Clearly, Google doesn’t understand anything about Professional GIS. 30 years ago, GIS and CAD came to a conclusion. GIS would work outside the building shell and CAD would handle the inside. This has been respected for a generation of GISPs.
But in typical Google fashion, they ignore the truce and now their GIS system (yes I’m not crazy) supports inside the building queries.
Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar blue dot icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on. All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of My Location for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned for indoors.
So it is a stupid Android app and nothing more, for now. But clearly, there is an API in there just waiting to be used. Of course, New Yorker’s fear being tracked on their cell phones so it remains to be seen if Google will feel any backlash for tracking your cell phone (cue the old “opt-in” defense).
Now I’m not sure how stupid Google thinks users are though. Is “Find my Favorite Coffee Shop” still something that people need help with?