New advances in indoor GPS?

building map data gpsOne area where GPS technology will see greater improvements is in how it is used within large buildings and other interior spaces. Currently, it is difficult to receive GPS signals through walls and structures, but this reach can be improved with GPS repeaters and other ground-based systems. One can imagine how useful this might be in locating company personnel within a corporate office building, hospital, etc. In addition to fleet tracking your vehicle fleet you could also have a handle on all your staff in real time. Here is an article about how current GPS technology is being extended.

The system is being currently tested in Finland. In fact, it is not the first indoor system but the others have mostly been for specialist uses, such as helping firefighters find colleagues in smoke-filled buildings. This system, developed by Nokia, will work with existing handsets and infrastructure, according to the scientists.

One thing it does need, however, is access to maps of the inside of buildings. This may not be feasible for private homes, but many public sites such as big sports centres and universities already make maps available.

Perhaps as building information modeling becomes standard, public spaces will be able to submit mapping data to GPS mapping data providers or through a distributed system of mapping data?