Jaak Laineste

Building a Great Collection of Indoor Maps with Micello

In previous posts, we covered how the Mobile SDK can be used for indoor mapping. We really like indoor mapping because it is a unique way to visualize nontraditional geographic spaces like conferences, hospitals, and museums. A great example of this is the L.A. Times interactive graphic that charts every shot Kobe Bryant has ever made on the basketball court.

As of lately, we’ve done some specific integrations with Micello, an award-winning company that specializes in building the world’s largest collection of indoor maps. Specifically, we used their data collection on public venues like shopping malls and airports for a mobile app.

To use Micello, register and request permission to access their Data API, which gives some useful metadata and GeoJSON for different floors in geographical coordinates. For our application we requested a specific venue – a large shopping mall in California. Be sure to follow Micello usage terms like adding attribution to the map view when using their data!

Here, we have an indoor plan from Micello:

Indoor Maps with Micello

Our Mobile SDK has direct GeoJSON loading methods, but we prefer to consume the data via the CARTO platform because it offers several advantages:

  • CARTO converts data to vector tiles for fast and beautiful rendering when the data amount is very large.
  • CARTO Engine has great APIs for native mobile SDK and for the web.
  • CARTO Builder provides a nice preview of data in map and tabular forms, as well as Turbo-Carto, a pre-processor to style maps, with styling changes applied to mobile devices automatically.
  • You can also use business intelligence functionalities to reveal location patterns of people at your venue or event. CARTO’s business intelligence capabilities are especially useful if you are collecting data using sensors.

For this indoor map, we used a simple data converter script to combine data from different floors and different object attributes to a single table. Output of the script is also GeoJSON, so it can be easily imported into CARTO.

This is how that same map looks in our new CARTO Builder, before proper styling:

Indoor Maps with Micello

You can do some styling to make your visualization look nicer, group floors to different layers, and add layers for labels. A good thing is that the data structure is the same for different venues, so styling work can be recycled.

We ended up with the following visualization:

Indoor Maps with Micello

Which can be extended to a 3D building visualization with simple, standard CartoCSS:

Indoor Maps with Micello

We love creating new ways to visualize various types of spaces, whether traditionally geographic or indoors, and the CARTO Mobile SDK is a great resource to use when considering future spaces and how you can bring maps to your consumers and clients online and offline!

Learn about these and many other Mobile SDK features in our recorded webinar on applying CARTO for native applications, offline maps, 3D overlays, and indoor map use cases. Watch Getting Started with CARTO’s Mobile SDK as many times as you need to!

Happy indoor mapping with CARTO!

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