Gone are the days of the static campus map. Today, campuses of all size and type—from massive public universities to prep schools and urban city colleges—are integrating real-time data feeds into their campus maps.
As the internet of things (IoT) continues to heat up and more campus departments and technologies are connected, I anticipate seeing a lot more of these integrations down the road.
Below are several exciting applications that can integrate into a campus map platform, mobile apps, and other areas to make it easier for students, staff, faculty, and visitors.
1. Real-time parking lot occupancy
Providing your college’s visitors with live parking feeds is an incredibly helpful tool. Finding parking is not only a frustration for the driver, but it also causes congestion and unnecessary pollution on campus. With live parking lot feeds, visitors can easily see which lots are full as well as those filling up and wide open—as they approach campus.
Live parking feeds are also incredibly helpful for event-day and construction staff directing traffic and parking. Arizona State University has integrated real-time parking lot occupancy data into its campus map. By looking at the feed, visitors can see the status of a specific parking lot and make a split-second decision. The lots are color coded: green for low occupancy, yellow for filling up, and red for full.
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Live parking data integration gives admissions, marketing, and facilities officials the ability to redirect visitors on-the-fly and also to indicate when a particular lot is closed for a special event or construction, among other uses. Map visitors can select a specific lot to see the exact number of spaces available and anyone with a mobile device can head to the campus map and immediately see available parking.
Because of limited parking, many campuses encourage the use of public or mass transit. In partnership with Ride Systems, a technology company, real-time transit feeds can be integrated into the campus map. The system uses GPS tracking to provide users with the ability to view bus/shuttle routes, see the exact location of buses, and estimated times of arrival.
Rice University in Texas was one of the first to use the live transit feature on its interactive campus map. Riders love having real-time bus information and routes easily accessible on mobile devices.