Indoor GPS?

The large venture companies that provide us outdoor route generators haven’t bothered themselves with Indoor Wayfinding Systems just yet.

“Why is that?”, you ask.

Little guy in big pants that has no relationship to this article

Well, for one, it is extremely complicated to find one solution that fits all, the only kind of deal they would be interested in. It’s like inventing one-size-fits-all clothing. However, the lay-out of each building is different from the other. Each wayfinding project needs a personal approach and tailored solution.

In the meantime the market is waiting for specialized companies to pick this up.

One of the challenges these new specialized companies will face is that GPS can’t penetrate into buildings, making turn-by-turn based wayfinding impossible with the GPS system.

There is some development with GPS antenna’s, placed on the top of the building, and receivers placed indoors, but they can’t be used for wayfinding, as the receiver will take the antenna’s position as its location.

And even if we get a live GPS signal inside buildings, the multi-layered character of buildings will still complicate things. (The GPS would see that you are in the building, but can’t determine on what floor).

Conclusion: for indoor turn-by-turn directions we cannot really on GPS. But do we need real-time turn-by-turn directions for indoor use? Not always, but sometimes. Later on, I will provide more information on the when and how.

And then there is the challenge of computing the fastest route….The algorithms that Google, MapQuest, Garmin and TomTom use to calculate the directions are extremely complicated, bordering high-tech scientific research.

In example, when your GPS wayfinder says: “Calculating” It really is calculating. More on that in the next chapter.
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