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Duke - The New Campus Map

December 14, 2012 by Sam Slater

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From CampusBird Blog

Overview of the Project | Updating the Map | Google Earth and 3D Development

In July of 2011, the transformation began of the online campus map by partnering with a 3D development group named Concept 3D. This required a complete overhaul of Duke's facilities, parking, transportation and communications data in addition to updating city of Durham data as well as the enterprise Google Maps engine. The goal of the project was to not only overhaul the current map with updated, less maintenance-intensive mapping technology but to add 3D functionality through the utilization of Google Earth.

After extensive data clean up and outreach to groups such as Parking and Transportation, Student Affairs and Athletics the map was complete and ready for debut. Under the direction of Blyth Morrell in the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications, and in close collaboration with Greg Anspach in Facilities and Meg McKee in the Office of News and Communications, the team launched the new campus map in November of 2011.

Core contributors:

  • Mike Schoenfeld, Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations
  • Blyth Morrell, Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications
  • Meg McKee, Office of News and Communications
  • Greg Anspach, Facilities Management Division
  • Ben Riseling, Office of News and Communications
  • Leon Malahias, Office of Information Technology
  • Adem Gusa, Facilites Management Division

Our special thanks and appreciation goes to the Concept 3D Development Team:

  • Oliver Davis
  • Zach Mertz
  • Matt Brown
  • Allan Wintersieck

The new campus map project could not have been possible without support from the following members of the Duke University administration and students:

  • Denise Haviland, Director, Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications
  • David Jarmul, (and his staff), Associate Vice President for Office of News and Communications
  • Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President for Administration
  • Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Sam Veraldi, Director of Parking, Housekeeping and Transportation Services
  • John Dailey, Chief of Police
  • Victoria Szabo, Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Director of the Program in Information Science + Information Studies and Co-Director, Franklin Humanities Institute GreaterThanGames Lab
  • ISIS Capstone Students:
    • Emily Poplawski
    • Zach Lerner
    • Meg Tobin
    • Lacey Kim

Additionally, we would like to recognize Duke's ISIS Program, led by Victoria Szabo, which began research on a capstone project that began with Google Sketchup in 2010. The resulting virtual tours were a catalyst in bringing the new campus map to fruition.

Finally, much appreciation and thanks goes to Deb Johnson for the years of work updating the former map data in addition to leading several efforts of a map redesign. The map would not have been as successful without the work undertaken on previous iterations which ultimately led to the product you see today.

Process for Updating Maps

Feedback on the new map or requests for updates should be submitted to mapsteam@duke.edu where it will be reviewed for accuracy and feasibility by the Facilities Office, the Office of News and Communications and the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications. For requests that involve updates to Google data please allot a minimum of 2 weeks for updates to complete. Duke's Office of Facilities is the official Duke point of contact for issues related to Google data yet turnaround time is beyond our control. Requests for new map functionality will be reviewed quarterly and requests for content edits (content within Bubbles or additional pushpins) will be turned around within 2-4 business days.

Beginning in 2012, we will begin work on local implementation for groups who may chose to have additional "layers" included in maps (not part of the primary Duke map)

Google Earth and 3D Development

Prior to the launch of the new map, Duke had begun dabbling in 3D mapping technology. Duke's ISIS program students had begun working in Google Sketchup in the Spring of 2010. Their first renderings of campus in Google earth paved the way for the digital experience we have today.

Concept 3D spent a week on Duke's campus photographing some 325 buildings that were slated for 3D development. After receiving copies of the University's CAD (computer-aided design) files, a 3D rendering was drawn on top of Google's satellite imagery in a process know as gray mapping. Once complete, the buildings were wrapped with the imagery taken by the photographers and texture was applied. Additional layers of shrubbery and foliage completed the effect to give us the images shown below:

Topics: 3D Renderings, Campus Map, College Campus Tours, Interactive Virtual Experiences

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