Emory Report
July 5, 2005
Volume 57, Number 34


Emory Report homepage  

July 5, 2005
Campus map receives interactive upgrade

Barbara stark is manager of training and communications for campus services


Since November 2004, Joan Wang, information technology technical leader for Campus Services (formerly Facilities Management), and her team have been working small miracles. That team, with collaboration from several departments around campus, has developed a new web-based campus map, now available to the public.

Functionally and visually different from the existing map, the new version includes several advantages: It has been drawn to scale, it is dynamic (meaning that information on the map updates automatically), and, perhaps most exciting, the map is now interactive.

Using GIS (geographical information systems) and a program called AutoCAD (computer-assisted drawing), the map’s buildings, roads, shuttle-stop locations and other features are drawn to scale and represented accurately. This provides the viewer with a better understanding of distances and more effective way-finding. The map includes the Wesley Woods, Briarcliff and Clairmont campuses and can be printed in a variety of formats.

Another function is the map’s ability to update changes automatically, using special links to transfer information from several databases. For example, if a building is completed, a road moved or a shuttle schedule changed, the information will be reflected on the map as the data owners modify it on their ends.
Interactive capability is the map’s most impressive modification. Whereas previously visitors had to enter a building’s name to find its location, the new map has several innovative capabilities to assist users in locating not only buildings but parking decks, specific types of buildings (i.e., Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facilities) and shuttle routes.

Users can zoom in on a chosen map area until building names appear; they can click on any building and bring up a photo of that facility, its address and other helpful information; and they can view a list of buildings sorted by preference (by building name, address, number, etc.).

Shuttle stops and routes have been included, and the map enables users to view shuttle routes by entering their desired starting and ending points. The map then displays the route, supplies shuttle information along with any necessary transfers, and lists all additional stops along the way. The team even provided relevant MARTA bus route numbers and the direct shuttle service locations to Lenox Square Mall.

Atop all this user friendliness, a help feature is included to assist new users in navigating the site. Additionally, a locator grid can be activated to help with map navigation.

The improvements will not stop there; the map’s rollout is just Phase I. Wang and her team are moving rapidly to Phase II, which includes the Oxford campus map, the addition of blue security lights, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility routes, dining facility information, walking directions between buildings, dormitory descriptions for prospective students, access for Macintosh users, and a Google Map interface. Another component of this plan includes computerized touch-screen kiosks, which will be stationed strategically around campus for visitors (and anyone else who is directionally challenged).

This next phase, scheduled for completion in December 2006, includes the provision of secure, password-protected floor plan information to building occupants, which will be tied into the scheduling program X25, an upgraded version of R25. This feature will enable the University to better analyze and understand its current space utilization and more effectively plan for space assignments and modifications.

To view the new and improved campus map, simply visit Emory’s internal homepage, click on “About Us” and then “Campus Map,” or go to www.fm.emory.edu/fmit/map/index.htm. Macintosh users will be directed to the existing campus map until the completion of Phase II.

“We would like to extend a special thank you to those whose valuable input and support allowed this project to be so successful,” Wang said. “We look forward to continuing our relationships with you in the future.”

For more information, contact Wang via email at joan.wang@emory.edu.