Beta version of new Campus Map Available

The new Campus Map is now at a point where it does nearly everything the old Campus Map did and a bit more. Please try it out and give me your feedback in the comments here. If something doesn’t work, be sure to tell me what browser (and version) you’re using to help me track down the bug.

I should note: some of the building descriptions and department listings haven’t been updated since 2005. I’m working with College Communications to improve these.

Here are some of the features that already work:

  • Click Categories to turn on and off different types of placemarks.
  • The map is automatically redrawn when you select a department.
  • If there’s only one location that corresponds to your selection, you’re forwarded straight to the detailed page on that location.
  • Each detailed location page has these new features:
    • An outline of the location drawn on a map.
    • Audio files from the Murmur project, if available, telling you stories about that location.
    • A list of all the courses being taught in that location this semester.
    • Address information marked up using the new schema.org standard to give more information to Google, Bing and Yahoo.
    • foursquare information for all of the locations that have foursquare.com venue pages.
    • Floor plans, if available.
  • Matt LaFrance has been creating 3D models of campus buildings which will be added over the course of the summer. You can already see some of the Bread Loaf campus in Google Earth.

Here are some of the features that I’m still working on, but will be coming soon:

  • The map will automatically generate a KML file that can be used to view that campus in Google Earth and will also provide the data for our mobile site, which is being built out current.
  • Adding the remaining placemarks from the old Campus Map such as the emergency phones, dining halls, and art in public places.
  • More buildings from Bread Loaf, as well as MIIS, Schools Abroad, and Study Abroad Programs.
  • We’ll be able to create a Category for any hosted KML file (like the tree map) or blog with its own places (like MiddLab) and those placemarks will get automatically added to the map and refreshed when the KML or blog is updated.
  • The Address area for department and office pages on our site will get its information from, and link out to, the location pages.
  • The Parking Lot location pages will list each lot’s capacity and whether it’s Faculty & Staff, Student, or Visitor parking.
  • Directory integration for the location pages, showing you which Faculty and Staff work in each building, and the reverse: when you search the Directory you’ll get a link to the Campus Map for the person’s address.
  • Event listings for each location, tied to 25Live.
  • When you look up a course in the Catalog, you could get a link to the location page for the building where the course is taught, and (super blue sky time here) when you build out your courses in the Schedule Planner you could see a map with the location of each course and walking directions between each building.

A few of these features will be available in the next few days and I’ll post in the comments when they’re ready, but I wanted to let people know that this application was getting updated to give you a chance to try it out and let me know what works and what doesn’t.

Oh, and if there’s a really cool idea for a feature that I didn’t list above, please share that as well!

5 thoughts on “Beta version of new Campus Map Available

  1. Terry Simpkins

    Hi Ian,
    Nice job! 2 comments:
    1) You can remove the reference to the Music Library being in the CFA. It’s now in Davis. I suggest removing the Music Library entry entirely (i.e. not changing the reference to point to Davis)
    2) On the maps for the individual entries, I find the outlines filled in with blue to be sort of obtrusive. Personally, I’d prefer just having the outline (without the blue fill), to allow users to actually see the birds-eye view of the building. Or maybe a fill that’s partially transparent. Anyway, my .02.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Ian McBride

      Thanks for the feedback, Terry. I’ve removed the entry for the Music Library. As I mentioned, some of these entries are quite out of date — I think the description for the Franklin Center at Hillcrest still says that it’s about to open.

      I agree with you that the building outlines don’t look as good as they could. Part of the problem is getting the balance right between large and small buildings. Without the fill color, the outline is barely noticeable on house-sized locations, but the fill looks really bad on spaceship-sized buildings. I’m thinking of adding some buttons to the right of the map that let you toggle between filled-in, just the outline, and no outline at all.

      Reply
  2. Carrie Macfarlane

    Cool, thanks Ian! It’s an exciting improvement over the older version.

    A few thoughts:
    -Would you add “Armstrong Library” to the “Locations” list?
    -Would it be possible to create a new location called “Libraries” that highlights both Armstrong and Davis Family Library? We’re trying to put together a set of links that will help new students get oriented to the libraries. Since the list is alphabetical and our library names start with ‘A’ for Armstrong and ‘D’ for Davis, a general “Libraries” entry could be useful.
    -For “Library and Information Services,” in the “Departments” list, could you also highlight Armstrong?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ian McBride Post author

      I should explain, the values in the “Locations” drop down are all single-valued physical buildings whereas the “Departments” drop down is a multi-valued taxonomy system. I might change this so that the “Locations” drop down is populated by location.name instead of node.title, since location.name is multi-valued, but I’ll need to check and see how well the location.name field was populated when I managed the data import.

      In the mean time, I’ve added “Libraries” to the Departments list and set both MBH and LIB to belong to both the Libraries and Library & Information Services departments.

      You comment did make me think of a rather obvious feature that’s currently missing: keyword search, so I’ll make sure to add that. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Ian McBride Post author

    The Campus Tree Map, created by Tim Parsons, is now available on our new Campus Map. Select ‘Trees’ from the Categories menu to show all the trees on campus. Click on one of the placemarks to learn more about a specific tree, including its trunk diameter, height, and spread.

    You can also browse the Tree Map in Google Earth on Tim’s blog.

    Reply

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