Students who need to know the exact location of a campus facility or classroom at East Central Community College in Decatur will soon be able access the information with the use of Google, which recently released an "indoor navigation tool" as part of its Google Mobile Maps.

Specifically designed for Android smartphone and tablet users, the new technology allows users "to quickly and efficiently navigate through indoor spaces, picking up where GPS leaves off," according to information provided on Google's Web site. There is no charge for the service.

ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart said ECCC is pleased to serve as an educational partner with Google in providing the service not only to students but for the public as well.

"The Google Indoor Mapping service is a great tool for new and prospective students and guests of the College who may not know where a room or an office is located in a particular building," said Dr. Stewart. "This information will also be useful to law enforcement in the event of a campus emergency."

Instructor Chris Ryals and his drafting and design technology students are in the process of uploading drawings for each building to be included in the Google search.

"Our students are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Google in this project," Ryals said. "We are also excited that East Central Community College is the first Mississippi community college to announce a partnership with Google Indoor Maps."

Google indoor mapping is a relatively new initiative from Google started in 2011.

Dr. Stewart said ECCC plans to have Google Indoor Maps ready for implementation by the fall 2013 semester.