Google Maps Takes It Indoors, Adds Building Floor Plans, Asks For Yours

Google — we like to call it “The Big G” around here — has announced a terrific new feature that will be of keen interest to everybody in commercial property from leasing to brokerage to management and everywhere in between.  Not content to merely make it ridiculously easy to navigate streets and outdoor spaces to get to your building, airport or mall, Google Maps 6.0 for Android will now take the party indoors and provide floor plans with the same ease of use we’ve come to expect from Google Maps.

I applied the Google Maps 6.0 upgrade and took it for a spin on my HTC Evo. While the office building I was in didn’t have any interior map data, I did appreciate the new layout and look – especially the new drop-down menu, a long-wanted improvement.

The Maps Walkthrough does a great job illustrating the new features and also answers our next question: how can I add my property’s floor plan data into the new Google Maps?

Easy. While the Floor Plans program is still in beta, meaning it’s early and they’re still working out kinks in the system, you can start adding your building data here. Its’ as straightforward as finding your building in Google Maps, then uploading a floor plan in JPG, PNG, BMP, or GIF format, like so:

Google Maps Floor Plan Upload Form
How to upload floor plans into the new Google Maps

Using the new Google Maps is very familiar. Walking is the main means of navigation, but the same features for biking, public trans and driving all remain where you’d expect them. The possibilities for special mapping applications for indoor use are really exciting — real and virtual showings as well as virtual tenant improvements come to mind right away — but we know the industry will come up with even more new uses for this ubiquitous mobile application.

At the bare minimum, the ability to add floor plan data to Google Maps is a very quick and convenient way to add value to any commercial property in any portfolio. The Big G wouldn’t have it any other way.

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