July 12, 2012

Smithsonian, Google Unveil Indoor Museum Maps

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. has partnered with Google to launch a new indoor map application this week to help visitors navigate 17 of the Smithsonian´s museums, including the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum and the American History Museum.

"An increasing number of our visitors now turn to their mobile devices and familiar applications to help them find their way and get information about the Smithsonian," said Nancy Proctor, head of mobile strategy and initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution, in a statement.

"Indoor Google Maps helps us achieve our goal of putting the Smithsonian in their hands, both literally and figuratively.”

Visitors with devices running Google Maps for Android can use the app to navigate within and between 17 museums and the National Zoo.

The app displays the user´s position as a blue dot on the map, and also gives directions to exhibits and other points of interest within the Smithsonian's 2.7 million square feet of space. Step-by-step walking directions between destinations are also available, giving visitors guided navigation within each museum.

There are an estimated 137 million works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian, which was founded in 1846.

Smithsonian and Google said they would continue to increase the level of exhibit detail and the number of features in the maps.

The app is available on recent versions of Google Maps for Android (Android 2.2 or above and Google Maps for Android 6.0 or above).

Mapped Smithsonian interiors include:

Washington, D.C.

  • Anacostia Community Museum
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • National Air and Space Museum, National Mall Building
  • National Museum of African Art
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • National Postal Museum
  • National Zoological Park
  • Renwick Gallery
  • S. Dillon Ripley Center
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (“The Castle”)

Outside Washington, D.C.

  • National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Chantilly, Va.)
  • National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center (New York City)