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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

New technology is making it easier to navigate campus

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May 2, 2016

A recent addition to the MSU interactive maps enables users to receive directions on how to get from place to place.

Michigan State is recognized around the globe for many things, one of them being its beautiful campus. However, at times it can be a challenge for newcomers to navigate.

Enter the new wayfinding capability introduced to the interactive campus map this spring; an addition that will surely assist should a navigation issue arise. But IPF Information Technologist I Nick Voss, who had a hand in designing the new feature, admits the team stumbled upon the idea.

“Three of four years ago we started providing the maps.msu.edu team with tiles so they could keep their maps current with any construction changes happening on campus,” Voss said. As we went through that effort it took us down a road where we realized we were showing the public where work on campus was happening, but not how to get from point A to point B.

Users can now pinpoint their location anywhere on campus and after selecting a destination, the map will provide a graphic of the quickest route available on foot.

The map is compatible for mobile devices and will resize to fit any size screen. Users can expect a few more additions in the near future as the team works to make the map applicable to a more diverse range of travel situations.

“Some of the capabilities that we want to explore and add on to the wayfinding analysis are bike routing and potentially vehicle routing one day,” Voss said. “Our main goal is to making this a valuable experience for the people that are using it.”