Spatial information systems concentrate on the outdoor space, while humans and things reside indoors and outdoors. Publications show, that an average person spends approximately 90% of their time inside buildings. Compared with the developments for outdoor space, indoor space applications are quite behind and recently got into focus of research and development activities. Several literature sources highlight the ubiquitous availability of satellite technology (GPS) and aerial photography as utilities used for data collection and positioning in an outdoor space. Due to the emergence and mass market availability of location-based service applications, there is a growing demand for such applications in an indoor environment. Location-based applications in an indoor environment are intended to support people in indoor decision processes – e.g. orientation, navigation and guidance. The research group focuses on the context of a production environment as a special indoor space, as the indoor space is laid out in order to support the production processes best. Hence, a manufacturing indoor layout looks different than a piece of architecture constructed for office or residential use. Due to the fact that the purpose of the production indoor space is solely devoted to support efficient production processes there are few fine grained architectural entities that are distinguishable – like rooms.
The research group utilizes ontologies to model indoor space and proposes the use of graph databases and Linked Data approaches to represent the indoor space accordingly. Thus, the research group published a couple of papers on indoor ontologies, the integration of indoor and outdoor space, the contribution of Geographical Information Systems to Industry 4.0, as well as Linked Data approaches in smart manufacturing.