Apple's indoor mapping format now recognized as a community standard

Apple Park on Apple Maps
Apple Park on Apple Maps (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) has been adopted by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as a Community Standard.
  • Apple positions its format as a way to offer indoor mapping while preserving privacy and security.

Apple's Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF), which the company uses to offer indoor maps through its Apple Maps service, has been adopted by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as a Community Standard.

The company announced the news in an update on the Apple Developer website.

It offers a mobile-friendly, compact, human-readable, and highly extensible data model for any indoor space, providing a basis for orientation, navigation, and discovery. And now, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) membership has added IMDF 1.0.0 to the OGC Standards Baseline as a Community Standard.

The format, which was developed by Apple, allows property owners to offer indoor maps while retaining security and privacy controls. Unlike other indoor services, which use physical technology like beacons, IMDF operates with just an iPhone or iPad.

Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) lets you present your users with fully-customized indoor maps of venues around the world, such as stadiums, airports, and campuses — all under the security and privacy controls of the property owner. Developed by Apple, IMDF makes it easy for organizations to enable Apple's indoor positioning service on iPhone and iPad inside facilities without installing additional infrastructure, like beacons.

Anyone interested in building out indoor maps can learn more about the Indoor Mapping Data Format (IMDF) as well as Displaying an Indoor Map.

Apple has been continuously improving its mapping service, expanding features like turn-by-turn directions and Look Around to more areas across the globe. The iOS 14.5 beta even introduces the ability for users to report accidents and hazards, a feature that competing maps service Waze has had for years.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.