From Door to Store: Places & Mapping
I recently attended the LBS Developer Day: Focus on Indoor Conference at the Plug and Play Tech Center. The focus was on mapping indoor spaces for individuals to effectively navigate malls, hospitals, hotels and other indoor venues just as we currently do with streets and highways. Indoor navigation is being touted as the next frontier for mobile, as significant resources and attention are dedicated to the space from start-ups to well-known entities, such as NAVTEQ.
The use cases for indoor navigation are varied and numerous. An application can chart the best path for individuals with disabilities, while another application can send real time coupons for khakis to customers as they walk by a Gap store. Mapping directions from door to store opens up new opportunities and ad inventory for marketers.
The conference also highlighted different indoor mapping systems and services, varying from the low-tech (i.e., Wi-Fi mapping) to expensive new installs (i.e., deploying in-building sensors). However, the first essential step is taking users to their desired location. One great source for places data is YP.com’s places API, which was recently launched as part of YP.com’s Developer Program. The API is a great source for over 17 million business listings information, which is provided free with generous rate limits (without any catches!). I strongly recommend developers explore this API for any geo-based application, including indoor mapping apps.
Associate Director, Business Development