I'm currently developing an indoor positioning system for a college project. I searched for a good mapping platform and I found that openstreetmaps would suit me best, but now I'm stuck in generating an accurate indoor map with real long and lat values. How could I create an accurate indoor map with long and lat values without using GPS?

Any idea how to create such a map or any suggestions about accurate indoor mapping?


2 Answers 2


You may find that longitude and latitude are cumbersome to deal with in an indoor setting because these are in degrees (i.e., they define an angle with its origin at the center of the earth). Using a state plane coordinate reference system (CRS) with meters or feet as the measure of X and Y would make your life simpler. In Geoserver you can use an existing CRS, or define your own. You can also hook Geoserver up with OpenLayers.

An interesting related system is Indoor Atlas, which uses maps of the earth's magnetic field to provide reference data for indoor mapping. (I am not affiliated with that company, and can't vouch for the system's efficacy.)

  • What would you think of using linear referencing system with control points similar to what we use in highways?
    – dassouki
    Sep 9, 2012 at 13:22
  • A linear referencing system would be great for giving directions to people navigating in an unfamiliar indoor space, such as a hospital or sports arena. The general case, with rooms, would be better mapped in the 2D plane. Even better would be a system that also implemented a vertical coordinate reference to accommodate buildings with multiple floors.
    – katahdin
    Sep 9, 2012 at 13:58

Indoor positioning is still not very advanced. One of the most efficient systems are developed by Ciso which is based on wifi fingerprinting. But you can develop your own wifi fingerprinting and use it to show it on a map. Displaying on a map should not be a big issue. As suggested above, you can use Geoserver.

If you want to read further about indoor positioning, and displaying it too, you can read this report:

TU Delft synthesis project report: 2010

This work was done by students at TU Delft where they investigated several positioning techniques and developed a cheap though not very efficient solution. This report contains implementation details too. [This report is publicly available on TU Delft Blogs]

Hope it helped.

Cheers N

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