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Indoor Mapping - what is it and why do we need it?

Written by
Hamish Thomson
Published on
July 6, 2021

Indoor mapping of buildings is one of the fastest growing and developing markets led by recognised names such as ESRI, Here Technologies, MapsPeople and Locatrix.

Indoor mapping as-a-service is built from three main methods:

  1. Adapting existing map files such as pdf, jpeg, CAD, PlanStudio.
  2. Creating maps from the ground up using drafting techniques.
  3. Map creation by inference such as Wi-Fi technology, beacons and even Lidar technologies.

Once data is collected, it is used to provide building owners with information that will help them better understand how their buildings are operating and analyse this data to implement changes to increase efficiencies, find points of interest (POI) and even track people or assets within the as-built environment.

Indoor mapping can also assist with locating fixed and mobile assets. One of the biggest problems in the healthcare sector is locating assets that have wheels, normally thousands of them!

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increasing need for occupants to understand how to socially distance – how to avoid a crowded area? How many people can fit into a room with the issued restriction for that point in time? How can we stay safe? For the challenge of the return to work, employers have had to find ways to provide managers with information such as how many staff can sit in a particular area? What area they can be allocated on a particular day? Even mapping cleaning regimes to guarantee a covid clean workspace, communicating with cleaning contractors as to what is expected under new cleaning contracts and how to best price that efficiently and document what has and has not been cleaned. In that context, workspace management and planning to ensure workstations are spaced out in accordance with social distancing requirements plays a role. Just under two years since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are now starting to realise that our management plan to reduce the spread isn’t just going to continue until a vaccine is rolled out successfully but more likely until a treatment is found.

Wayfinding in shopping centres is difficult enough but the real challenge is understanding which carpark to enter, and off what street to achieve the closest carpark to the shop you need to collect your goods from, particularly when you are in an unfamiliar centre. Same issue when visiting a friend or relative in hospital. Where are they in relation to where you park? This is where indoor mapping meets outdoor mapping. But how can you do that?

What are the challenges that indoor mapping companies face?

Indoor mapping providers need to respond to changing regulatory landscapes, operational barriers, and the emergence of alternative technologies. In addition to these challenges there is the always changing physical landscape; when buildings are renovated or added to. The task of updating the indoor floor plans is difficult to control as there is very rarely a single source of truth in absence of a business model in place that regularly ensures this.

Locatrix has the answer with its application PlanStudio. Locatrix is Recognised in Gartner Report “Competitive Landscape: Indoor Mapping”, Authored by Annette Zimmerman and Tim Zimmerman: published 11 March 2021, we know we have the business model that will provide a way to keep information “live” through the development of a digital twin of your building. To understand more about this industry, download the report at

Indoor Mapping market

According to Gartner report “Emerging Technologies: Revenue Opportunity Projection of Indoor Location Services” Authored by Annette Zimmermann and Ranjit Atwal dated 16 June 2021, “the indoor location services market is expected to reach global revenue of $55 billion by 2030,up from $1.9 billion in 2021, with asset tracking the largest market opportunity.” This growth has been unexpected but like many industries, has received a surge in demand due to the disruptive effect Covid-19 has had with the necessity of people tracking. This only outdone by the need for asset tracking for manufacturing, healthcare, transporation/logistics, retail/hospitality and education.

PlanStudio Provides an easy way to import existing plans for simple amendment or when none are available, or quickly automate the creation of your building’s indoor mapping and provide your evacuation diagrams digitally and easily by using geotagging technology. Essentially providing a digital twin of your building. It then has capability to do so much more. Along with being able to collect the data necessary to populate an automated emergency evacuation plan of your building, it also can provide any site-specific online training product called PlanSafe. PlanSafe can easily get the occupants of your building inducted for first attack and fire safety training and has capability to deliver more specific workplace health and safety content specific to your building. This could be content you create, e.g. a “How-to video” on the correct way to safely clean external windows or how to operate complex machinery. The training then can be completed anytime and anywhere within 30 minutes saving employers’ operational cost and providing more targeted content to the right people in the right roles. PlanStudio has been designed to assist an auditor on the go and therefore makes updating plans and content very simple.

What is the Locatrix difference?

Locatrix offers PlanStudio to the building contractors, Fire Contractors, building certifiers, and the building owner. In addition, Locatrix automatically extends the right to use these plans to the First Responders. This enables them to better react when an emergency is in progress by automatically loading the most current plans available. This concept is called “Digital Twin” and whilst it may only be the floor plans, it is digital, full of asset and layered information that will result in better emergency management in times of crisis.

Locatrix has the technology to enable users to update plans easily. Within its first 18 months of launch, PlanStudio has become the tool of choice for the fire safety industry with 80% of the market using PlanStudio to draft and publish indoor mapping and evacuation diagrams. That’s right, your building certifier most likely is keeping this plan current for you. This means the digital twin for your building is most likely already created, waiting for the building owner to realise the additional features now available to them such as being able to create a visual digital floor plan identifying exactly where assets are and better managing them. In addition to this, Locatrix increases the safety of your building occupants by making your digital floor plans available to emergency services to assist them with better planning in the case of emergency. One dynamic digital floor plan as a single source of truth created by the certifier, accessible to the building owner and viewed as necessary by those who need to protect you and your building.

Ask your Certifier today if they are using PlanStudio. PlanSafe is provided through Locatrix Channel Partner network as an annual subscription.

Gartner, Competitive Landscape: Indoor Mapping, Annette Zimmermann, Tim Zimmerman, 11 March 2021

Gartner, Emerging Technologies: Revenue Opportunity Projection of Indoor Location Services Annette Zimmermann and Ranjit Atwal dated 16 June 2021

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