Until recently, both the mobile and traditional iterations of Google Maps only worked outdoors. However, people will now be able to use this service in certain indoor locations, if they have the Google Maps mobile app installed as one of the smartphone accessories on their Android-powered phone or tablet computer.
According to Time Magazine, all Android devices running the 2.1 version of Google's mobile OS can make use of the Google Maps app with the indoor-mapping feature. Currently, it only works in a number of select locations in the United States and Japan.
The news source reports that the Mall of America and select Macy's, Bloomingdale's, IKEA and Home Depot locations are the only U.S. companies where this feature works. Japanese department stores compatible with the app include Daimaru, Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi. Compatible airports include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O'Hare, San Francisco International Airport and Narita International Airport in Narita, Japan.
The app displays the floor plans for these locations, informing users exactly where they are and how to reach their destinations.
On November 29, Fast Company reported that Google Earth's satellite imagery provider Digital Globe is releasing a new satellite in 2014, exclusively for military and intelligence agencies.