We’ve all heard about Google Trekker – the backpack that creates Street View of locations which are not accessible by car. Today, Google unvealed a new mapping tools which is called the Cartographer. The Cartographer is also a backpack but this one aims to map indoor locations. The device uses Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology to plot out the floor plan of a venue. As the backpacker walks through a building, the floor plan is automatically generated in real time. The wearer also uses a tablet to add points of interest while walking around the building. The technology is very similarly to the solution developed by the University California, Berkeley students, which were reporting some time ago.
There are already six indoor maps available on Google Maps today that were created with the help of Cartographer. These include the JW Marriott San Francisco, the San Jose Marriott, the Museum of Children’s Arts, the Deutsches Museum’s aviation section in Munch, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis and the Discovery Museum. Google claims that mapping the 39-story San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel only took a few hours. So I’m wondering how much post-processing is there to perform after you capture the data… it’s hard to believe that it’s done 100% automatically.
Source: Google Lat Long Blog