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Mobile Maps for Back to School

August 19, 2019 by Sam Slater

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Due to the larger screen size, some prefer to view interactive campus maps on their desktop computer. At Concept3D, while our maps are built for both desktop and mobile devices, we average around 65% desktop and 35% mobile usage. During peak periods of use - particularly higher education move-in days/weekends, these percentages flip, 60% mobile, almost exactly the opposite for the simple reason that people are on the move, getting around campus, trying to find routes, dorms, information, etc. Students and parents are scrambling to make it all happen (and have a good time on the side), so having a mobile ready map with easy access information makes a big difference. 

And there are a few key map features that are well worth surfacing and making easy to find on mobile devices: 

Dorms & Residence Halls 

Move in day can be stressful for incoming freshman. Moving tends to be stressful for anyone -not to mention when you are moving in with thousands of other students at the same time who all need to park, carry gobs of stuff, eat, and find their way around.

So it’s smart to have residence halls clearly marked on your campus map, so incoming students and parents can more easily find their way around, and from there find other nearby necessities. 

However also having specific information on each dorm room such as the main entrances or any necessary check in information is also very important to have accessible on a mobile device. For example, Texas A&M University has the check-in locations where students stop by to pick up their keys listed for each residence hall. During the potentially chaotic move-in day, having these little details accessible to incoming students will help smooth the process and create a better campus experience for all.

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 3.13.03 PM

Driving Directions

While Apple or Google maps may be able to assist in getting visitors to and from a campus - navigation once on campus can be more difficult, particularly in cases where construction or road closures impact driving routes. Having direct and clear on-campus driving directions accessible via phone not only will make visitors feel more comfortable, it will also help lessen traffic jams or road congestion during busy times like move-in day.

For example, Colorado State University has campus driving directions under its move-in day map overlay. The routes are highlighted in red and have arrows to help direct users. The University of Colorado, Boulder also has different colored move-in routes depending on the dorm. These routes have access zones, north and south routes, housing and drop off locations all coordinated in the same color. These driving directions are easily accessible via your smartphone, so students can find their way around while still being in the car. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 3.11.43 PM

Information Centers

No matter how much planning goes into it, last minute questions are sure to occur during move in day. Where do I find a moving bin? Where do I return it? Can I recycle my boxes? Many schools have various booths or information centers on campus with student volunteers to help answer these questions. Having these information center locations easily accessible on your mobile device will help visitors sort out any questions or confusion during move-in day. 

Parking 

Traffic and parking can easily become a nightmare during move-in day or the first week of school. Directing incoming students and their families to the right parking lots can be overwhelming for staff and visitors. Having your campus parking options easily accessible on your phone can make this process easier and less time consuming. 

For example, Texas A&M University has a number of different parking options and specifications listed on their move-in map. Temporary parking and drop off zones near dorms are highlighted and when clicked on information on how long cars can stay or space available is included. Larger parking lots available for move-in day parking are marked in a light blue with information on whether the lot is free, paid, and what days it is open for move in. Lots that are closed for move in weekend are clearly marked in red and with a no car sign. Handicapped accessible parking is also listed on the map. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 3.13.18 PM

Trash & Recycling

Yep, move-in days can be trash and cardboard box-intensive. If nearby trash and recycling locations are easily accessible on a mobile device, cleanup will be a lot easier!

Topics: College Campus Tours

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