For anyone that's ever been hopelessly turned around within the Mall of America (or the Las Vegas Convention Center), the promise provided by NAVTEQ's newly announced Destination Maps is quite compelling. It allows for orientation, guidance and routing for indoor venues like those mentioned above, and serves up a useful map of entrances, exits, restrooms, stairwells and points of interest that would otherwise be undetectable. Neither IDG News nor NAVTEQ mentions exactly how this is accomplished, but we can only speculate that a Hybrid GPS antenna is used along side a layer of augmented reality -- but then again, these could be static routes that require no positioning whatsoever to explore. It's also uncertain which mobile platforms would support such an app (despite having been demoed on a Nokia N8 in the photo above), or if this will even make it past the beta stage. More info is expected at Where 2.0 in April, and it's a pretty safe bet that Paul Blart will be on hand for its official debut.
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NAVTEQ Extends the Journey Beyond the 'Front Door'

NAVTEQ Destination Maps™ to enable orientation, guidance and routing for interior spaces


CHICAGO, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world, today announced the launch of NAVTEQ Destination Maps. Destination Maps feature a unique set of interior map attributes (e.g., escalators) with detailed place data to enable users to more efficiently navigate and explore interior spaces. With NAVTEQ Destination Maps, location-based applications can extend beyond streets and sidewalks and into complex interior spaces.

NAVTEQ Destination Maps moves the industry beyond the interactive floor plan maps available today and into a three-dimensional data model essential to a more advanced exploration and guidance experience. It does this by providing pedestrian-specific attributes unique to interior requirements like stairs and elevators as well as recognizing different floor levels (called Z-levels) that are essential for applications to "understand" movement between floors once inside a venue and generate routes and guidance. NAVTEQ Destination Maps also include a Virtual Connections feature that enables more intuitive guidance by recognizing how pedestrians "cut across" open areas.

The product even includes access restrictions to avoid being guided to an "emergency exit" as well as precise locations of important points like the nearest public bathroom. Additional POI detail such as meta-tag data enables search to be associated not just with a POI (e.g., a department store) but with specific sub-information (e.g., perfume) within those categories.

NAVTEQ is the first global map provider to offer this type of indoor mapping product. Initially, the company will focus on mapping large shopping centers in the U.S. but plans to extend the product to include other types of complex destinations in the future.

NAVTEQ's own research* indicates consumers are ready for this holistic navigation experience: 74% of U.S. consumers are very likely to use interior mapping functionality when outside of their local area, and roughly 40% when local.

NAVTEQ Destination Maps also allows for seamless integration with other NAVTEQ products and services; for instance, dynamic POI content - such as Movie and Event Listings - can keep users abreast of entertainment options within and near each venue. Additionally, NAVTEQ LocationPoint™ Advertising services can deliver location-aware mobile ads and special offers to users as they shop, while helping to monetize high-value content.

"The concept of interior mapping and navigation is still relatively new," said Tom Fox, vice president, Maps and Content Americas, NAVTEQ. "And we recognize that the interior of shopping centers is just the beginning: as future indoor positioning technologies are deployed, NAVTEQ Destination Maps will support even more sophisticated applications like seeing where your friend is in the mall or how crowded a restaurant is in real-time. NAVTEQ is actively working with its customers to help shape future indoor mapping applications."

NAVTEQ Destination Maps currently covers more than 200 of the largest shopping centers in the U.S. (e.g., average of over 750,000 square feet) with expansion plans for more shopping centers and more types of destinations throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

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NAVTEQ's Destination Maps provide mobile guidance through malls, outer reaches of your mind