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Google Maps, now with floor plans for 20 U.S. museums

July 11, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • "My location" in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.
"My location" in the American Museum of Natural History, New… (From Google )

Along with airports and shopping malls, museums are some of the toughest indoor places to navigate. Who hasn't found herself wandering aimlessly around a gallery of Greek and Roman artifacts while trying to find an exhibit of Impressionist paintings, or peering at a dimly lit minerals exhibit at a natural history museum when really you want to see the giant whale skeleton?

Well, help is on the way. This week, Google announced it added indoor floor plans of 20 American museums to its Google Maps for Android.

The maps are already accessible on your Google Maps App for Android. To see them, just open up Google Maps and do a search for the museum you plan to visit.

If you are already at the museum, you can use the "My location" feature to see exactly where you are in relation to where you want to be and get walking directions to the exhibit you want to see next.

As of now just a relative handful of museums have had their insides mapped by Google, including the De Young Museum in San Francisco and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as the American Museum of Natural History and 17 Smithsonian museums including the National Air and Space Museum. 

Unfortunately for me and my fellow Angelenos, none of our city's very worthy cultural institutions have been mapped yet, but Google promises that more museums are coming soon, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Missouri. It also is encouraging museums to submit floor plans at Google Maps Floor Plans tool

Google started rolling out its indoor mapping feature in November, with maps of airports, shopping malls and resorts. The company says it has already amassed a collection of 10,000 indoor maps. 

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Follow Deborah Netburn on Twitter or Google+

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