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Interactive Campus Maps: A Powerful Admissions Tool

September 12, 2016 by Sam Slater

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From CampusBird Blog

Yet another school year has started and more than 20 million students are back at American colleges and universities.

No doubt many of these students had their first experience with a university online, and used online sources to help make a final decision about where to apply and ultimately where to attend.

In a recent study, 33 percent of students reported that viewing a campus map changed their perception of the school for the better.

How many students did your university attract through this channel? Or perhaps more important: how many prospective students decided to attend a competitor's university?

Interactive maps are a powerful admissions tool that allows students to experience your campus, as well as academics, student life, athletics, events, facilities, history, art - you name it. When used right, an interactive map can help students get excited and reach the realization: "I can see myself as a student there."

A host of schools have just launched new interactive campus map and virtual tours for the 2016/17 academic year. And we're proud to say that CampusBird's interactive map and virtual tour software powers many of them.

Not only are they helping current students find their way around, but CampusBird is also going to work on the recruiting side for marketing and admissions pros.

Let's take a closer look at schools launching CampusBird maps as the 2016-17 year gets underway.

MemorialU: One Map Platform for Three Campuses

Newfoundland, Canada's Memorial University is a multi-campus university that provides multi-disciplinary courses and functions as a research university. The multiple campuses and offerings can easily confuse a prospective student or first-time visitor.

Memorial U. contacted us when they realized their previous interactive maps were far too outdated and didn't have proper functionality. Because of the multiple units throughout the campus, they needed a new interactive map helping to better categorize the overwhelming ground space.

They also needed something to integrate easily with mobile so students could use the interactive map while on location.

Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 12.35.25 PM CampusBird Map of Memorial U's St. John's Campus Tunnels. Image Courtesy of Memorial University.

Now the school has a customized 3D map helping students better navigate the numerous campuses. What makes their map particularly stand out is it has a customized print option if students want a paper map to refer to.

More so, mobile technology allows real-time interactivity while walking the grounds.

As Jeff Hulan, associate director of marketing at Memorial, says:

"We worked with many stakeholders to make this tool useful to the university community and to visitors, and we will continue to improve it by adding new information and new functionality."

Rice: Live Transit; Arts and Humanities Info Hub 

With Rice University being one of the most prestigious research universities in the southern U.S., the faculty there wanted to take their maps beyond just helping students navigate. They wanted something that could make Rice a welcoming environment for everyone in various disciplines. As a hub for lectures in the arts and humanities, a new interactive map could help people explore hidden educational opportunities.

Rice University's CampusBird offers 360-degree panoramic views for starters. The university is the first CampusBird partner to integrate a live bus and shuttle tracker, which makes it easy for map users to track buses, to see when the next bus is scheduled to arrive, and to get easy directions to a bus stop.

Linda Thrane, VP for public affairs at Rice says:

“We want Rice to be a welcoming destination for art, music, lectures, food, athletic events, lectures – a great place to visit just to enjoy the beauty of our campus. This new mapping system will help people find those amenities and explore those opportunities."

UNC: Mobile Friendly; Inclusive 

Abbas Piran, Director of Engineering Information Services, says he and his staff chose the CampusBird platform because

"...it allows us to combine a beautifully rendered 3D map with advanced software to create, manage and share interactive content and media with our visitors and campus community."

Along with mobile integration, their maps provide highly detailed renderings of campus buildings to provide a better sense of reality. It even provides more detailed descriptions about locations and services.

UNC's is still evolving with more details to come. Regardless, they provide more specific information on gender-neutral bathrooms, parking, and transit so new students never get lost.

SDSU: ADA Accessibility; Driving and Walking Directions

SDSU announced their new CampusBird interactive map on August 29 with a post that highlights the goal of easing campus navigation, helping SDSU community members with disabilities, providing driving, biking and walking directions, as well as a self-guided virtual campus tour.

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"This map is also a useful asset for community members with disabilities. A menu item on the left side of the map allows users to switch on the ADA Accessibility option. Once selected, the map highlights all roadways and campus pathways that are accessible by wheelchair. It also lists ADA restrooms and building access points. The interactive map can also provide directions, including by public transit and on foot."

You can visit SDSU's CampusBird Interactive Map here.

CSU: Construction, Move-in Day, Bike Routes

The high academic standards at Colorado State University requires making students feel comfortable. When they came to us to design a new 3D online map, they asked for something different: A "Move-In Day" map category.

Once we brought this to them, they e-mailed their interactive maps to new students so they could all gain fast access to information. It provides everything from sustainability initiatives to bike routes.

As a bonus, the maps show future renderings of new buildings currently under construction. It helps give new students a vision for what to expect if staying with CSU for the next four or more years.

 

Topics: Blogs, admissions, Memorial University, Rice University, SDSU, Texas A&M, UNC, Colorado State University, Higher ed admissions

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