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Product 101: GeoJSON Exports

May 7, 2020

3 min read

By: Cara Hueston

Taking a closer look at IMDF and MVF - two types of GeoJSON exports - and how they can be used to create indoor mapping experiences. 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used for decades to capture and display geographic data. In the past few years, we have seen an increase in the application of GIS to indoor spaces, typically in the form of a GeoJSON file. We will examine two GeoJSON formats: IMDF and MVF and how you can use these to take advantage of the latest developments in indoor mapping technology.  

What is GeoJSON?

GeoJSON is based on JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)and used to represent simple geographical features. The format is concerned with geographic data in the broadest sense. Anything with qualities bounded in geographical space, not just physical structures, can be conceptualized in this format.  

Unlike the majority of other GIS standards, GeoJSON is neither written nor maintained by a formal standards organization. The information defined and detailed by this file type is not a radical departure from information contained in existing GIS standards. It is, however, streamlined to better suit the needs of web application development using Javascript. 

Apple’s Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) and Mappedin Venue Format (MVF) are recent examples of GeoJSON file types that have been developed in the last two years. Unlike other GIS formats, which focus on representing outdoor spaces, both IMDF and MVF were designed from the ground-up to power navigation and orientation for indoor spaces. By leveraging each of these formats, indoor maps can be used to power a number of different experiences.

Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF)

Indoor Positioning

After exporting an IMDF file, you are eligible to register for Apple’s Indoor Maps program. This provides access to Apple’s indoor positioning technology which uses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure within your building to provide GPS-level accuracy in indoor spaces. Paired with Mappedin's web solution, you are able to power a blue dot experience directly in-browser.  

Apple Maps Integration

In addition to indoor positioning, IMDF allows you to export your digital map file from Mappedin's Map Manager directly into the Apple Maps platform. With our back-end tools, not only can you showcase your venue maps on one of the world's most popular mobile devices, but you can also ensure that your location data is accurate and up-to-date. Learn more about Mappedin's work with IMDF on our blog.

Mappedin Venue Format (MVF)

MVF is Mappedin’s proprietary indoor mapping format and is currently used to power digital map experiences across our products. Given that MVF was intended to work in harmony with our existing platform, it contains information not included in IMDF. This includes nodes and paths which allow for easy point-to-point navigation, as well as aesthetic information such as layer names and colour properties. 

If you want to incorporate Mappedin’s location data with other GeoJSON data, such as an outdoor context map, it is much easier to load the MVF as layers on top of other outdoor GeoJSON data. In general, using MVF gives you the normal benefits of Mappedin’s indoor maps with a great deal more flexibility to customize beyond what‘s included in our Mapping SDKs or to completely transform the look and feel of your indoor map. For instance, using MVF allows you to dynamically add options like light or dark mode easily. 

Both IMDF and MVF exports serve to provide accurate location data and power indoor mapping experiences. To choose the right export for you, consider the experience you hope to create and offer to visitors of your venue. If you are unsure or have questions, contact us today to learn more.