US start-up Micello has announced what it claims is the industry's largest collection of indoor maps, with more than 15,000 venues worldwide including shopping malls, retail stores, airports, college campuses, schools, stadiums, hotels, casinos, museums, business campuses and hospitals.

Micello's maps now cover over 3.7 billion square feet, including over 50,000 individual buildings and 775,000 places of interest. Its customers include companies like Walmart, Nokia, Zenrin and BallyTech.

In the UK, Micello has maps for 132 shopping malls, 57 college campus buildings, 3 business campuses and a handful of other places. The shopping malls include Westfields London, and the college campus buildings are for the University of Edinburgh.

The company's claim that this is the largest collection in the industry is based on publicly available information. Google has announced 10,000 indoor venue maps, Microsoft and Nokia are in the 5,000 range, and Aisle411, another startup, claims 9,000 CAD drawings.

Ankit Agarwal, CEO and Founder of Micello, said that the company competes directly with Google, because Google creates its own indoor maps, whereas many of the other mapping platforms in the industry license their indoor maps.

“As the indoor mapping industry heats up, especially with recent news about Apple’s acquisition of WiFiSlam, we are positioned perfectly to help grow the ecosystem by focusing on generating geo accurate indoor venue maps,” said Agarwal.

“Micello is already the leading indoor map and navigation data supplier for many GIS and Mapping Platforms and this additional content will enable a new class of mobile location experiences for markets like retail, healthcare, entertainment and enterprise.”

The company was able to achieve this milestone using in-house technology, which was developed over the last few years to create a quick yet highly scalable operation designed to meet the growing needs of the indoor industry.

Micello makes all indoor venue maps available through its products including a map and location-based cloud platform and via downloadable map and data packages.

Analyst firm Forrester predicts that indoor positioning will have an enormous impact for product strategists in retail, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, and other industries that have a strong emphasis on physical infrastructure, such as stores, offices, hotels, plants or other facilities.

“By integrating indoor location data into inventory management and space-planning databases, indoor positioning will make it possible to search for products and objects in the physical world as easily as we can on the internet,” said Forrester analyst Tony Costa in a recent report.

“In the short term, this will make finding people and objects in venues easier. Longer term, should venues open this data to Internet search engines such as Bing, Google or Siri, users would be able to search across multiple venues or geographic areas for products or objects.”