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Jelle initially observed the students for a week, noting their footfall in the university to discover the problems they face in the campus, and wayfinding was one of them. Back then, very few companies existed in the indoor maps and wayfinding domain, and even the ones operating in the segment were dependent on hand-drawn maps, which involved a tremendous amount of manual efforts. “We instead automated the process of creating indoor maps by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which is one of our core strengths today,” asserts Jelle. MazeMap started its journey of delivering a mapping platform and acquired its first client—a university with 60 buildings and about 13,000 rooms spread across 3.5 million square feet.
Ever since, universities have been the biggest client segment for MazeMap in front of hospitals, corporate offices, hotels, and conference venues. Similar to university students, patients, hospital staff, and corporate employees also struggle with wayfinding, and MazeMap assists them in reaching their destinations with the help of its indoor maps.
A User-friendly Indoor Map
For developers or partners who need to access the indoor maps data, MazeMap has created a Data API. The HTTP endpoints return the JSON objects for points of interests (POIs) such as buildings and floors, making it possible to automate processes where an individual needs up-to-date information from the MazeMap database.
Predicated on the frameworks of AI and ML, MazeMap is ten times more accurate than manually designed indoor maps and consists of high-quality images that can be easily exported in other formats. Integrated with indoor positioning systems, the interactive indoor maps do not just help people in wayfinding but also allow them to control and manage their data within the maps. MazeMap’s solution can also be exercised as a map platform for the internet of things (IoT) projects.
An Advanced and Flexible Wayfinding Platform
Universities, hospitals, and businesses around the world rely on maps designed by MazeMap, and this is no less than an achievement for the MazeMap team with several factors contributing to this recognition and credibility. Automation remains one of these factors, enabling the process of creating indoor maps and most importantly, keeping them up to date. Every university undergoes renovation after a certain period of time, and their maps consequently change. MazeMap follows up with these changes with the help of its automation feature. Another distinction is the company’s ability to utilize one map platform to solve different use cases. For example, a hospital had five different map solutions for five use cases and they needed to upgrade and maintain these five maps—a task they were not succeeding at. The flexible MazeMap platform aided the hospital in tackling many such use cases. One of the biggest differentiators for MazeMap as compared to other wayfinding platforms is that the consumer owns all the data and maps without the company taking ownership of any information. Additionally, a user does not even need to install an application since the platform is web-based and can be deployed in conjunction with any existing system.
All the aforementioned factors make MazeMap unique in many ways. If an individual has to visit a hospital, he’d get a reminder the day before their appointment. The reminder includes a link to the directions for a particular location. Similarly, in a corporate environment, employees can obtain a link to the meeting rooms directly in the meeting invite. The user would invite to the meeting in the same way as before e.g. with Outlook and links will be automatically added once the invite is sent. Also, university students can use the timetable and with just a click from the timetable get shown where the next lecture is, “It’s all about giving relevant information whenever necessary. Integrating links into solutions where location is relevant is the key” says Jelle. For integration with indoor positioning solution, MazeMap seeks assistance from partners. The largest partner would be Cisco. So, MazeMap works with Cisco and to utilize existing WiFi networks to obtain indoor positioning.
Numerous Possibilities Associated with Indoor Maps
Akin to universities, the MazeMap interactive indoor maps are employed by a multitude of hospitals across three continents. On any given day, these hospitals have thousands of patients and visitors along with several employees within their premises who struggle with wayfinding. MazeMap assists all such visitors with its easy-to-use indoor maps. A newly built hospital gained significant benefits from MazeMap’s solution as it had many patients visiting the hospital premises before their scheduled appointment to avoid any possibilities of missing it. The hospital also witnessed that many of the patients were missing or delaying the appointments due to poor wayfinding at the hospital. At St. Olavs University Hospital 2.9 percent of all appointments, where missed a couple of years back. The hospital then started using MazeMap, equipping patients with the map platform,and witnessed a reduction of 30 percent in missed appointments. This tremendous fall in the number of missed appointments saved them about $2M annually. During the night, not many staff members are present at the hospital,.Whenever the alarm goes off, the map pops up on the employees’ mobile phones, directing them to reach their destination including the best route to run. According to the hospital the reaction time is reduced and this actually helps saving lives. The hospital also wanted to track its assets such as wheelchairs, and medical equipment. Using the MazeMap platform, the hospital was able to locate such physical objects.
At most of the reception desks in hospitals, about 80 percent of the questions asked are about directions and wayfinding. The hospital had 11 people sitting at different reception desks, and wanted people to have self-service in finding their way. MazeMap reduced the staff, replaced the reception desks with kiosks, and allocated the saved money for treating patients with better care.
Going forward, MazeMap aims to enable the customers in reaping benefits of their investments directed at advancing the mapping platform. The company caters to a large client base across 25 countries with the vision of fulfilling their needs efficiently. “At MazeMap we try to live by the user driven innovation approach. That means that we are trying to listen to our customers, partners and users, understand challenges they are having. This way we focus on new features that bring more value to our customers and higher Return on investment. One of the challenges we are working on now is to be able to give users a better overview of available meeting rooms and increase the utilization of them. This is reported a big problem across many of our customers with miss utilization causing losses of several 100,000 USD yearly.