It would seem that indoor GIS, along with 3D, has become all the rage in the GIS focused media. But read anything about indoor GIS and it sounds complex. True, it can be, but mapping the indoors is not rocket science. We will show a demo to illustrate; a simple example of the application of mobile indoor GIS. But first, lets start with the basics. There are many flavors of indoor GIS, these include:

– Indoor mapping: Accurate floorplan mapping and 3D visualization.
– Indoor positioning: Mapping points of interest and static content.
– Indoor locating: Locating mobile devices and other dynamic content.
– Indoor routing and analysis: Indoor routing and the management of business processes with GIS analysis tools.
– Indoor asset tracking: Tracking mobile assets for dispatching and other operational efficiency purposes.

Our immediate interest is indoor mapping. We were recently approached by an insurance industry organization. Their need was to map indoor assets – desks, workshop machinery, photo copiers etc. A tool to collect data was required with a need to store this data in a central, easy to access location. Updates to the data was to be a regular occurrence. Currently this work is done using paper maps and spreadsheets.

Indoor GIS with ArcGIS Online

The solution we proposed was to build a simple mobile application which leveraged cloud computing with ArcGIS Online. We published a floorplan to ArcGIS Online to serve as the base map, with an editable point layer – ArcGIS Online hosted feature service. Should Internet access not be readily available – it is not uncommon for contractors to be denied access to internal Internet systems – the mobile application also works in an offline mode. A tile package of the floorplan was generated and stored locally on the device, with the editable feature layer. The demo below shows the application in use:

We can see multiple ways this type of application can be useful in mapping indoor assets. This is another nice and relatively simple mobile implementation of ArcGIS Online. This work is being advanced by us in the insurance sector. Do you see a use for this type of technology in your sector?

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