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We spoke with Jim Leflar, the global product manager for Venue Maps Content at HERE, who told us more about mapping the venues for the event, and how the project got started:
“Ever since Rio was selected as the event’s host, HERE has done everything it could to showcase just how easy it could make it for attendees to not only find their way around the stadiums, but to receive support so that they can find how to get to their own seating section, which amenities are nearby and more.”
“We worked with the event’s committee, which provided sources for us to build out these maps and now, through the HERE WeGo app on Android, you can gain access to detailed maps of 32 stadiums, and see what’s going on in the events taking place in each venue.”
Jim adds, “Using the app, you can quickly get the lay of the land, while also being able to see where each event is taking place and get a better sense of the stadium in which they are being held.”
Jim, who’s been working with his team for three years and oversees the end-to-end creation and delivery of venue maps, explained the features available for users of the HERE WeGo app and the HERE Mobile SDK:
“The HERE WeGo app on Android supports both automotive and pedestrian routing, as well as information on public transportation – particularly useful when 90% of visitors will be using public transit to get to the stadiums. Once at the stadium, you can search and explore the inside of the venue with the app.”
Customers using the SDK on both iOS and Android are able to access additional features, performing end-to-end routing, from your vehicle to the stadium, to the seat itself.
“If you’re seeing multiple events in a day you can actually route from your seating section in one stadium to another seating section in the next stadium. This offers a true end-to-end experience, via the SDK.”
Users of the HERE Mobile SDK and in-particular customers of the Hybrid+ SDK (which supports the full 3D venue models) will be able to effectively display the venues in 2D and 3D, with end-users able to pan, tilt, and search those models. For example, if you’re at one of the event’s venues you will be able to find all the available concessions, including the ones nearest your seat.
Users can then generate routes to these concessions, which will not only include indoor routing, but actually connect the indoor experience with the outdoor world. Jim explains, “You can actually route from your hotel to the stadium, and not only to the stadium but inside the stadium to your seat and vice versa, via the routing API.”
Jim elaborated on the challenges the team faced when creating the maps:
“There were 32 stadiums that we built, and one of the challenges was being able to pull together the resources and scale it up. Thankfully, HERE is in a very good position to do that, and we can get the product to market very quickly.”
“As for the venues themselves, we already have very robust tools to build these models, so it really is a matter of relying on our own expertise to overcome these challenges. The stadiums’ structures are complicated and require additional attribution to support routing, which in the past that may have been a challenge, but now we’re more than capable of pulling this off.”
When asked about the goals for the project, Jim noted:
“We want to be able to improve the end-user experience, and be able to ensure customers face the least amount of frustration possible when navigating to their destinations. When you’re dealing with large crowds, and huge, complicated structures, it’s not always easy to navigate your way.”
“We want to make it as easy as possible for users to find their way around, and have a better time focusing on the events rather than how to get there.”
The Venue Maps for Rio’s stadiums are available now, and HERE currently has 14,000 Venue Maps available in 87 countries.