John Davidson Columnist Mar 30, 2021 https://www.afr.com/technology/google-cures-that-lost-in-an-airport-panic-20210330-p57fbk If COVID-19 hasn’t already cured you of that feeling of panic that rises when you find yourself in a strange airport with a tight connection and realise you don’t know how to get to your gate, then perhaps Google can help. As part of a suite of upgrades it’s launching in coming months for its Google Maps app, the advertising company is adding a feature that will guide you through an airport visually, using arrows superimposed on the live video feed coming off your phone’s camera as you hold it up to scan the unfamiliar environment. Live View will soon work indoors, in places like airports. The “Live View” navigation system, which is already available when you’re walking around outside, is soon going to work indoors, in places like airports and malls, because Google has now scanned in countless indoor images, analysed them using machine learning, and can now recognise exactly where you are in an airport just by looking at your camera, said Russell Dicker, director of Google’s transportation products. Live View would be able to guide you to gates, restrooms, ATMs, elevators and escalators, and even duty-free shops. Even if you point your phone at the right gate number but in the wrong terminal, Live View will still be able to tell you it’s the wrong gate and guide you to the right one, he said, because the technology can now understand the “precise altitude and placement of an object in a building”, he said. The indoor version of Live View is initially launching at airports and other locations in Tokyo and Zurich, but more cities will be added “along the way”, Mr Dicker said. Google Maps eco friendly routes Other improvements to Google Maps will include a new navigation view that shows users all their driving, public transport, cycling and walking options on the one screen, making it easier to compare, say, cycling versus driving to a destination. Early trials of that view had already led to more users choosing cycling or walking than they ever had in the past, Google officials said. Another improvement will add an “eco friendly” option to directions, so routes are chosen that have the minimum carbon footprint, based on factors such as traffic and hills, Google said.