A prospective student usually receives a packet that includes Campus College Maps or University map illustration of the campus so that it will be easier for them to get from one building to another. The illustrated map of a campus is usually straightforward and functional but more fun to use because of the 3D artistic expressions that showcase the buildings and prominent architectural details.
The University of Oregon Campus GIS and Mapping Program has transformed a massive collection of university data into interactive maps for both the students and faculty members. According to Ken Kato, director of the program, their job is to figure out how to tell a story using the campus’ important data.
The story maps highlight different useful information to the campus community from ongoing construction projects to the locations of all-gender restrooms. It is like a Google Map that informs people about accidents and traffic in real time. Kato’s team used their story map to provide updates on unsafe areas in campus during an ice storm last winter.
Andre de Luc, University of Oregon’s associate vice-president for safety and risks services commended the team’s efforts as true innovations by using campus data and making it spatial and useful for students and faculty. The winter hazard map that was developed during the ice storm linked data from the field regarding the evolving situation on a campus map so that the university’s community will have real time information of hazards.
Even the standard campus maps that have not been customized have been significantly helpful in boosting security and creating accessibility. Users of the map were able to identify paths that are lighted at night. They were able to locate emergency call boxes including routes that are accessible to wheelchairs. Maps can also help students during move-in day to locate their individual dorms including recycling and unloading stations.
Students who have never set foot inside the university can be guided by the University map illustration in finding their way. Correct locations are retained even with the additional dimensions and artistic elements. While traditional campus maps can be used for directions, they are awfully boring with small boxes to show buildings in an otherwise empty street.