Since November of last year, you’ve been able to use Google Maps in select places to get detailed floor plans and indoor location information within a few meters, as well as an accurate floor level location. Today, we’ve expanded the list of places with indoor maps by partnering with MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and others, to provide indoor maps for Caesars Palace, Bellagio, The Venetian, The Palazzo, MGM Grand and many more.
We hope that these indoor maps will come in handy when finding your way through the slots and to the shops. And for those of you who catch gadget-fever with CES in town, we’ve also partnered with a number of Best Buy stores in the Las Vegas area. For more detailed list of indoor maps partners, go to our help center or to see a demo, start here.
Left: MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Right: Caesars Palace
Starting today, we’re also releasing some of the first floor plans in Google Maps that were uploaded through the Google Maps Floor Plans tool. From malls to convention centers, museums and educational institutions from California to New York you will now be able to see these floor plans in Google Maps for Android.
So the next time you are looking for the perfect table to win the jackpot or can’t find the nearest restroom, simply open Google Maps on your Android device and let indoor maps show you the way. If you’re attending CES, please come by the the Google Maps booth to learn more and preview our upcoming Google Maps game!
Keeping you connected and on the right track is what today’s announcement of the launch of Smartphone Link, the first Android app to provide live services to personal navigation devices (PNDs) is all about. Smartphone Link creates a seamless navigation experience between any Bluetooth® enabled 2012 Garmin nüvi and an AndroidTM smartphone allowing them to communicate and share data. Among other functionalities, the app lets nüvi users add live services, such as traffic information, traffic camera images, weather and fuel prices to their navigation device, utilizing the smartphone’s mobile data plan. Garmin Smartphone Link is available at no cost in the Android Market and includes several free live services as well as premium content available through subscriptions.
“Garmin Smartphone Link solves the problem of having to pay for an extra data plan to use live services on a PND by utilizing the existing connection of a smartphone,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “It is a great example of how smartphone apps can complement navigation devices, which offer key benefits such as bigger screens and better GPS reception.”
Free connected services include live weather information and myGarmin™ messaging, which provides update notifications and special offers from Garmin. Premium Live Services include the following:
Live Traffic ($19.99 per year): Garmin Live Traffic provides the best-in-class real-time information to help users navigate in and around congestion. Live Traffic is updated every two minutes and receives more than 1,000 messages every update cycle, including details of traffic incidents, road conditions and delays. It covers major highways, interstates and main roads.
photoLive traffic cameras ($9.99 per year): This functionality is an addition to Garmin’s Live Traffic feature and provides drivers the ability to literally see traffic conditions ahead of time. It lets users easily look up real-time photos from traffic cameras to get a glance at traffic and weather conditions. Included are more than 10,000 traffic cameras across the U.S. and Canada that send images every couple of minutes.
Fuel Prices ($9.99 per year): Users can find the best prices for any grade of fuel in their area by tapping the screen and selecting a station.
Advanced Weather ($4.99 per year): Get current and 5-day forecasts tailored for major cities in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to what the free weather service provides, Advanced Weather also allows users to receive severe weather alerts and view animated radar images on a map. Colors distinguish types of precipitation such as rain, snow and ice, to help you avoid bad driving conditions.
In addition to using Garmin Live Services, Smartphone Link allows the Garmin GPS to share its favorite locations with the phone. And better yet, the app can help users find their way from a parking spot to their destination and back by displaying both on a map.
Garmin Smartphone Link works with all Bluetooth enabled 2012 Garmin PNDs, the nüvi 2475LT, 2495LMT, 2595LMT, 3490LMT and the all-new 3590LMT, the company’s most feature-packed 5” navigator. All of these models require a software update, except the nüvi 3590LMT. Garmin Smartphone Link is available from the Android Market at no cost. To learn more, go to http://sites.garmin.com/smartphonelink.
Following the success of last year’s Google Model Your Town competition, today we’re launching the second Google Model Your Town Competition. Model Your Town is about geo-modeling – making photo-textured models of real-life buildings that appear in Google Earth. The Model Your Town Competition is also a chance to celebrate your town by adding it to the 3D map. Of course, the USD$25,000 for a local school/district is a nice incentive too.
You can model as many structures as you like – which types of buildings you choose to include is entirely up to you. The important thing is that your choices say something about the character and history of your town.
If your town wins, a bunch of us from the SketchUp team will visit, throw you a dinner party and do our best to make you feel like the local hero that you truly are. Check out the competition website for details, and start rounding up teammates!