Mapping at the speed of light with MapScale™

Digitizing maps of large venues such as corporate campuses, healthcare facilities, retail and aviation spaces is not a new challenge.

Over the last 30 years or so, many companies have attempted to tackle the problem by developing their own mapping solutions. Without exception, they have failed to solve two critical issues - speed and scalability.

In this article we will:

  • Explore why Pointr is the only company to have finally achieved what for 30 years seemed impossible, with MapScale
  • Look at what makes MapScale so radically different from any other “solutions”
  • Highlight the key features and benefits of MapScale 
  • Explore the future of digital venue mapping and why MapScale will continue to be the market leader

What makes MapScale™ so radically different

In the past, venue owners hired mapping companies to manually convert floor plans into a digital format, a process that required frequent maintenance and updates across multiple venues. As well as being inefficient and time-consuming, this approach could never successfully scale to accommodate thousands of venues updated at speed.

In the case of one of the largest department store chains in the US, it took them between 1 to 2 years to update individual store maps on average, whereas MapScale™ achieved the same in as little as just a few hours. It took our department store customer around 2 years to complete the update cycle for their digital venues by using photoshop to update all their maps one by one. Thanks to Pointr's MapScale™, they can now digitize 2,000 CAD files into interactive digital maps for all their retail outlets in just a few hours after a 45-day training period using our machine learning algorithm. What's even better, once MapScale™'s SDK is deployed, no additional upkeep efforts or costs will be generated for future updating requests of their maps.

MapScale™ works by automatically pulling mapping data from AutoCAD (in DWG and DXF formats) and converting them into beautiful interactive maps that match true global geo-coordinates. Being platform agnostic, MapScale™ can retrieve and digitize maps from any platform at the same lightning speed.

Once maps are digitized and the system trained, they can be updated in 5-10 minutes via the Pointr SDK, which is in stark contrast to our department store above, which could only update individual maps on a one to a two-year cycle.

Pointr’s MapScale™, the first automized mapping platform, powered by machine learning

 

Pointr’s MapScale™ is purpose-built to automate the process of digitizing CAD floor plans. MapScale™ processes a CAD floor plan as follows: 

 

  1. Removes extraneous information from the CAD floor plan
  2. Identify the building’s true outline
  3. Determines room boundaries
  4. Recognizes and classifies furniture
  5. Classifies rooms based on size and furniture
  6. Converts the map to a vector format
  7. Applies cartographic design to the map

 

MapScale™ features and benefits at a glance

Here’s a table highlighting some of the key features and benefits that make MapScale™ the only choice for organizations that need to digitize multiple venues quickly and at scale.

Feature

Benefit/Outcome

MapScale actually works. We have achieved what none of our competitors could - a lightning-fast, scalable platform for digital mapping.

Users can digitize maps effortlessly and deliver an accurate indoor positioning system that enables desk booking, indoor-outdoor digital wayfinding, and more.

Powered by our patented machine learning algorithm, MapScale™ can automatically “recognize” certain objects such as room boundaries, desks, and key building structural items like doors and staircases, making sure maps remain up-to-date at all times. Updates are applied in seconds and with zero manual work.

The speed at which digitized maps are updated once the system is trained is hugely significant. For a mapping project that takes 2 years, MapScale™ gets it done in days! 

 

block example

 

Auto-accuracy logically checks for significant changes made to digital maps. Changes are pushed across all platforms through the Pointr SDK.

If changes are too significant, MapScale automatically notifies the mapping team for a manual check of the accuracy of the floorplans. This improves operational efficiency for the mapping team, saving them time and costs.

Easy to update directly through a single centralized dashboard to individually tailor maps and best match their specific mapping requirements.

Users can rely on automatic, dynamic updates but also have the flexibility to make manual changes such as adding, moving, and deleting objects and geofences in one dashboard.

 

Highly accurate maps match the true global geo-coordinates, enabling the best indoor/ outdoor wayfinding experience.

We cross-reference multiple base map platforms (up to 5, on average we use 3) to ensure our digitized maps are the most accurate and truly comply with the actual geo-coordinates on earth.

We ensure our blue dot sits accurately in our digital maps and thus enables a precise indoor-outdoor wayfinding experience for our users.

 

Software agnostic and integration friendly, MapScale seamlessly integrates with 3rd party software and mapping platforms.

Cross-platform integration is a breeze -  our SDK supports multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Web, and Kiosk. Maps are easily integrated with different mapping platforms, such as Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Microsoft Azure Maps.

The story of a potted plant! 

Not only is MapScale™ fast and immensely scalable, but it’s also designed to be smart and deliver maps with an unmatched level of accuracy, simplicity, and clarity. It doesn’t introduce unnecessary and irrelevant details into the mapping process, making for a better and cleaner blue-dot experience for end-users.

One example of this relates to a competitive product that, while attempting to digitize a map, went to the extreme of representing a pot plant, even going to the extent of drawing in individual leaves!

Such detail is irrelevant to smart digital mapping and serves no useful function. Our machine learning algorithms are clever enough to understand this and ignore this kind of trivia, resulting in a cleaner, more functional blue dot experience for our users.

See MapScale™ in action

Watch full video

MapScale™ continues to lead the digital mapping space

MapScale™ is the fastest and most scalable mapping tool available anywhere in the world. It’s the future of digital mapping. No more photoshop and manual mapping that takes years, we get it done in days with updates distributed in minutes!

Pointr proudly continues to lead the way with the release of version 7 of Pointr maps and 3D maps – another first from the Pointr Team.

The extra dimension that comes with the introduction of 3D maps in v7 means we can present a truly immersive wayfinding experience to the user. Definitive details such as landmarks, help users browse and understand a venue faster and more easily than ever before.

In the previous v6, objects were tile-based raster images whereas in v7 they’re tile-based vector images. Among other benefits, vector images can be scaled seamlessly without becoming pixelated or “blurry” and are generated by mathematical calculations rather than a series of pixels.

Maps in v7 will no longer be static; each object will be independent, making it easier for the mapping team to update just a single object on a map, delivering increased flexibility and a more accurate end-user experience.

Get ready for Pointr’s Maps v7!

3D maps in v7 - allowing more immersive wayfinding experiences.

Conditional viewpoint - switching between 2D and 3D mode effortlessly.

 

About Pointr

Pointr is a global leader in indoor location. Pointr's Deep Location® software technology uses machine-learning techniques to create the best performing and the only scalable indoor location technology available today. Deep Location® enables location-based services such as digital mapping, and smooth indoor-outdoor wayfinding. Our technology is ISO 27001 and ISO 27017 certified and approved by Cisco DNA Spaces, Microsoft, CBRE, ISS, DHS, and many others. 

We work with major customers in healthcare, smart workplace, retail, and aviation across North America, Europe, and Asia including UCHealth, international corporations (CBRE), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Airports (Washington Regan and National), two major U.S. Airlines and one of the major U.S. department store retailers across 2,000 locations with millions of mobile application users.

If you're interested in finding out more about Pointr's Deep Location® Platform and MapScale, please contact our team.

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Author: Les Blythe

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