Outdoor Fingerprinting to Enable Reliable Outdoor-Indoor-Outdoor Transitions

IndoorAtlas supports reliable transition between GPS and indoor positioning, if beacons have been deployed into a venue. Support for improved outdoor/indoor detection requires IndoorAtlas SDK 3.3.x or above.

Enabling reliable outdoor-indoor-outdoor detection requires creating a separate outdoor floor plan(s), where you collect outdoor data, as explained below. This floor plan should not include indoor paths.

A) The Blue area indicates the fingerprinted indoor area on the 1st floor.
B) The Orange paths marks outdoor fingerprinting around the venue, at approximately 20 m distance from the venue.
C) The Green paths marks outdoor fingerprinting around the venue, at approximately 40 m distance from the venue.

Note that the paths are drawn loosely to indicate that you don't need to perform accurate check-ins or follow an exact route when doing the outdoor fingerprinting (as opposed to indoor fingerprinting).

At minimum, you should cover those outdoor areas near the venue where the visitors can walk and where there is some covered indoor area roughly next to it. Obviously if there are outdoor areas where people very seldom walk, you don't need to cover those. Areas around entrances and any major walking paths near/around the venue are the most important areas. 

Note also that without the outdoor fingerprinting as guided here, it's likely that IndoorAtlas SDK places the blue dot inside the venue when the user is at a distance where beacons from indoors can be heard, that is, typically 20 m to 50 m from the venue walls.

With the Outdoor fingerprinting setup, the expected performance of Indoor/Outdoor is roughly:

  • When approaching a venue, you should get enterRegion (TYPE_FLOORPLAN) between 10m before entering the venue and 10m after entering the venue (in more detail: walking on the fingerprinted area).
  • You should get exitRegion-event (TYPE_FLOORPLAN) once you've walked about 10m to 30m from the venue walls (in more detail: from closest fingerprinted area in the venue).

Follow these steps:

1. Use a floor plan image that includes at least 50 m of the outdoor area around the venue (or enough white space around the venue, as in the example image below). Add the image to the venue on your IndoorAtlas Account. Mark it as an Outdoor floor plan, as shown in the image below.

Note that the SDK does not trigger enter floor plan event for the outdoor floor plans, and they are not intended to be shown by apps!

2. Walk to the outdoors. Open MapCreator app and open the outdoor floor plan. 

3. Select a starting point at around 20m distance from the building/venue and place a waypoint there. Plan where you are going to walk and place another waypoint there.

4. Record a path from the starting waypoint to the end waypoint and store the path.

5. Continue to save paths around the venue, as shown in the above image (Orange path).

6. Repeat the process at 40 m to 50 m distance from the venue. 

7. Trigger map generation for the outdoor floor plan.

8. Wait until generation is finished and you are ready to test the Outdoor-Indoor detection.

Note that sometimes it may be more difficult to find good exact places for waypoints, because outdoor floor plans are often not as accurate as indoor. However, the outdoor waypoints and check-ins don't need to be exact to the last meter (as opposed to indoor mapping). To avoid unnecessary MapCreator warnings, it's ok to use only start waypoint and end waypoint when fingerprinting outdoors and record e.g. 50m to 100m long paths.

Read more about using Outdoor-Indoor-Outdoor transition feature with IndoorAtlas SDKs.