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Home Technology Global Column | Why Apple's IMDF Approval of'Standard for Indoor Map...

Global Column | Why Apple’s IMDF Approval of’Standard for Indoor Map Data Format’ is Important

Apple Maps is the core of the future innovation that Apple dreams of, from self-driving cars to AR experiences. Therefore, it is remarkable enough that Apple’s own IMDF (Indoor Mapping Data Format) has been recognized as a standard for indoor location services.

ⓒ Apple

IMDF was recently approved as an open community standard by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). OCG has accepted proposals from Apple, as well as industry groups including Google, Autodesk, and the Ordnance Survey.

This allows you to create fully custom indoor maps using industry standard tools in a variety of places. This map uses the existing Wi-Fi network to achieve GPS-level location accuracy, so visitors can get directions to the desired place inside the building with their device.

Scott Simmons, Chief Standards Officer at OGC, said, “Now that IMDF is part of the OGC standard, we look forward to better supporting location-related requirements by tighter integration with geographic standards again.”

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Since Apple developed IMDF to provide indoor maps within the venue building, Apple Map users can use it more conveniently within the building. “IMDF provides a mobile-friendly, lightweight, human-readable, yet highly scalable data model for all indoor spaces. It provides the basis for directions and directions and a destination-finding service,” Apple said.

The technology can also be used to solve realistic problems in emergency situations, such as providing indoor maps to paramedics or guiding patients, doctors, and visitors to their destinations in the hospital. At the airport, it helps partners create maps that can be modified to their liking. For example, a merchant or airline can make the desired data more visible in their apps while maintaining accuracy.

Maps are not just information that tells people how to travel from A to B. It is also important information that educates intelligent devices so that they can move through a three-dimensional and safe understanding of the situation. If you think about it, you can quickly realize that maps are not fixed.

What the data expresses seems to be static, but within this space various activities are constantly taking place. Accidents occur, roads are blocked, people gather, and the weather and traffic volume change from time to time. So, for map data to be really useful, it needs to be contextual information depending on the surrounding situation. That’s why IMDF is so important. This is because the current Wi-Fi at the location can be used to determine the surrounding situation.

How this technology will evolve can be clearly confirmed in the development of autonomous vehicles. Usually, when developing an autonomous vehicle, a variety of data is input and used. LiDAR (71% of self-driving cars being tested in China use LiDAR), cameras, gyroscopes, proximity sensors, and many more.

When a car runs on a road or a robot is put into a shopping mall, these intelligent devices use mapping data that’understands context’ through sensors or shared data, and make accurate geographic decisions in real time.

Apple is known to do just that. In fact, the blind BBC reporter Lucy Edwards showed off the Lida-equipped iPhone 12 to help him move on foot. Since this sensor data contextually understands the map space, standardizing this information not only improves mobility rights for persons with disabilities, but also creates a safe and reliable autonomous transportation system.

It doesn’t really matter if this mapping is used as helpful information for learning a connected car or guiding a delivery robot in a shopping mall. It is important to note that these systems are more helpful to what machines do than humans (which machines are trying to replace).

In other words, the ability to reliably access shared and standardized mapping data and interpret all addable information into context is key. And at the heart of this is technology disclosure. As Google always says,’it’s always right to disclose’ (of course it’s ironic that Google doesn’t disclose its search algorithms).

As Apple’s IMDF is recognized as the standard for indoor map formats, I expect the technology to create new business opportunities or be the basis for voice interface design in the near future. If this technology finds a way to more efficiently guide people or machines indoors, it will greatly improve its utility outdoors. [email protected]

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