With Black Friday only a short time away and millions of shoppers already itching to join a long line of fellow consumers in the hope of bagging a bargain, Google has just piped up to say it may be able to help.
“Before heading home for the holidays or out to shop on Black Friday, check out indoor maps of the airport or shopping mall on your desktop to better plan your trip,” the Mountain View company suggested in a Google+ post on Wednesday.
That’s right, Google has just launched its indoor floor plan service for Web browsers, enabling you to meticulously plan your Black Friday shopping expedition on the big screen at home so that when you burst through the store entrance on Friday you’ll know exactly where to head instead of bumbling around looking for the HD-TV section only to discover the sets have already been snapped up.
The floor plans have been available to users of Android devices for some time now, though from today iOS users will also be able to access them via their mobile browser, giving many shoppers the added opportunity of checking out the plan of the store while waiting in line.
To bring up a floor plan, all you need to do is zoom into a building on Maps. Provided it’s been uploaded to the service, the plan will automatically appear, allowing you to check out stores within a mall, departments within a store, the gate layout at airports, and so on. More than 10,000 floor plans are currently available for locations around the world, and more are being added all the time. In fact, Google is encouraging all operators of public places to go ahead and upload a plan of their premises in order to build up its fast-growing database of indoor maps and help prevent users getting lost indoors.