We’ve all lauded the powers of Google Maps at one time or another. What’s not to love? It gives you directions anywhere in the world regardless of whether you’re walking, biking or driving (or jet skiing if you plan to travel from China to Japan), provides you traffic reports and lets you zoom to street level for a real-life look at your destination.
Until now, all of this great mapping has been done exclusively outdoors. On city streets, quiet cul-de-sacs and public parks, to name a few. Google has decided to take its technology indoors, however, with the introduction of Google Maps 6.0. This latest version lets users peer inside airports, shopping malls and department stores where they can locate nearby retailers, ATMs, departure gates and, in all likelihood, bathrooms.
So far, Google Maps 6.0 has limited reach. It’s only available on devices using Android 2.1, and so far it only includes 18 U.S. airports, and a small percentage of malls and department stores. The LA Times lists Macy’s, Bloomingdales, IKEA and Home Depot as early adopters, while Wal-Mart and Target have yet to sign up. Many malls have held out as well.
But, hey, it’s a step in the right direction…right?