Interactive Maps Help Students and Faculty Navigate Their University

Credit: wikimedia – Colby College Campus Map

When a college student receives their welcome college pack, the campus map is often a forgotten or confusing page. Now, with the help of technology, campus maps can make the change to the digital setting. At the University of Oregon, the interactive map on their website allows students and faculty an aerial view of the campus with the options to look at bike routes, paths that are lit at night, and even shows the inside of the buildings. The map has also been used in emergency situations when there was an ice storm and Kato and his team updated the map to provide updates about the unsafe areas of the campus. The campus’s GIS and Mapping Program created the interactive map under the guidance of program director Ken Kato.

Virtual maps are useful even before a student gets to the campus. At the Texas A&M University, a 3D map was created as a way for students to tour the campus if they cannot afford to travel, as well as current students. According to graphic designer Michael Green, this is a way to hook to the students into applying to the campus. Green coordinated with CampusBird, a virtual map and campus tour platform in order to create their 3D buildings filled with details such as their historical value, and office hours.

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