Apple's Indoor Survey App Creates Building Interior Maps Using an iPhone

By Jamie Condliffe on at

A new iOS app has just been released with little Apple fanfare that allows users to map out the interior spaces of a building using just an iPhone.

While the application doesn’t show up in search within the App Store, you can grab it using this direct link, first spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. The app’s description reads:

“By dropping ‘points’ on a map within the Survey App, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through. As you do so, the indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone’s sensor data. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware.”

The start-up wifiSLAM was bought up by Apple two years ago, thus acquiring the company’s ability to analyse and track RF signals from Wi-Fi access points to map and determine a user’s location. It seems like at least some of that expertise has crept into Indoor Survey.

Apple has been experimenting with a series of indoor positioning technologies over the past few years, testing its iBeacons in retail stores and inviting retailers to to submit indoor maps of large, successful shopfloors for use in Apple Maps. Using Indoor Survey to crowdsource indoor maps may finally make reliable interior navigation more common to digital wayfinding (though some would argue that Google's open-source version of the technology is a better bet). [Apple Insider]