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Nokia talks about indoor mapping with its HERE services


Nokia has published a rather interesting read over on its main blog, which goes into some detail about indoor mapping. Smartphone owners who utilise mapping services while on the move don't necessarily think about indoor maps for supported buildings and locations, but said feature can prove invaluable at public locations where it's easy to get lost. Nokia calls its HERE indoor mapping "Venue Maps".

If a building has more than one floor, the HERE team ensure it's simple to find your way around, as well as multiple points of interest on different levels. Attributes are available, including ATM locations, escalators, stores, gate numbers (airports), restrooms and more. We've previously looked at indoor mapping in the past, but so far the HERE team has covered 49,000 buildings in 45 countries. 

Here's a sweet infographic that explains it all better:

So how does one use Venue Maps? When using HERE Maps, you'll notice a blue icon resembling a building. This is the Venue Maps icon and will enable you to check out what's at your current location. The interior of the building on a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone sports a small amount of colouring, which represents different interests (restaurants, clothing stores, cinema, etc).

Tapping individual venues will reveal addresses, contact numbers and other details that are required to get in touch. Floors can be altered by selecting which floor you'd like to focus on. It's easy and real user-friendly. If you'd like to search for specific stores or facilities within a building, there's a directory option at the bottom of the screen to make panning around more efficient.

Looking to the future, Nokia states that 1,000 new venues are added every three months and the team will look to improve support as time passes by, so fear not if your favourite venues aren't covered just yet.

Source: Nokia

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Malls in Mumbai have this feature .. Such an awesome thing, u could search the store right from ur home ..
  • Same in the US and in Poland. Guys dream with indoor maps. No more browsing through stores, ladies.
  • Will this work on wp8?? As were using the Nokia maps?? Bing maps have venues but only work on windows or a web browser. Wished we still had Bing.
  • I dont understand. My wp8 has Bing and venue maps. I've looked at malls and levels with directories. Maybe I'm missing something. Yes and maybe web based is much more intuitive than wp8
  • Wp7.5 Bing Maps had this...
  • Its on wp8 already. Open Nokia maps, look for any big malls and zoom in.
  • Looked at Canada's largest mall. No map :'( must be a USA thing.
  • I'm in England UK and it works well for the major malls in birmingham and london. So not just a US thing.
  • Is it a here maps app?? Or the basic map app?? I have an ativs.. Bummer if I need a Nokia phone to have this feature...
  • I'm dumb today I just downloaded here maps now... it is available for my phone.. After installing here west ed mall shows inside map.. Still wish the bundled map app on wp8 had this feature...
  • What technology will they use tho? Gps isn't near accurate to give position fix inside a building, too much interference. Guessing the mobile network or wifi comes into play..
  • None. You cant "navigate" in buildings because gps is not that detailed. It doesn't know where you are in the building. On the maps, it just show details of individual shops in a mall and each floor. So when the area is downloaded through WiFi or mobile data, you can browse them on your phone, wherever you are.
  • I used Here map and Venue Map on my Lumia 920 in Miami 2 weeks ago. In Dolphin and Dadeland Malls I got my location accurate to the store.
  • yea thats possible with AGPS but you can't navigate in a building like telling you to go to the 2nd floor and walk on the right.
  • You can but I don't think it's supported on Windows Phone yet. You do get your exact location in the building and get directions to lets say the toilets using Nokia maps on Symbian. However the building needs to have sensors installed in order for it to work amd thus far only a few buildings such as airports support the feature. For more information and a video created by Nokia detailing the technology search in N8FanClub.
  • Not quite familiar with that technology (and at most it will be a client-side update for WP8 to support it), but that's not what this article is talking about. If you search YouTube for "Venue Maps" and click on the 1st or 2nd link you'll see. This is just plain maps of a building's shops on each floor, not full-on navigation using your location within a building. Hopefully that Symbian technology is not too far away though.
  • I know, closest thing i can think of is use of wifi or internet data to get the location inside the building but even that's not accurate enough to give you navigation uses. Unless they are using pseudolites they can only provide you with a map
  • Would be great for sporting venues.
  • Rather have street view....
  • HERE maps does have a street view style but it's extremely limited.  I found it accidently when browsing and zooming HERE 3D in NY City.
  • Since when will this be available? I tried find malls but 0 maps...
  • Its already available in some malls and university campuses near me, they are adding more venues though so you can expect some venues near you in the future
  • Great! Looking forward to it. Soon my mall visits with my girlfriend will be shorter!
  • This feature has become an embarrassment for me on WP8 due to lack of support for large malls in major cities. I showed my friends this working once in a mall, and now every time since then I go to major malls and find no venue support....
  • Hi, this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia.
    Which malls are missing for you? I can check whether we have coverage there or not. Plus, keep in mind we are always extending the coverage: 49,000 buildings is a good place to start.
  • Good job you guys!
  • Love this feature. Used it this weekend at Danbury mall in CT. Beyond venues, they've also mapped shopping districts such as Soho, Times Sq, Madison Ave and the Meatpacking District in NYC
  • They should update Maps and Drive so we can have alternate routes and a full featured GPS OUTDOOR !!!
  • I use the app works for gps.
  • I used this all Spring across Russia and was a huge help. It covered every single mall I went to.
  • Weird... I can't get any indorr maps to show up anymore. 
  • Hi, this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia. Make sure you're online to get indoor maps, they are not available offline.
  • Works great in Norway ^_~
  • Check out the DC area, the buildings are all 3D and awesome.
    Works in malls, airports and museums so far.
  • Do you have to update maps to see the data or is it live data from web servers?
  • Figured it out. Pretty cool. Automatically gets data, or was already there.
  • So it's like Bing Maps on Windows Phone 7.5, which had that feature?
  • A large part of the venue maps in Bing Maps are provided by Nokia
  • They can talk about whatever they want, but continuing to ignore the abysmal Navigation app known as "HERE Drive" is a making me regret my decision more each day.
    Someone needs to help these Finnish people learn to prioritize. They're fucking up.
    Couple that with Verizon's updating and NSA style slathering of rules, delays and's time for a Snowden style revolution kids!
  • Bing map + here= perfection. They should help each other to reduce the cost.
  • Hi, this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia.
    Bing is licensing maps from us, what do you miss on HERE?
  • I dont see that south africa is highlighted:'(
  • Hi, this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia.
    South Africa is being added right now, try Cape Town International Airport for instance ;-)
  • Indoor maps of 49,000 buildings in 45 countries, yet they still only offer street level view in maybe Eight major cities throughout the UK and still have appalling satellite coverage in the majority of Scotland. (Perhaps England is better, I haven't really looked) 
    Come on, Nokia. By all means, push new features and regions, but don't focus on them at the expense of the downright basics. Get the things that people actually need and use NOW up and running and THEN concentrate on the things people will need and use in the coming months and years. I'm tired of having to rely on Google for what in this day and age is basic online mapping features.
  • Hi, this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia.
    Considering that people spend 90% of their time indoors, we think that indoor maps are very much useful and relevant.
    We also have street level images, as you point out, but we are investing more in LiveSight (our augmented reality solution), which is also much more relevant to orientate yourself. LiveSight doesn't rely on old images, it shows you information on top of the reality. More info:
  • Thanks for the response, Pino. Much appreciated.
  • Just checked, the Sofia International Airport and almost every mall in Sofia have this feature!
    Great time saver :)
  • I can see UAE in the map, but I'm not sure how to make this work! Hmmm
  • Nokia Maps for Brunei is terrible.. What happened?