5 Details Every Campus Map Should Have

June 10, 2012 by Ryan Platt

From CampusBird Blog

Locations, Landmarks, and Services
Campus maps should include streets, buildings, parking lots, landmarks, safety information and services like printing, wi-fi, ATMs, etc. We recommend including popular, informal places such as quads, neighborhoods, or paths. Presentation of this information can be in aerial photography, Street View images, 3-D, rendered maps, and more.

Timely Information
To keep the map relevant, add new information and key points based on the academic calendar and events. Early in the term, highlight the offices, dorms, and lecture halls that new students and their parents most often look for in an orientation tour or list. As the term progresses, switch out information to include details about sporting events, exams or commencement. Students, new and old, along with visitors will appreciate pertinent information.

For events and graduations that draw many unfamiliar visitors, add a welcome message to the map and include information for event dates/times, inclement weather plans, parking and accessibility routes.

Simple, Familiar Navigation
Maps should be easy for users to explore and seek out the information they need. Navigation features should be clear and understandable. For example, if you are able to zoom in closely, then make sure there’s a way to reset the image or zoom out.


System of Organization
Maps serve different functions for each user- an alumnus won’t necessarily be looking for a printer, but they will be looking for the Bookstore. To improve the user’s experience, include simple organization and searchable features. We recommend using two search methods- browsing and filtering. Browsing appeals to casual viewers who may want to explore the area without a final destination. Filtering appeals to someone who is seeking a specific piece of information or location. To encourage further user exploration, locations should include descriptions with keywords and searchable descriptions such building names (historical and current) and their function (biology, administration, etc).


Legend
The legend is a familiar function to help those become better acquainted with your unique mapping system. The map’s legend should be included in both web and print versions. The legend should include an address (city and state or closest metropolitan area are suggested), scale/size, symbols, date of last revision, map owner’s contact information, links to additional information, and an invitation for feedback. An added benefit to legends within web-based maps is that it increases your search engine optimization by increasing the relevant terms displayed in search engine results.

Topics: Campus MapLive Data IntegrationWayfinding

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