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Google Maps Goes Indoors, MBTA are Early Adopters

It seems like it's not often that Android users can gloat to their iPhone counterparts about app exclusivity, but the latest Google Maps update gives them the opportunity.

Android users can now use Google Maps to traverse the insides of airports, malls, and more across the United States and Japan. Those of us in Boston, however, get an added bonus: the MBTA is the first public transit agency in the country to adopt this new feature.

A select 24 "key" MBTA stations including Park Street, Downtown Crossing, and South Station (above) will have detailed maps highlighting points of interest such as escalators, elevators, and exits to help riders navigate through some of the larger stations where locating transfers can be difficult. This is the latest collaborative effort with Google and T, the previous being in 2009 when the subway system offered real time schedule updates and detailed service maps on the popular navigation app.

With indoor maps," the MBTA said in a statement, "users will be able to see station features such as stairs, escalators, elevators, entrances and exits to help guide them through the system.

While the service is clearly aimed for businesses and helping consumers find shops and restaurants as they shop, it's nice to see the MBTA thinking outside the box and being the first of its kind to embrace the service.