3. Campus events feed and calendar
Getting the word out about on-campus events can be challenging. Integrating a live event feed into your map allows users to see what’s happening where and when. Whether it’s commencement, a guest lecturer, sporting events, or a musical, students can find details about (and the route to) campus events with ease.

Going high tech, campus map sections can be included within a separate calendar or event feed web page. For example, we integrated with Localist, an online calendar platform, so campuses could include a detailed, 3D representation of a specific area of campus right in the event feed. This allows staff and students to get all the details about the event as well as where it is taking place in one location.

See how a small section of the map is used to highlight events at Colgate University’s Case-Geyer Library.

Rice University provides a campus events feed within its map that is updated nightly for a quick snapshot of campus-wide events.

4. Live campus cameras
How long is the Starbucks line? Answering that question at Ole Miss is easy, thanks to a live camera feed accessible through the university’s interactive map. Live camera feeds provide a host of benefits to a variety of map users. Ole Miss incorporates the technology into its interactive campus map to provide students, prospective students, visitors, faculty, and staff with real-time video of certain areas of the campus. There are several live cameras positioned at coffee shops and grab-and-go restaurants that allow map users to see how long the lines are. The map also includes several outdoor cameras—a great way for people to quickly check the weather or see how crowded an area is. Additionally, Ole Miss has live cameras that provide video of the on-campus construction that is taking place.

The combination of the live cameras provides a quick glance at on-campus life and can be a great tool for prospective students to get a feel for the general vibe of the campus.

5 great ways to make your campus maps dynamic, useful, and cutting edge

5. ESRI data integration
Campus facilities professionals typically uses ESRI’s ArcGIS, a leading mapping and spatial analytics software. According to ESRI, more than 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the software for their GIS (geography information systems) needs. The maps and analytics that ArcGIS yields are extraordinarily complex and detailed, which is why their use tends to be heavily catered to specific fields or tasks. For example, geographers or professionals involved in facilities management benefit greatly from ArcGIS software because their maps offer so much detail, such as the smallest cracks in a sidewalk.

However, by integrating specific data feeds into an outward-facing map, facilities professionals can share select data with the entire campus or use it to show planned changes, campus maintenance needs, and other information to other departments.

No matter how you choose to integrate high-tech features and data, your campus map users will appreciate the real time and dynamic data available. In this day and age, real-time information is pertinent and it will make your map a more relevant and frequently visited site for reliable live updates and info regarding campus happenings. The opportunities for data integration into digital campus maps are endless.

About the Author:

Brian Rehkopf is senior account executive at Concept3D, where he supports the company’s higher education and healthcare clients. Formerly known as CampusBird, Concept3D’s higher education platform creates immersive experiences through interactive 3D campus maps, VR-enabled virtual tours, and more.