What can we see? and How do we get there? are two of the most common questions asked by Smithsonian visitors. To help answer those questions before they are asked, the Smithsonian has collaborated with Google to map its indoor public spaces17 museums and the National Zoofor easier exploration.
Beginning today, many of the millions of yearly visitors to the Smithsonian can electronically explore the building interiors, floor by floor, and pinpoint themselves within the building. The technology allows visitors with Google Maps for Android
to navigate within and between each museum.
Users will see themselves on the map as a blue dot that will show their location and orientation within the context of exhibits, stairs, restrooms, eateries and other features. Step-by-step walking directions between destinations are also available within the app, providing visitors guided navigation within each 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. Indoor Google Maps helps us achieve our goal of putting the Smithsonian in their hands, both literally and figuratively.
The mapped indoor spaces of the Smithsonian total more than 2.7 million square feet and include several hundred clickable points of interest and stand-alone objects, each of which can be tapped to set as a destination.
Mapped Smithsonian interiors include:
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
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)
The Smithsonian and Google will continue to increase the level of exhibit detail and the number of features in the maps to help visitors explore their surroundings with ease. Indoor Maps is available on recent versions of Google Maps for Android (Android 2.2 or above and Google Maps for Android 6.0 or above).