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Indoor Mapping Helps to Build Smart Cities

Nov 10, 2020

8 min read

By: Mappedin

We're discussing how indoor mapping software plays an important role in helping to develop smart cities of the future. 

Mappedin's powerful mapping platform provides us with a unique understanding of location information and is just one piece in a network of smart city applications. We've written this piece to offer insight on smart city infrastructure and the vast number of ways in which indoor mapping technology can be used.

What is a smart city and how can indoor mapping help?   

Smart cities seek to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data for the purpose of improving living and working conditions for its residents. This means that smart city planners need to gather information on how people live, work, and move within the city before they can make improvements. Indoor mapping and location information can contribute better data, leading to the rollout of more adept solutions that increase efficiencies for people and businesses across all sectors.

How indoor mapping can help smart city infrastructure: 

Mobility systems

Location information captured within indoor mapping software can pinpoint factors such as arrival and departure time patterns from buildings. Where a large building has more than one entrance, indoor mapping data can also provide insights into the likely roads used to arrive at those entrances. This gives an indication of time-specific localized traffic. 

Because indoor mapping technology can be used to inform smart city planners on the times of different movements into and out of the building, energy-saving solutions such as street lights that only switch on when somebody approaches can be implemented in quieter areas. 

An indication of peak arrival and departure times can also help to inform smart city planners of how best to plan and deploy emergency service provisions.

Administrative systems

Indoor mapping can be used to gather information on the movement of people throughout buildings. These numbers can be correlated with the type of building (e.g. hospital, library, school, etc.), shedding light on likely visitor intentions. High visitor numbers entering educational facilities, for example, can inform smart city planners of rough student numbers, highlighting where administrative systems may need to be adapted to meet the needs of visitors.

Data generated by indoor mapping software can aid city planners in developing administrative systems in areas such as:

  • Economic affairs

  • Science and culture 

  • Urban renewal projects

  • Traffic and climate protection 

  • Public health and sports facilities

Energy systems

Indoor mapping software can tie in with other big data resources to give accurate indications of our daily energy needs. For example, not only can smart city planners use the indoor mapping data generated to design urban energy systems that deliver more power where it is needed, but also future energy infrastructure projects can be better located.  


Indoor mapping for universities can be used to help build smart cities in many ways. The software can be used to point towards student numbers in different and diverse indoor areas. This means that the data you generate can be used to inform smart city planners on a range of aspects such as student population densities vs available housing, transport system planning, and the potential necessity to develop further educational facilities.


Until recently, the entertainment industry led the market in mapping indoor virtual environments. Indoor mapping data can help to build smart cities by highlighting the popularity of different entertainment venues, including attendance numbers and visitor arrival and departure information at various events throughout the year. 

Smart city planners can use this information in planning adequate public transport links that meet the needs of specific entertainment venues, for example. 

How indoor mapping can contribute towards big data:

Many municipal governments are already leveraging certain aspects of smart city planning that will feed into big data models. For example, you may have noticed air pollution monitoring sensors, traffic sensors, and even refuse technology that informs refuse collectors when bins are full. Indoor mapping software provides data that can drive smart city planning. 

Ease traffic congestion

Smart cities may deploy connected traffic lights that supply sensor data regarding traffic. Indoor mapping software that highlights information such as visitor numbers and visitor times can be used to help support the city planning decision-making process over where to install connected traffic lights and sensors. This can speed up traffic signal changes in built up areas, easing road congestion on routes between housing and the most densely populated workplaces.  

Help find parking spaces 

You can benefit from indoor mapping software when it comes to finding a parking space. The data generated from indoor mapping technology can help build smart cities that anticipate parking requirements and even inform commuters of available spaces via push notifications. This will result in shorter and more efficient journey times, further easing congestion and reducing pollution. 

Smartphone applications 

Smart city planners can use the data from indoor mapping technology to design and rollout smartphone applications that provide access for citizens to city services. This could include apps that provide parking information and other municipal services.  

Urbanization will continue to increase, meaning more people will need to interact with cities in both indoor and outdoor environments. The correlation between indoor mapping and location information that you are able to supply and data derived from external sources can help smart city planners to develop accurate resolutions, from efficient city lighting to infrastructure planning. 

How indoor mapping can help achieve sustainable development goals for smart cities:

Many smart cities across the world are being built in accordance with the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders. All Indoor mapping data generated by you and other users can be used to record the movement of people throughout indoor spaces across the city, giving broader insights into how our cities can meet the SDGs.

While some of the goals outlined by the UN’s SDGs are aimed at improving living standards in developing nations (such as guaranteeing access to clean water and basic sanitation for all), a number of the targets tie-in with building the smart cities of the future. This means that indoor mapping technology can be used to positively influence smart city design. 

Climate action 

Indoor mapping software gives a steady indication of indoor visitor numbers throughout the city. When this data is viewed as part of the wider big data picture, areas of likely congestion can be highlighted, allowing city planners to build better public transport links to the most frequented indoor areas. 

This will cut down on car journeys, which will not only alleviate congestion issues but will decrease localized emissions (positively impacting air quality and the wider climate).   

Decent work and economic growth 

You are more likely to benefit from sustained, inclusive work opportunities and area-wide economic growth where city planners can design a city that connects workers and employers with ease. 

Indoor mapping technology can be used to isolate the most visited indoor spaces within the city, meaning smart city planners can analyze the capacity of current transport links and make improvements to areas that are not as popular. This means that your indoor mapping data can help to build smart cities that benefit from outside investment.   

Sustainable cities and communities 

Inclusive. Safe. Resilient. These are the aims of a smart city built with sustainability in mind. Indoor mapping can be used to supply city planners with data surrounding visitor numbers and movement within buildings, meaning relatively unused indoor facilities may be highlighted as not being safe or accessible.   

Industry, innovation, and infrastructure 

Fostering innovation is one of the main goals of building a smart city. Data taken from indoor mapping solutions can be used to better understand the efficiency of the city’s infrastructure, highlighting strengths and weaknesses in the city’s ability to connect people and places. 

Without data from indoor mapping, city planners must rely on data taken from outdoor sources (e.g. traffic sensors) to support innovative changes to the city. This means that opportunities to innovate industry and infrastructure could be missed. 

Responsible consumption and production 

Indoor mapping data generated within enclosed spaces across the city can provide information regarding shifting population centres at different times of the day. Where we gather to eat lunch at certain times in certain places, for example, production and consumption of food can be better planned to meet the needs of known numbers of people. 

This will not only reduce energy consumption but will reduce emissions where fewer planned journeys are needed to deliver adequate city-wide supplies. 

This blueprint for smart city prosperity is intended to spur a greater integration between people and the cities in which we live. All strategies for economic growth depend on the availability of data - if you are yet to implement indoor mapping solutions, both for the benefit of your building and for the wider area, Mappedin can help.  

How Mappedin can support smart cities: 

Mappedin’s powerful indoor mapping software can be used to generate digital assets of your property. By creating and maintaining 3D property maps, you’re enabling a digital foundation that opens the possibility for better understanding of your visitors and how they move through your venue. This information can be used to plan smart city improvements that not only benefit visitors to buildings but also benefit the wider area in terms of providing a more inclusive and sustainable city with improved transport, security, and safety. 

Interested to learn more about indoor mapping and the benefits it can bring to your indoor space? Learn more about indoor mapping for city districts or get in touch today!