Students looking to find their way around campus will have a new version of Campus Maps to help, with access to the interior mapping of buildings via their mobile devices.
Created by the University of Alberta Digital Strategy team, Campus Maps 2.0 helps students on campus locate buildings by providing labelled building outlines in a clear, concise map format.
Accessible from mobile devices, their latest addition to the maps feature is the ability to locate specific room numbers within each building, an aspect that Associate Vice-President of University Digital Strategies Jennifer Chesney believes makes the program much more useful.
“You’re walking around on campus, you have to go to Bio Sci something or other, you’re looking at that building and you’re like ‘Good lord, where the heck is this room?’ Now you can plug your room in, see where it is, on which floor, figure out where you are and get to it in a way that you just couldn’t before,” Chesney explains.
Campus Maps 2.0 also has a comprehensive list of “Quick Finds,” which allow users to locate campus food vendors, ATMs, bike racks and more with the click of a button.
Any public tweets or Instagram photos with geolocation data can also be shown on the map.
“(Campus Maps 2.0) is nice if you’re looking for a specific piece of information like where to park, coffee places, etc.,” says Dean Vigoren, a web application developer involved with the program.
One of the most utilized areas of the ualberta domain, Campus Maps averages around 2,000-3,000 hits a day.
Having taken about five months to create, Vigoren estimates the 2.0 version has caused mobile hits to rise by about 20 per cent since its launch in early October.
The University Digital Strategy team created the Campus Maps program based off feedback received from a major web engagement survey in 2010. The survey spoke to 2,700 students, faculty and alumni, and they ranked and rated what features they wanted to see and what platforms they wanted to see them on.
“This is year two of what we’re calling a humanization of campus,” Chesney explains.
“One of the things students tell us when they’re perspective or when they’re coming here for the first time is, ‘Wow, this place is really intimidating. It’s really big and there’s so many buildings.’ So it’s about making things more accessible to people through their devices so they can find what they need to find. It’s really important.”
To celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31, users will be able to detect an additional “ghost layer” on the map, which will allow users to locate historical data about campus ghost stories.
Visit Campus Maps 2.0 at http://campusmaps.ualberta.ca/
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