Giving everyone the tools to build beautiful, accurate and functional 3D indoor maps has been a key feature of WRLD for many years. Last year we added the Assets Tool which gives the ability to place and manage furniture and other movable objects within your indoor maps. WRLD 3D indoor maps are created from our indoor map geojson file format and while this is great for creating accurate maps the creation and submission process requires you to use external GIS tools like QGIS and is simply too much of a learning curve for many people. We’ve heard your feedback, and this month we’ve launched the first version of our Indoor Map Editor!
Now it’s possible to create a 3D indoor map, place assets and publish it to WRLD, all from your web browser! If you’ve never tried indoor mapping with WRLD before, or attempted it previously and gave up, we’d love for you to give it a try! Don’t worry if you already mastered the GIS submission process, that’s still supported and you’ll find the upload button in the ‘Advanced’ tab of the tool.
Let’s take a tour of the new Indoor Maps design tool!
Creating an indoor map, step by step
Open the tool by navigating to https://mapdesigner.wrld3d.com/indoormap/latest/ or clicking on ‘Indoor Maps’ from the WRLD Map Designer portal. You’ll find we’ve redesigned the toolbar on the left so you can work through each of the stages you’ll need. You’ll also see a list of any Indoor Maps that you’ve created before.
To start a new map, click the ‘New Indoor Map’ button at the top of the screen.
Claim a building
Navigate around the map until you find the building you want to map, and click to highlight it. You can include multiple buildings or building sections if you need to. Once you’re happy click the ‘Claim Building(s)’ button. It usually takes a few seconds to process your claim.
Next, we’ll need a few bits of information - the name of your indoor map, the name of the building’s owner, and the number of floors. Click the ‘Start Map Editor’ button to proceed.
Map out your building
Hopefully, you found the claim process a little bit smoother than before, but the Editor is where the new functionality really starts to show up! You’ll find a simple template has been created for you, with the outline of your building, and the number of floors you specified. This is already a valid indoor map and you can build it in 3D if you like, but let’s add some more detail to the map.
Click on the ‘Add Feature’ tool , select ‘Room’ and click on the map to draw out your first room! By default, snapping is enabled which will make it easy for you to line up the boundaries of the room with the edges of the building. If you make a mistake or want to change anything, you can add, delete, or move points using the ‘Edit’ tool , or just select your feature, delete it and start over. You can give your features names if you like by selecting them and adding a name in the Properties panel on the top right of the screen. Try adding several different feature types such as corridors, bathrooms, and stairs. Don’t forget if you created more than one floor, you can switch floor and add map features there.
Once you’re happy with what you’ve created, it’s time to turn it into a 3D map. Click ‘Build’ at the bottom right of the screen to start. Depending on the size and complexity of your map, this might take a few minutes but before long you should see your map appear in full 3D!
Open the ‘Assets’ tab from the tool bar on the left of the screen. Search through the list of 3D models under ‘New Asset’, place them on the map and move them around until you’re happy with the result. As before, you’ll need to ‘Publish Assets’ to make them visible to users of your map.
There are several neat new features, including the option to select an asset from the menu on the right and click on the content menu to ‘Go to’ the asset - great when you’ve got a large and complex building. You’ll see we’ve also expanded our library to 200 models covering office furniture, homeware, kitchen, bathroom and more… If you can’t find what you need, please let us know
Publish and share
That’s really all there is to it! To see what your map will look like to users of WRLD, you’ll find a ‘Preview on WRLD Maps’ button in the ‘Share’ tab, or you can use the link in the email that is sent when your map has built. You can see the map we built in this example here.
Once you’ve got a version of your map that you’re completely happy with, you can submit it for inclusion in WRLD’s public maps using the ‘Publish’ tab. Your map will be reviewed by our team and if there are no issues, we’ll have it live on our web and mobile apps within 24 hours. There are numerous options available to share or use your map without making it completely public - that will be the topic for another blog post, but there is some information in our FAQ if you’re interested.
We’ll be continuing to develop and improve the Indoor Map editor over the coming weeks and months. Here are just some of the features we’ve got in the pipeline:
- Importing an image so you can trace over an existing floor plan
- Simpler tools for drawing walls, windows and doors
- Undo/redo support
We’d love to hear feedback from you on what you find helpful in the new tool, and how it can be improved. As always, you can reach our support team by email, web form or using the chat bubble at the bottom right of the screen.
We’ve seen a lot more people creating indoor maps already since we launched the new editor and we look forward to seeing what you’re going to build with WRLD!