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Google Maps latest: Indoor mapping

A new Google Maps feature launched this week for Android devices could see freestanding map directories become a thing of the past – or at least, this is what the search engine is hoping for.

Google Maps 6.0 for Android, which was released yesterday, is the search giant's first attempt at bringing its Maps function indoors to help you determine where you are and where you want to go.

Posting yesterday (November 29) on the Official Google Blog, vice-president of engineering, Google Earth and Maps Brian McClendon highlighted the features of the newest function, which has been launched in partnership with some of the largest airports, transit stations and retailers across the United States and Japan.

These include Ikea retail outlets and the famous Mall of America, as well as Chicago's O'Hare Airport and Narita International Airport to name a few.

As you view the map on your Android smartphone or tablet, you'll see detailed floor plans and a blue dot, which represents your geographical location, pinpointed to just a few metres. If you are in a building with more than one floor, you will also be able to see what level you are on and where you might want to go next.

"All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of 'My Location' for outdoor spaces, but fine-tuned for indoors," said McClendon.

He added: "We're thrilled Google Maps continues to provide you with new and helpful perspectives – whether you are rushing through the airport or finding your way around a mall."

We're not sure when we'll get to see this function for Android in Australia, but we're very keen to try out this interesting development – especially after checking out the video ad for Google Maps 6.0 for Android.

Posted by Kaitlyn Critchley