Information published on 21 June 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 504.

France: SNCF Gares & Connexions and Google unveil digital indoor station maps

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For the first time station users will have access to plans of the interiors of French stations via Google Maps and be able to visit them virtually on Street View.

SNCF Gares & Connexions and Google unveil a technological partnership which will ultimately make 3 000 stations available on Indoor Maps and 160 stations on Street View. The aim is to assist travellers as they pass through French stations, in particular the 2.5 million visitors expected during the European Football Championship.

These days 30% of searches on mobile networks worldwide involve a location. SNCF Gares & Connexions and Google have therefore decided to make finding their way within stations easier for the 2.5 million additional football fans expected in June, as well as for the 10 million-a-day regular station users.

To give them a trouble-free, seamless experience , SNCF Gares & Connexions and Google have decided to bring into the station Indoor Maps and Street View technology, two features of Google Maps:

Indoor Maps: The target is to map a total of 3 000 French station interiors. Users will be able to locate all station services such as restaurants and shops, finding their way for example from a café to their platform of departure, and this will include the different levels in the larger stations.

Street View: users can take a virtual tour of 160 stations, admire their achitectural riches and preview their routes through the stations, noting the points of interest on the way, such as shops, hotels and pharmacies.

“This is one of the largest partnerships for the digitisation of transport sites. This is a strategic agreement for Google and we are delighted to have teamed up with SNCF Gares & Connexions” said Nick Leeder, Managing Director of Google France.

“I am particularly proud today that with Google we will have 33 stations ready by June 2016 and so we will be able to make life easier for the 2.5 million foreign visitors expected in France this month” stressed Patrick Ropert, Managing Director of SNCF Gares & Connexions.

Collecting the images to map and digitalise the stations is carried out by means of a trolley for the plans inside the stations, and using a trekker – a backpack-mounted camera with 15 lenses – for the outside maps.

(Source: SNCF)