Indoor Maps

Apps connected with specific venues like shopping malls and stadiums can design custom interactive maps that help people locate and navigate to indoor points of interest. Indoor maps can include overlays that highlight specific areas, such as rooms, kiosks, and other locations. They can also include text labels, icons, and routes.

Adjust map detail based on the zoom level. Too much detail can cause a map to appear cluttered. Show large areas like rooms and buildings at all zoom levels. Then, progressively add more detailed features and labels as the map is zoomed in. An airport map might show only terminals and gates when zoomed out, but reveal individual stores and restrooms when zoomed in.

Screenshot of a map on an iPhone, zoomed in to show the location of an elevator in Terminal B of the San Jose International airport.

Use distinctive styling to differentiate the features of your map. Using one color for stores and another for restaurants, for example, makes it easy for people to tell them apart.

Clearly identify selected elements. When someone selects a specific area or other element on the map, use distinct styling like an outline or color variation to call attention to the selection.

Offer a floor picker if your venue includes multiple levels. A floor picker lets people quickly jump between floors. If you implement this feature, keep floor numbers concise for simplicity. In most cases, a list of floor numbers—rather than floor names—is sufficient.

Screenshot of a map on an iPhone, zoomed in to show the numbers and locations of some gates in Terminal B of the San Jose International airport. Other areas, such as parking structures, are displayed without details.

Include surrounding areas to provide context. Adjacent streets, playgrounds, and other nearby locations can all help orient people when they use your map. If these areas are noninteractive, use dimming or a distinct color to make them appear supplemental.

Consider enabling navigation between your venue and nearby transit points. Make it easy to enter and exit your venue by offering routing to and from nearby bus stops, train stations, parking lots, garages, and other transit locations. You might also offer a way for people to quickly switch over to Apple Maps for additional navigation options.

Limit scrolling outside of your venue. People shouldn’t get lost when they swipe too hard on your map. When possible, keep at least part of your indoor map visible onscreen at all times. To help people stay oriented, you may need to adjust the amount of scrolling you permit based on the zoom level.

Design an indoor map that feels like a natural extension of your app. Don’t try to replicate the appearance of Apple Maps. Instead, make sure area overlays, icons, and text match the visual style of your app.

For developer guidance, see Indoor Mapping Data Format.