A COMPLETE FOS APPROACH FOR INDOOR CROWDSOURCED MAPPING: CASE STUDY ON SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY OF ROME FACULTIES
Indoor mapping is an essential process in several applications such as the visualization of space and its utilization, security and resource planning, emergency planning and location-based alerts and, last but not least, indoor navigation. In this work, a completely free and open-source (FOS) approach to map indoor environments, and to navigate through them, is presented. Our tests were carried out within Sapienza University of Rome public buildings; in detail, Letters and Philosophy faculty and Engineering faculty indoor environments were mapped. To reach this goal, only open source software such as Quantum GIS (QGIS) and open-source platforms like Open Street Map (OSM) and its indoor viewer, Open Level Up (OLU) were adopted. A database of indoor environments of the two faculties, completely compatible with OLU, was created through QGIS. In this way, a public territorial information system of classrooms, offices and laboratories is accessible to everyone who can, hence, add or modify the information, following the principle of crowdsourcing and of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). The developed procedure is now standard and its outputs accepted by the OSM community. Hence, the long-term developments of this project are the proposal for the volunteered and cooperative indoor mapping and design of strategic buildings and infrastructures (hospitals, schools, public offices, shopping centers, stations, airports etc.), starting from the available information (indoor layouts) and knowledge acquired through experience of people who normally work inside them and/or visit them frequently. In this context it is possible to state that the development of VGI for internal maps for strategic buildings, infrastructures and denied GNSS environments, not only supports and improves internal and external navigation without interruption, but can also have a significant positive impact on security and emergency management.