University Rolls Out New, Real Time, Interactive Campus Map

The University of Alabama has rolled out a completely redesigned campus map that will help people better navigate and experience the Capstone.

Mike Shelton, assistant vice president for UA Financial Affairs Information Technology and Space Management, said the new map’s features will provide an integrated platform for campus information, including:

  • building information
  • virtual tours
  • live bus routes
  • housing
  • public safety (blue phones and storm shelters)
  • parking lots
  • campus construction

“We’ve had a campus map for a while based on Google Maps, which quite frankly had an outdated design,” Shelton said. “The aesthetics and functionality of that map have never been to the level we’d like to see it. We also had very little control of that map. If we wanted to make a change to a road or building we had to deal with Google and it takes months to do that. Those changes will now be done in real time.”

Previously, the University provided numerous maps that served specific purposes. The new map will be an integrated resource for geospatial related data providing a better user experience and making it more efficient and accurate for the University to manage map content, Shelton said.

The platform will also provide embedded links to allow users to visit websites for the programs that are housed in the buildings and other campus information.

“Having our own, dynamic campus map that we’ve created gives us a much better level of control, allows us to use many options, improves the level of aesthetic, makes it more interactive.”

Shelton said they’ve been planning a new campus map for about a year and have been working on its implementation for months.

That implementation team included UA employees from multiple departments.

“The implementation team that’s been working on this and our partners, we really appreciate all of their hard work to put this together,” Shelton said. “They have done a tremendous job.”

The current features of the new campus map are a part of phase 1. Phase 2 will include additional functionality such as wayfinding, additional map orientations, event management functionality and more detailed information on campus programs like athletics. The time frame for phase 2 has not been announced.

A few things about the map are still being fine-tuned. Faculty and staff who notice any issues with the map are asked to report them to uacampusmap@fa.ua.edu.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.