Don't plan to get too much help from Google's indoor maps this shopping season, unless you're in an airport. You may find a few floor plans that are relevant, but most won't tell you the name of the store you can't remember but have to go to to get that thing your daughter wants, or the bookstore that's next to the place you used to like that closed down last year.
Haphazard, contextual-memory-based navigation just isn't compatible with what Google's Indoor Maps capability can deliver right now.
It's not even that relevant to the outdoor maps that work fairly well, except for the growing frustration obvious in the recorded direction-giving voice as the driver keeps taking turns it doesn't like or doesn't know about, refuses to take a U-turn in heavy traffic on the freeway as instructed, or insists on driving at the same speed as the barrier of traffic ahead rather than at the speed the GPS clearly believes the driver should.
When Indoor Maps gets floor plans and real-time geolocation for all the office buildings I habitually get lost in looking for the office of a stranger I'm supposed to interview, or even a company listed in the directory in the lobby but not in the hall on the floor where it's supposed to be, then it will be complete enough to be more of an odd little add-on to any of the primary GPS apps or devices I use.
Until then, just point me at the You Are Here sign. And give me detailed directions. They're often hard to find unless you can follow the sound of the security guys laughing.
Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.