For some users, notably in shopping malls and hospitals, the main objective of indoor positioning is to assist in movement inside buildings. Other navigation needs are prompted by commercial considerations for improving customer experience using indoor positioning.Indoor Navigation Techniques
Indoor navigation needs positioning techniques and indoor maps which can be used in guiding users as they move inside large complexes or structures. In huge shopping malls, for example, GPS technology for navigation may be effectively employed not just for locating shops but also for finding parking lot spots.
In large manufacturing plants, factories and assembly lines, tracking the position of equipment and workers within the facilities can be improved with GPS indoor navigation to achieve higher levels of productivity.
GPS for Indoors
Among the fastest developing technologies today is GPS. While outdoor GPS navigation and localization is doing pretty well, much remains to be done towards making GPS for indoors navigation as perfect. Perhaps the first and most challenging hurdle is the covered building roofs. The high-frequency signals coming from outside are prone to bounce around when they come into contact with a metal object inside a building. This tends to create severe difficulties for GPS to work effectively indoors.
Indoor Navigation with Google Maps
Google has been active in the game of indoor navigation for some time, though they are still working towards improving on what they already have. Google Indoor Maps is using the same Google Maps interface and is accessed in a similar manner.
Although Google Maps offers a static view instead of an interactive one, it is still a useful way of navigating your way around a mapped indoor venue. However, Google Indoors only works for some venues, including some select major airports, museums, and train and underground stations.
There is no single indoor positioning system that can deliver exact positioning perfectly in all environments that require indoor localization. This is why it is becoming important to use several devices that may support more than just a single positioning solution and when needed, switch between them or combine them for better positioning.
Integration of several approaches such as GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and iBeacons can facilitate seamless and accurate customer navigation within shopping malls and from one building to the next. For example, the mobile devices of today are more effective using GPS outdoors but when indoors they may be switched to use Wi-Fi positioning.