Parts of this training module were developed in the context of the giCASES EU project (2016-2018, and the i-locate EU project (2014-2016,
Authors: Nicola Dorigatti and Alessio Giori, Trilogis Srl; Marco Minghini, Politecnico di Milano. The material is provided under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (

This module sets the scene for the practical implementation of an indoor positioning experiment. First, the module introduces indoor localization and explains the difference with outdoor localization and the related technology. The approaches for indoor localization are described: pattern recognition/fingerprinting, proximity sensing (connection-based positioning), triangulation and trilateration. Indoor localization hardware and technology is then presented: Bluetooth (BLE) based, Ultra Wide Band, Cameras (Vision API and People Tracking), QR Codes (Waypoint Based Positioning), WiFi based (RSSI measurement), and additional proprietary solutions. Examples of commercial solutions implementing each of these technologies are provided.

Indoor localization standards are briefly mentioned, in particular the OGC Indoor Geography Markup Language (IndoorGML) and an overview is provided on use cases of indoor positioning: games, marketing, security, etc. Afterwards, the module presents a real application of indoor localization technologies in the healthcare domain, i.e. the Santa Maria del Carmine Hospital in Rovereto (Italy) where wheelchairs are tracked in real time, the Mitera Hospital in Athens (Greece) where patients could have indoor guidance among a relevant part of the hospital and the Alba Iulia Emergency Hospital in Romania, where different medial devices are tracked for security and maintenance.

Finally, two practical exercises combining observations from an indoor positioning experiment (performed using the system described in Module 4) and WebGIS technologies are presented. Their purpose is to: 1) track the movement of people in time; and 2) evaluate the positional accuracy of indoor localization.


This module is composed of the following learning units:

  1. Indoor Localization - theory and practical examples
  2. Examples in Healthcare
  3. Exercises on the combination of geospatial web technologies and indoor positioning

Learning outcomes

After the training offer, the participant will be able to identify and describe the principles and concepts of indoor localization technologies and techniques; list the available alternatives and the hardware products; distinguish between different technologies and identify the correct one given the requirements; comprehend the interfaces and software used for indoor localization; describe a real case study where indoor localization technologies are applied to the healthcare domain; combine the results of an indoor localization experiment with WebGIS software packages for tracking the movement of people in time, and evaluating the accuracy of positioning.

Intended Audience

Students in a field related to GIS and GIScience, professionals and stakeholders that need to learn the basics on indoor localization.


A basic knowledge of positioning (reference/coordinate systems, topographic measures, etc.) is recommended.


PDF presentations. The module is a self-learning module.

Expected workload
Unit 1: Indoor Localization - theory and practical examples : 2 hours
Unit 2: Examples in Healthcare: 1 hour
Unit 3: Exercises on the combination of geospatial web technologies and indoor positioning: 10 hours