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Enhancing the visitor experience with digital mapping technology

Tech is playing an increasingly significant role in enhancing how we navigate spaces and interact with our surroundings and there is increasing research which suggests that smart technology has a positive effect on the visitor experience. 

Canary Wharf Group, the landlord and operator of the renowned London shopping destination Canary Wharf, has embraced this concept through its partnership with Living Map, a leading provider of digital mapping and wayfinding solutions, with clients in transport, retail, healthcare, culture and smart spaces.

This collaboration has resulted in notable enhancements to the visitor experience at Canary Wharf, particularly through the implementation of digital mapping technology. By using Living Map’s advanced digital mapping platform and strategically placing interactive totems throughout the area, Canary Wharf has streamlined its navigation and provided visitors with valuable information to enhance their overall experience.

Real-time directions 

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is the developer of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe. CWG develops, manages and currently owns interests in approximately nine million square feet of mixed-use space and more than 1,100 build-to-rent apartments. Canary Wharf’s retail offering comprises more than 70 bars, cafes and restaurants and over 300 shops, including eight grocery stores, and pharmacies and health clubs all within 15 minutes’ walk.  

One of the key features of this tech is its ability to provide visitors with real-time directions and information. With the Living Map platform, visitors are able to easily search for specific stores or amenities, navigate through the complex layout of Canary Wharf and even discover nearby points of interest. This not only helps visitors find their way around more efficiently but also adds a layer of convenience and accessibility to their experience.

QR code wayfinding

The integration of dynamic QR code wayfinding further enhances the collaborative aspect of navigation, allowing visitors to easily share directions with others. Additionally, the inclusion of accessibility controls ensures that the digital mapping technology is inclusive and user-friendly for all visitors, regardless of their needs or abilities. Unlike traditional signage or paper maps, the platform handles complex routes, accounts for real-time changes – such as construction and temporary closures – and optimises routes based on distance, time and accessibility. Routes can also be curated with personalised guides and must-see stops, enriching the visitor experience, and transforming how they navigate the environment. By extension, for facilities management and operational purposes, the same map can be configured to locate and find IoT-tagged equipment and any range of fixed and mobile assets. 

Getting to know visitors

Beyond navigation, the Living Map platform also serves as a valuable tool for Canary Wharf Group in understanding visitor behaviour and preferences. By capturing insights into route popularity and visitor interactions, Canary Wharf is able to continually refine and improve the visitor experience, ensuring that it remains relevant and impactful. 

Living Map also crafted an additional map specifically for Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights Festival. Visitors embarked on a journey through 13 temporary installations, alongside the ever-popular six permanent light artworks – Westferry Circus ablaze with the flickering flames of Sign, to the mesmerising Marbles at Wren Landing. 

With the Living Map partnership Canary Wharf has set a precedent for other destinations looking to up their digital offering. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the opportunities to create immersive and engaging experiences for visitors.


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