HERE unveils Indoor Map as a service with SBB AG

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HERE, the location data and technology platform, has launched its Indoor Map as a service: a one-stop shop for indoor mapping solutions.

With an estimated 90% of peoples time spent indoors, businesses are increasingly turning to location technologies to power wayfinding, indoor asset tracking and space usage optimization. Yet only a small fraction of buildings have been mapped to date. HERE Indoor Map as a service aims to change that.

An enterprise-grade indoor map can be generated by HERE within days. Building information can be submitted to HERE in a variety of data formats, including PDF, CAD and 3D lidar point clouds. Once HERE Indoor Maps are produced, they can be updated by HERE or by building owners directly, via an online self-serve content management tool. The maps can be utilized within the HERE SDK (Software Development Kit), for seamless integration with HERE Routing, enabling end-to-end wayfinding solutions that bridge the outdoor and indoor environments.

HERE has partnered with Navenio to power HERE Indoor Positioning. By using sensor-fusion algorithms, Navenio positioning works where GPS does not, drawing upon sensors in smartphones and any existing Bluetooth Low Energy/WiFi infrastructure. The initial setup can be done quickly, leveraging crowdsourcing technology to build and constantly maintain the signal map.

Customers can request 3D indoor maps of their buildings in high-definition for “digital twin” models, precise data representations of reality. This capability from HERE Indoor Positioning is powered by NavVis. The NavVis mobile mapping system uses Lidar (Laser Imaging, Detection, and Ranging) to generate high-definition point cloud data and capture 360-degree panoramic images. This enables asset inspection, measurements and tagging of individual objects inside any building with millimeter precision. The Lidar point clouds can also enable visual based localization services and AR experiences that do not require the installation of dedicated infrastructure – such as Bluetooth beacons, WiFi or QR codes.

Swiss railway operator Schweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB AG creates digital twin of Zurich’s central train station with HERE

In a Proof of Concept conducted earlier this year, the Swiss railway operator Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB AG) deployed AR-based navigation to help users navigate around stations and find the most efficient transport connections. HERE provided its SDK which included NavVis’ visual positioning capability and a digital twin of Zurich’s central train station.

“It’s a common scenario – we hop off our train at a station we’re not familiar with and have to search for the tram, busses or the nearest taxi stand. Precise indoor mapping solutions like those offered by HERE and NavVis will make this a problem of the past,” said Bruno Mario Lochbrunner, Mobility Intrapreneur, at SBB AG. “Accurate indoor mapping is also a great help to our teams using visual positioning to manage their assets – such as escalators, lamps, bins – as efficiently as possible. We are very impressed by the accuracy and reliability of this technology.”

“With Indoor Map as a service, we have launched a one-stop shop for indoor mapping that includes indoor map data, routing and positioning, all available through the HERE SDK, and seamlessly connected with our base map. With this easy-to-use solution, we look forward to enabling wayfinding, indoor asset tracking and space usage optimization use cases,” said Victor van Dinten, Head of Indoor Parking & Charging at HERE Technologies.


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