries. Stadiums, hospitals, conferences, business campuses, property owners and retail have all expressed an interest in indoor location based services. Due to Micello’s flexible SDK, which allows enterprises to retain full control over the application and map, companies like Kmart have found Micello’s technology to be quite easy to integrate into internal tools that are usually already in place without having to lock chain themselves to third party platforms.

“Micello is ecstatic to be working with such a large brand, like Kmart. By integrating into Kmart’s mobile technology, this means that Kmart and Sears shoppers will now be able to find the products they are looking for easier than ever before. As indoor-location technology continues to improve and advance, I have no doubt that this will have a huge impact that will continue to benefit their shoppers for years to come.” noted Micello CEO, Ankit Agarwal.

We’re very excited to see what the future holds for our partnership with Kmart. Harnessing the power of Micello’s powerful SDK, we have no doubt that Kmart has just become a serious player  in the mobile retail sector.

To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.

Happy Mapping!



Viking Stadium.PNG


Every once and a while, we come across a map that suprises us with its extreme attention to detail and overall high quality. The map that was created for Viking Stadion in Norway is definitely one of these maps. Take a closer look at this map and you'll see the minute details that have been captured by the factory to produce one of the most detailed and sophisticated maps that we've ever created.


What makes seat maps so important?


Like indoor maps in general, adding an additional level of detail on the map opens the map up to be able to do a lot more things than simply be just a map of a stadium. This is becease every seat that is mapped inside the stadium becomes an individual object that developers can then record, customize, utilize and manipulate depending on their use case.


To see how this concept works, we just need to to take a step back to see how indoor maps and indoor location are changing the way companies engage with their audiance by connecting the user and developer together via their location indoors. So just as you can easily find your favorite restuarant just around the corner using Google maps, companies will also now be able to effectively localize their advertising by tracking a user's exact location indoors. (Provided they are using an indoor map SDK coupled with an indoor positioning technology) This means that as you walk by the electronics department in a store, the store will know that you're walking past electronics and may send you the latest deals and information on a new TV doorbuster-deal.


So what is the use case for seat maps like Viking Stadion?


We feel though seat maps will be the new frontier in indoor mapping. When someone adds a deeper dimension to a map, such as seats in a sports stadium, new services such as mobile concierge or ticket upgrading becomes possible. Ever wanted to order a hot-dog and have it delivered directly to your seat? Well, now with detailed seat maps this is possible. Or maybe you've wanted to see if that lucky slot machine you love is being played before you walk all the way across the casino floor? No matter what type of chair it is, you can bet that Micello is already working to get it mapped out. We're excited to see the kinds of use cases developers come up with to utilize our seating maps. We'll continue to focu on building some of the most detailed and high quality indoor maps designed for enterprise use.


Make sure to get your favorite stadium mapped out by submitting your source materials at www.micello.com/maprequest


To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.


Happy Mapping!







We were excited when we came across an article published in EE Times, which discussed the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) interest in the current state of indoor positioning technology and the evolving indoor location industry with companies who are building the next generation of enhanced-911 technologies. We've always felt that E-911 and emergency response was a natural fit for indoor wayfinding technology, and now we're not alone. A couple weeks ago, we've share our take on how indoor maps is poised to retrofit first responder technologies with real-time mapping data that can track a user's location, safety equipment, temperatures, chemical levels etc., so we were very excited to learn about the FCC's interest in one of our positioning partners.


Before the days of cell phones, 911 operators would receive emergency calls that were mostly placed by a landline or payphone that emergency personnel could pinpoint due to its stationary location. With the advent of cell phones, 911 operators have gotten most of their calls from mobile phones which allow people to remain mobile while at the scene of an accident. While GPS has worked quite well in tracking the location of cellphones on an outdoor map, it is the emergencies that happen inside a building that give rise to this concern. GPS utilizes weak signals from cell towers that can pinpoint a user’s location with around 100m-300m accuracy. ( about one city block) However, indoor positioning coupled with a powerful indoor map SDK, allows first responders to pinpoint a user’s horizontal (50m) and vertical (3m) location if a person is indoors. This valuable information becomes vital when responders have to face the difficulty of a multi-level building with various exits, starewells and rooms. Bluetooth beacons have begun to sprout up as a leading option for the indoor positioning dilemma, but is this technology truly ready to support emergency response?


To answer this question, the FCC has tasked CSRIC with the evaluation process to learn about three possible companies who are hoping to solve this issue. Qualcomm, Polaris and NextNav are the companies who are currently being evaluated by the FCC, as two of them already provide a network management operation on a nationwide scale, and can certify beacon locations and guarantee a precise user location. The CSRIC test consisted of calls being placed from various location, including calls placed from urban/rural areas and buildings made with unusual materials. The FCC was looking for these companies to provide them with variables which included a caller’s X,Y and Z coordinate. While only NextNav was able to provide a caller’s Z coordinate, Qualcomm and Polaris felt as though Z coordinate data would not prove useful unless a 3D structure of the building was provided.


After rigorous testing, here is the evaluation results:




So what do these results mean? If you asked, Srivatsan Raghavan, a blogger from EE Times, it appears as though NextNav has a slight advantage in pinpointing a user’s location while located in dense urban environments. Perhaps this is due to their optimal positioning of terrestrial towers to help the triangulation process, rather than just relying on towers that were placed to maximize cell-traffic. However, Raghavan warns that it is still too early to tell how the race will end. Scalability is a whole other issue that will need to be tackled before any indoor positioning is adopted. Despite these results, speculation of a fourth solution is becoming rumored, with large companies, like Boeing, being one possibility. No matter how the race ends, there is no doubt that the industry is definitely heating up while Raghavan remains optimistic.   


In addition to partnering with NextNav, we’ll continue on our goal of creating a detailed map of every interesting building on the planet. And don’t forget, every great indoor positioning service needs a great indoor map SDK to showcase the data. We’re proud to offer one of the largest and sophisticated indoor mapping platforms with the enterprise in mind.


Make sure to check out the full article:

Read More Here


To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.

Happy Mapping!




Well its official. America’s Worst Airports have been crowned by popular technology blog, Gizmodo on Tuesday. Eight airports, spanning from Los Angeles to Newark have received this dishonorable award based on an online survey that Gizmodo conducted to see which airports and terminals, travelers hate most. With nearly 600 comments pouring in, in which travelers griped about long TSA lines at Dulles, missing phone charging stations in Philly, $5 dollar water bottles at LAX, and even a mysterious odor that has seemed to plague Newark Liberty Airport, flying can sometimes feel like a chore, especially this time of year.

But there is hope for you weary travelers!

We have taken it upon ourselves to help your travel plans this year and put some of airport travelers worst problems to rest with our beautiful and interactive terminal maps. Micello has worked extensively to create indoor maps that are lightweight, interactive and useful for travelers who need to get to where their going and fast. For those of you who will be stuck sitting in some terminal for hours this holiday season, our maps are great to explore the terminal and find great food, shops, bathrooms, and even charging stations for those long layovers. Tap any of the airport maps below to take the mobile terminal maps with you this holiday season!


  1. Kansas City International Airport

  • “I almost forgot about that little slice of hell. You're packed into your gate like sardines. I have terrible memories of literally pushing my way through the crowd to reach the men's restroom at which there was a line because there were only three stalls. -JuanDimensional



  1. Dulles International Airport

  • “The entire place should be bulldozed and the MWA should finance a new, modern facility and charge carriers to lease the space. - Flyingbuff



  1. Philadelphia International Airport

  • “Philly is where dreams go to die while you sit in a wormhole of constantly cancelled or delayed flights. - The Messs



  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

  • “On your way to hell there's a layover in Atlanta. - thob86



  1. Newark Liberty International Airport

  • “I once bought a one-way ticket on the spot to Orlando since that was the closest I could get to my destination that night instead of having to spend one more evening there. -driftwhatever



  1. O’Hare International Airport

  • “I HATE O'Hare with a fiery passion that will endure through countless generations of my progeny. - incompl



  1. Los Angeles International Airport

  • “The worst six hours of my life was spent at LAX trying to get to a different terminal. -Caoska



  1. LaGuardia Airport

  • “La Guardia will always be under construction until we finally kill it with fire. - golfball



There you have it; Gizmodo’s official list of the worst airports in America. We’re all about finding news ways to make traveling just a little bit easier with interactive terminal maps. Maybe now, these airports won’t seem that bad since users can instantly connect themselves to all the amenities these airports truly have to offer. So the next time you feel like,  “I'd rather wake up in a bathtub full of ice than go to LGA's B terminal. - d4st” head over to Micello.com/places and find your favorite airport map.

We also have a full indoor mapping platform seeking to help developers build out the next generation of indoor mapping application. From airports to shopping malls and retail stores, Micello is leading the way in indoor mapping technology designed for the enterprise space. We’d love to chat with you to discuss some of the ways indoor mapping is going to change the way we make decisions indoors.

To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.

Happy Mapping!