Creation of Indoor Map Data

Generation of Indoor Map Data

The availability of accessible indoor maps requires a broad data base, which provides basic information about the structure of the floors and their connection as well as further information of the accessibility of various objects in a building. An initial analysis showed that there is no sufficient amount of indoor map data in commercial or freely accessible map services. It is therefore necessary to generate appropriate data and to make it available in an accessible manner.

Open Source Indoor Map Data as Basis for the Development of Indoor Maps

Considering that there is no possibility to generalize the output formats of maps for the specific requirements of the users, an extensive application landscape is required for the output of indoor maps. This leads to the conclusion that such diversity, which involve small and large groups of users, requires freely accessible indoor map data. Therefore, it was decided within the project to use Simple Indoor Tagging as the target format and to make the recorded data freely accessible in OpenStreetMap.

The Influence of different Scenarios on the Mapping Process

Basically, there are two different starting situations with influence the data collection. On the one hand, map data can already be available in a different digital format, which allows to transform them into the desired format. On the other hand, there is the possibility that no digital map data are available or that they are not freely accessible. In this case the data has to be collected manually. Therefore, analogue maps, such as escape plans, can support the recording process. Both options are addressed within the AccessibleMaps project. Moreover, one project goal is to develop prototypical solutions to solve the given challenges.

Tool to Transform Existing Indoor Maps in other Formats

If indoor map data already exist in a different format, then it should be possible to convert it into a target format. For example, if architectural data are available, wall thicknesses and unnecessary elements can be removed which reduces the amount of data and adapts the data for later visualization. (See Figure: Screenshot of the User Interface of an Application to Convert Indoor Map Formats)

The picture shows a window application for the transformation of already existing indoor map data into a different target format, which is divided into three areas from left to right. The left area allows you to load a map file and reference this on a map by means of latitude and longitude. The loaded building map can be seen in the middle area. In the right area there is a street map in which the referenced building can be seen.
Screenshot of the User Interface of an Application TO Convert Indoor Map Formats

Tool to Generate Indoor Maps from Escape Plans

In case of manual collection of indoor map data, an application was developed which analyses images of escape plans and automatically recognizes rooms, stairs, elevators and doors. This information is used to generate a first data set for the corresponding building part, which then has to be manually corrected and merged with other parts of the building. (See Figure: Screenshot of the User Interface of the Escape Plan Transformation Tool)

The picture shows a window application for recognizing rooms and other objects from escape plans, which is divided into three areas from left to right. The left area provides the possibility to load an image file and offers to select different work steps till the room detection. In the middle area, the recognized rooms are visualized by coloured rectangles. The view of the loaded escape plan is on the right.
Screenshot of the User Interface of the Escape Plan Transformation Tool

Enrichment of Indoor Map Data with Accessibility Information

In addition to the collection of basic indoor map data, the collection and validation of accessibility information of buildings and contained objects are requirements too. In order to achieve this, various approaches will be developed within the project which are intended to support the mappers.

Tool to Verfy the Correctness and Richness of Accessibility Information

As a part of the research project, a prototype will be developed, which is named SITMapChecker. This application analyses the current status of building and visualises them for users. Different requirements for indoor map data are divided into achievements, which facilitate the collection process and make it possible to enter further data in a simplified way. (See Figure: Screenshot of the SITMapChecker User Interface)

The picture shows a window application, which has the goal to analyse indoor map data. The application is divided into three areas from left to right. The left area contains a search field as well as the visualization of the currently selected building floor. Achievements that have already been achieved and general building information are displayed in the middle area. In the right area, the achievements that are still open are displayed in text form as well as a filter function for them.
Screenshot of the SITMapChecker User Interface

Tool to Enrich Accessibility Features using Computer Vision

As a part of the research project, a computer vision-based prototype will be developed. This application uses visual data collected by cameras as input, reconstructs an indoor environment, and obtains dense semantic information of the indoor space. Recognition of both static- and moving objects based on Artificial Intelligence will facilitate enrichment of important accessibility features onto indoor maps (see Figure).

Demo of the indoor semantic mapping prototype