Apple details indoor maps coverage of 34 airports, multiple malls

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in iPhone
Apple started implementing indoor mapping data with iOS 11, offering users a new navigation aid for major airports and large malls. While rollout has been slow, the company on Wednesday compiled a list of the 43 indoor locations where users can take advantage of the feature.




Included in an update to its iOS Feature Availability webpage, Apple names the 34 airports that currently boast indoor mapping support in iOS 11.

As seen below, most airports are located in the U.S., but Apple does include a few major international hubs like Berlin Tegel and Vancouver International.

Indoor Maps Airports:
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol AMS
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport BWI
  • Berlin Tegel Airport TXL
  • Berlin Schnefeld Airport SXF
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport ORD
  • Chicago Midway International Airport MDW
  • Denver International Airport DEN
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport DTW
  • Edmonton International Airport YEG
  • Geneva Airport GVA
  • Hong Kong International Airport HKG
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport IAH
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU
  • Indianapolis International Airport IND
  • Jacksonville International Airport JAX
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport LAS
  • London Heathrow Airport LHR
  • London Gatwick Airport LGW

  • Los Angeles International Airport LAX
  • Orange County John Wayne Airport SNA
  • Miami International Airport MIA
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport MSP
  • Nashville International Airport BNA
  • New York John F. Kennedy International Airport JFK
  • New York LaGuardia Airport LGA
  • Newark Liberty International Airport EWR
  • Oakland International Airport OAK
  • Philadelphia International Airport PHL
  • Pittsburgh International Airport PIT
  • Portland International Airport PDX
  • San Diego International Airport SAN
  • San Jose Norman Y. Mineta International Airport SJC
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport SEA
  • Vancouver International Airport YVR
Apple also include a short list of nine metro areas, all within the U.S., that house malls offering indoor mapping data. Currently, select shopping centers in Baltimore, Md., Boston, Mass., Chicago, Ill., Los Angeles, Calif., New York, N.Y., Philadelphia, Penn., San Francisco, Calif., San Jose, Calif., and Washington, DC are supported.

Unfortunately, the update fails to specify which malls feature indoor data. The information is a welcome addition to Maps, as users can quickly navigate through multi-level complexes or large indoor facilities without referencing a website or physical guide.

Apple's indoor maps feature an easy-to-use interface with bold iconography and text for popular landmarks and facilities. For example, airport maps include shaded areas indicating gates, restaurants, shops, security checkpoints and other points of interest.

Malls incorporate similar signage for bathrooms and other common areas, while detailed floor plans provide store store layouts and directions. Users can also tap on a "Browse" section to search for stores by category. Tapping on a particular store brings up informational pages with hours, reviews and more.

Apple is constantly updating its catalog of indoor maps locations. The most recent addition came in October when a few U.S. airports were added to the list.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    I wish this was available in the airports I frequent, just to try it. It isn’t uncommon for me to be in MCO, which I imagine will come sooner rather than later.  But I fly out of BDL all the time and my guess is it’s small enough that it won’t be added any time soon. 

    Has anyone used indoor Maps capabilities yet? How was it?
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Awesome. Three days after I fly out of DEN... 🙄
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Surprisingly, the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota is not included. It is the largest mall in the United States.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,149member
    There are some very notable missing airports. I have to assume they'd want to map the busiest first, so I have to think there was red tape to get permission but he owners, city, country, and/or state, or that it will take longer to map, test, and upload some of these larger airports with a less than ideal design (*cough* ATL *cough*).

  • Reply 5 of 33
    One of the malls in the LA area that has indoor maps is the Glendale Galleria. I was just there yesterday and noticed it had coverage on Apple Maps. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Soli said:
    There are some very notable missing airports. I have to assume they'd want to map the busiest first, so I have to think there was red tape to get permission but he owners, city, country, and/or state, or that it will take longer to map, test, and upload some of these larger airports with a less than ideal design (*cough* ATL *cough*).

    Maybe its a hint by Apple to tell people to avoid ATL. That is one of the worst airports in the world. 
  • Reply 7 of 33
    As usual, Apple doesn't include the fifth largest city in American, which is in the 12th largest metropolitan area, and contains the 11th busiest airport in the country.  Phoenix, AZ.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,149member
    Soli said:
    There are some very notable missing airports. I have to assume they'd want to map the busiest first, so I have to think there was red tape to get permission but he owners, city, country, and/or state, or that it will take longer to map, test, and upload some of these larger airports with a less than ideal design (*cough* ATL *cough*).

    Maybe its a hint by Apple to tell people to avoid ATL. That is one of the worst airports in the world. 
    It's at the top of my dislike list, which is why it really could use indoor mapping.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,149member
    As usual, Apple doesn't include the fifth largest city in American, which is in the 12th largest metropolitan area, and contains the 11th busiest airport in the country.  Phoenix, AZ.
    How is any of this "as usual"? What other airport-related services has Apple offered that would exclude PHX as a first tier airport?
  • Reply 10 of 33
    mobird said:
    Surprisingly, the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota is not included. It is the largest mall in the United States.
    That is because the tortoise that carries the only Apple Maps cartographer employed by Apple hasn’t got all the way down the first aisle yet.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 11 of 33
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 210member

    Has anyone used indoor Maps capabilities yet? How was it?
    It works great, used it in Schiphol Amsterdam AMS and Amsterdam central station. It works for going the quickest way to a certain point and it is a great help for orientation.

    Why is this not so big airport (about 70 million passengers yearly) on the list? I think because Schiphol Airport NV, as the owner, already had the whole area mapped out in detail. So easy to implement in Apple Maps.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,149member
    JanNL said:

    Has anyone used indoor Maps capabilities yet? How was it?
    It works great, used it in Schiphol Amsterdam AMS and Amsterdam central station. It works for going the quickest way to a certain point and it is a great help for orientation.

    Why is this not so big airport (about 70 million passengers yearly) on the list? I think because Schiphol Airport NV, as the owner, already had the whole area mapped out in detail. So easy to implement in Apple Maps.
    70MM is a lot. Only 8 airports in the world due more than that and AMS is listed as the 12th busiest in the world according to this Wikipedia page. Once the expansion is complete in 2023 it will capable of a lot more so you may see it as a top 10 in the coming years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic


  • Reply 13 of 33
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 210member
    Soli said:
    JanNL said:

    Has anyone used indoor Maps capabilities yet? How was it?
    It works great, used it in Schiphol Amsterdam AMS and Amsterdam central station. It works for going the quickest way to a certain point and it is a great help for orientation.

    Why is this not so big airport (about 70 million passengers yearly) on the list? I think because Schiphol Airport NV, as the owner, already had the whole area mapped out in detail. So easy to implement in Apple Maps.
    70MM is a lot. Only 8 airports in the world due more than that and AMS is listed as the 12th busiest in the world according to this Wikipedia page. Once the expansion is complete in 2023 it will capable of a lot more so you may see it as a top 10 in the coming years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic


    OK.
    But we will have to see if the expansion will be completed  ;) There's more and more resistance, why would half of The Netherlands have the negative consequences of wanting to be a hub?
  • Reply 14 of 33
    adm1adm1 Posts: 631member
    does anyone know if the location is purely GPS driven or are there iBeacons in these airports to make it more accurate? 
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Soli said:
    There are some very notable missing airports. I have to assume they'd want to map the busiest first, so I have to think there was red tape to get permission but he owners, city, country, and/or state, or that it will take longer to map, test, and upload some of these larger airports with a less than ideal design (*cough* ATL *cough*).

    Maybe its a hint by Apple to tell people to avoid ATL. That is one of the worst airports in the world. 
    You know the old saying, "Doesn't matter if you're going to Heaven or Hell, you have to change planes in Atlanta"  BTW, I live in Atlanta and other than the massive crowds I think Atlanta is a great airport.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Well, I checked AMS Schiphol and it does sorta list the shops but with no outlines it is hardly useful as an indoor map: https://i.imgur.com/SflMoMA.png
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Legitimate question, not trying to bash Apple Maps or anything (I use it regularly in CarPlay and love it):

    What is different about this compared to the indoor maps that Google Maps has had for years? Most airports I’ve been through, many many many malls, heck, Best Buy (down to each individual aisle), are all mapped on Google Maps with highly accurate data. Not trying to start anything, just trying to understand the difference.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    AF_Hitt said:
    Legitimate question, not trying to bash Apple Maps or anything (I use it regularly in CarPlay and love it):

    What is different about this compared to the indoor maps that Google Maps has had for years? Most airports I’ve been through, many many many malls, heck, Best Buy (down to each individual aisle), are all mapped on Google Maps with highly accurate data. Not trying to start anything, just trying to understand the difference.


    What good is a really detailed map if your smartphone can’t tell you accurately where you are? Accurate indoor positioning is more challenging as GPS signal isn’t always available. 

    http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/23/apple-buys-indoor-gps-company-wifislam-for-20m

    It is unfortunate that they acquired this company in 2013 and it has taken this long to implement it widely.  
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 19 of 33
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,162member
    Is this implying that Apple has to do all the grunt work to get an indoor map generated for a facility? If so it seems like this will be a long and drawn out effort that will always be lagging behind and missing information on essential locations. Seems to me that the data formats, 3D location information, service locations, and the associated metadata required to support indoor mapping in a rich way should be based on an open standard so anyone who follows the standard can contribute to and support the data in multiple applications and products. Relying on Apple or Google to do it by themselves in a proprietary way simply doesn't scale. The number of obvious coverage gaps based on what's listed above is huge, and that's just for the fairly simple locations that are currently covered, i.e., low hanging fruit. When you get outside of the US and into countries that have large integrated transportation systems, like Frankfurt, Germany, just having the indoor map of the airport itself isn't good enough. It also needs to include all of the adjoining train station maps as well. Same goes for airports with large adjoining rental car facilities.

    Indoor mapping of airports and shopping malls (malls still exist? huh...) is an okay first start, but why not hospitals, schools, universities, corporate/government campuses, libraries, museums, subway stations, train stations, sports facilities, military bases, huge warehouses, mines, theme parks, camp grounds, huge retail stores (Walmart, Wegmans, Costco, ...), etc.? Indoor location information for facilities would be immensely useful for first responders. Finer granularity mapping of the interiors of even individual buildings would be a good next step. Defining a standard description language and metadata for micro-mapping structures would allow this to happen at the scale needed to make it generally and universally useful, not only for guiding humans (and robots and drones) through internal structures, but also for virtually viewing the interiors of structures using virtual reality (VR). Once structures are mapped it also provides a framework for binding/attaching augmented reality (AR) information and presentation to the physical structures and their attributes because the micro-mapping data can be correlated with observations and possibly beacons and badges (barcodes, QR codes, passive RFID transponders, etc.). All this is much bigger than what Apple can do alone so they need to involve others sooner rather than later.   
    johnny mozzarella
  • Reply 20 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    Works great. All the airports in the USA that I use are here. And the mall near me, here in NYC, the Queens Mall, is mapped. Pretty cool. You type it into the app, ant it comes up. On the right side near the top is the level you are interested in, if you selected a store in the mall. Tap,that, and all the levels come up. Tap on one, and it switches to that. I can now see the closed portion of the Apple Store in the mall that we can’t get into. This is the busiest mall in the country, doing the most business, dollarwise.
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