Interesting indoor spaces around the world

I love the outdoors, to the extent that I tend to bypass or overlook exceptional indoor spaces when I’m traveling or recounting a great trip. Fortunately, Lonely Planet author/former Gadling contributor Leif Pettersen’s recent list on LP’s website has reminded me that—as many a grandmother has said—beauty is on the inside.

Pettersen says only in recent years has he developed a special appreciation for the indoors. He had ample time to contemplate his new interest “during two sadistically cold weeks last winter when I voluntarily confined myself to the Minneapolis Skyway System as a livability experiment for an article I was working on.”

He’s since started a list of “singular, practical” indoor spaces (traveloguebookdealforthewin!) of note, including (obviously) Minneapolis’ Skyway System (“The largest contiguous skyway system in the world, connecting what may be the largest contiguous indoor space anywhere.”); Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar; Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure; NYC’s Grand Central Terminal (aka Grand Central Station); St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and the Queen Mary 2. Here’s to keeping warm indoors this winter.

[Photo credit: Flickr user davedehetre]

Point Inside – A handy application for finding your way around a shopping mall

Mapping and navigation aids are nothing special on smartphones – I’ve been using a map application since the late 90’s. Thankfully, there is still plenty of room to innovate in this market, and Point Inside shows how it is done.

Point Inside is a smartphone application available on the iPhone and Android. The app provides indoor maps of 100’s of shopping malls around the country – covering over 100,000 different stores.

Now, I know we target travelers here on Gadling, but I’m sure many of us have walked into a mall looking for an ATM or bathroom, or even just tried to locate a map to help locate something else.

With Point Inside, you can use the location aware feature of your phone to determine where you are, then within seconds, you’ll be able to find what you are looking for.

The application lets you manually select stores by name, but also features quick links to dining and services (ATM’s, drinking fountains, parking, restrooms and more).

I took Point Inside for a spin a the local mega-mall, and its maps were spot on. My only minor gripe is that it is hard to determine distances on the maps, so what looks like a short walk, may actually be longer than you think.

Other than that, Point Inside is a great tool for shoppers – especially if you are at a mall you’ve never ventured through.

Point Inside is free of charge, and is available for the iPhone and Android (search for Point inside in the Market).