Indoor and Offline Mapping Made Easy

09 February 2015 by Cory MacVie

I recently demonstrated to a Fulcrum customer how to georeference a floor plan of a mall for indoor use when conducting inspections of malls around the country. This same process can be used with Fulcrum for creating small offline maps. I’ve chosen not to use QGIS or ArcMap, but instead am using inexpensive or free software that anyone can learn to use in less than an hour.

Example

I’ve based my example around the Fulcrum, Mall Maintenance app which can be found in our App Gallery. This easy indoor mapping process can be used for asset management, safety inspections, building inventory, risk inspections, property management, etc. Whenever you want your floor plans at your disposal, and you want them to be spatially referenced to your location, this process will work great.

Instructions

These are the basic instructions and explanation of the software and websites I used. Watch the screencast below (no audio) to follow the entire process in detail.

  1. Get Floor Plan - Usually your floor plan will come in a PDF. Convert it from PDF to PNG. I got mine from the Simon Malls website.

  2. Make Border Transparent - Now that you have your floor plan, you want to make it transparent to make it easier to view. You can use Photoshop, GIMP (free) or pixlr.com/editor (free), which I used, to make the white border transparent.

  3. Georeference the Map - Once you have everything you don’t want to see transparent, use MapTiler to georeference your PNG and produce a MBTile file.

  4. Upload to Fulcrum - Take the MBTile file and upload it into your Fulcrum Layers.

Tips

  • The larger your map is, the longer it will take to generate a MBTile. I usually chose zoom levels from 14-19 when making indoor maps.
  • Keep your wifi on when indoors to help increase the accuracy of your phone’s location.

Walk Through

Inside Fulcrum

You can see here what the layer looks like on the iPad. Keep in mind that once your created layers are made and downloaded to your mobile device, you will have access to them offline.

About the author

Cory is our Product Manager for Fulcrum. He works to bring Fulcrum’s field data capability into the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief sectors.

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