November 28 2023  |  Screens & Devices

Google Maps launches Live View at SYD

By Robynne Trueman

The Live View on Google Maps

Sydney Airport (SYD) is the first in Australia to get the Google Maps Indoor Live View, just ahead of the holiday travel rush. In the press release, Sydney Airport said that the new feature is designed to help passengers find gates, baggage claims, retail outlets, dining options, restrooms and more. The feature is available in both international and domestic terminals.

The augmented reality (AR) feature on Google Maps provides arrows, directions and distance markers superimposed on the user’s camera view for a live, interactive guide through the terminals. The technology is compatible with Android and iOS devices.

“Google Australia is proud to partner with Sydney Airport to launch Indoor Live View at Australia’s largest airport,” said Anthony Bertuca, Group Product Manager at Google Maps in Australia.

There is also an option to select the ‘Wheelchair accessible’ preference which locates wheelchair, stroller and suitcase-friendly routes. Audio navigation prompts can also be turned on in addition to the visual arrows guiding the way.

Google started collecting indoor imagery for these live maps in early 2022, during curfew hours across Sydney Airport’s Terminal 1 (international), Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 (domestic).

Collectively the terminals span 445,000 square meters, making gathering detailed imagery of the 100-plus retail stores, 70-plus food and beverage outlets, 62 gates and 55 bathrooms a significant task.

“This is a win for our passengers, who will be the first in Australia to benefit from this incredible new AR technology from Google,” said Belinda Scanlon, Sydney Airport Senior Manager Business Systems. “Whether travellers are looking for their gate, a bathroom or even a place to grab a bite to eat, they now have the directions they need at their fingertips. This is an especially great tool for travellers facing language barriers and accessibility needs, as it will help them navigate the airport more independently.”

The technology and AR directions are set to make travel ahead of the holidays a smooth experience for Australians and international visitors transiting through Sydney Airport.

“It’s powered by a technology called global localization, which uses AI to scan tens of billions of indoor Street View images to understand your orientation and provide assistance in real-time," Bertuca said.

To activate the Live View at Sydney Airport, all passengers have to do is enter their query in the Google Maps search bar. Then, select walking mode and tap the Live View button.

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