Indoor navigation app GoodMaps Explore is now available at Portland International Airport (PDX), the second airport in the world to adopt it.

The app, available free on iOS and Android devices, will enable travellers with different needs, including people who are blind or with low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, or neurodiverse, to navigate safely, efficiently, and independently through the airport.

GoodMaps Explore users at PDX will receive audio and visual directions to locations in the terminal, including restrooms, food options, retail outlets, water fountains, and charging stations throughout the ticket lobby, baggage claim, and Concourse E, which is served by Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Directions will be provided in English, Spanish, or Canadian French. Plans have been made to develop maps of the remainder of the PDX complex.

“When I’ve travelled through PDX in the past, I’ve needed to rely heavily on the airline I’m flying with for assistance getting around the terminal,” said Pete De Vasto, member of the Port of Portland’s Accessibility Committee and a traveller with total blindness.

“With GoodMaps, I’ll be able to make my way around independently: the app will help me find restrooms or a place to eat while I wait to board my flight, and I’ll be able to get to baggage claim and ground transportation when I arrive back home without needing to request assistance. I hope other airports consider implementing GoodMaps – this kind of support will be game-changing for travellers with different needs.“

GoodMaps brings digital maps to life through the use of LIDAR mapping technology, computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It then builds solutions such as indoor navigation and positioning on top of the maps. The GoodMaps camera-based positioning does not require installation of any equipment or beacons and can pinpoint a user’s location down to 3ft of accuracy.

GoodMaps Explore was launched at PDX with the support and guidance of the Port of Portland’s Accessibility Committee, Oregon Commission for the Blind, Portland State University, Washington State School for the Blind, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

Image: GoodMaps/ Port of Portland