Michael Gram, CEO of MapsPeople, was interviewed by Adam Torres on Mission Matters Innovation Podcast.
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IIndoor mapping expert Michael Gram talks with Mission Matters about the growing need for indoor mapping, especially for large gathering spaces.
What mission matters to you?
Gram says he’s driven by a goal to make the world more accessible by helping people who run large spaces use indoor mapping apps to make life easier for everyone. It can also result in earning more profit in limited spaces simply by attracting potential customers who may not otherwise have been attracted inside.
“Mapping has been around for hundreds of years,” Gram says, “but for the last 15 years, it has increasingly changed our lives.”
How did it all start?
Gram has been in the field of mapping for quite some time; his background includes time spent as a surveyor who “roamed around in rubber boots” with surveying sticks.
When he first got into digital mapping, it was fairly limited to the realm of printed tourist maps, but over time, everything changed and an industry was born. In 2005, when Google Maps came out, his company partnered with the team behind it and helped remove the disruption as users moved from outdoor maps to indoor spaces with sharper detail and ease of transition.
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Can you explain the concept of indoor mapping?
Gram explains that indoor mapping is similar to outdoor navigation and helps to locate specific locations efficiently. MapsPeople is a unique company that develops advanced technological map applications.
This involves making specific floor plans for each level and producing a detailed network graph, which helps those following it move freely inside the building, whether it’s a shopping mall, a college campus or an entertainment venue. “So, with our indoor mapping platform, you can create maps from outdoor to indoor or from room to room,” he says.
Additionally, MapsPeople provides users with a database of searchable content, making it easy to search for restrooms, kitchens, or even particular products. The platform is used by a number of partners who offer, for example, booking systems for corporate offices or apps for sports venues, and where indoor mapping is integrated as a component in their solution.
How does indoor mapping benefit people?
Indoor mapping is a valuable concept that increases efficiency and saves an immense amount of time and money otherwise spent locating things, Gram says. Using such an app in a corporate space to book a desk or room (and find it easily) is one example of how indoor mapping technology can ease the hassle of day-to-day life. Airports are another: indoor mapping helps people navigate their way through complex mazes of security checkpoints, commercial spaces, terminals and gates to reduce the stress of time spent in transit. It has multiple applications across the education sector as well, Gram notes.
MapsPeople’s work also benefits attendees of sporting events, where large audiences are squeezed into tight spots for a compressed period of time, all arriving and leaving within minutes of one another. Thanks to MapsPeople, sports fans can easily find available parking, locate their seats, order food delivered directly to them, and more.
Gram says he and the MapsPeople team plan to continue exploring new technologies, including augmented reality, 3D, and IoT. They plan to become “the Apple of indoor navigation,” maintaining a leadership position in their niche and continue to grow and evolve.
To learn more, visit MapsPeople online.