Using the Power of Google Maps for Campus and Facility Management
Case Study Rutgers University
This article was originally published by Applied Geographics Inc. (AppGeo), a company acquired by The Sanborn Map Company Inc in September 2022.
New Jersey’s largest higher education institution, Rutgers University, has three main campuses and hundreds of other off-campus facilities. Rutgers has 900 buildings across 6,000 acres and owns property in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. Rutgers also has one of the largest transit systems of any school, with over 54,000 rides per day on 19 routes. It was critical that all of this information be easily and consistently accessible to interested users across all campuses and facilities.
The updated Rutgers Campus Map provides easy to use mapping with contextual information that allows a user to find key location information such as building-level details (departments and space assignments within the building), where to park, bus routes and stops, walking paths, and amenities (retail shops and food locations).
AppGeo is an important technical and creative partner in the development, continued support, and future enhancement of our public facing Rutgers University Campus Map which provides a crucial resource for both our community and our internal facilities, planning, and operations personnel. As our GIS footprint grows at the university, we can count on AppGeo’s expertise with software, systems and documentation, and web map development to provide geospatial solutions to aid us in projects to meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff.
– Michael Stepowyj, GIS Manager – Institutional Planning Operations; Department of Planning, Development, and Design, Rutgers University
A university’s campus map is an important asset that serves a variety of visitors, alumni, students, staff, faculty, and administration. A campus map provides detailed information about locations across the campuses and often includes wayfinding capabilities.
Before AppGeo built out an online campus map for Rutgers using the Google Maps Platform, Rutgers had all of their campus geospatial data siloed in individual databases – a format that was hard for campus staff, students and visitors to access and interact with. Putting the entirety of the campus mapping information on a single platform with a unified experience was a major driver of the decision to migrate to a new campus mapping platform.
Rutgers Campus Mapping App with facilities pop-out menu
The application integrates with backend data systems, making it easy for Rutgers to keep everything up to date. Rutgers data, consumed from their ArcGIS Online account and Archibus facilities database, include data such as buildings information, public transportation, parking, biking, real estate and utilities. The Google Maps application serves data to the public and provides additional data and features for campus staff and facility managers.
This application is pulling data from various internal sources (Archibus Facility Management database, Transloc API for bus route information) and provides a single source for all location information across all Rutgers campuses.
Screenshot of Rutgers Campus Map complete with oblique imagery and street view capabilities
Bus rides per day
Acres of campus
Spread over all 21 counties of New Jersey
AppGeo‘s Campus Map for Rutgers serves as a hub for organizing and delivering critical location information to meet such diverse needs as wayfinding, building access, public safety, planning, and facility management.
The campus map has helped reinforce the brand and identity of the University by providing a unified, positive user experience and by presenting an interactive and iconic view of the campus setting and environment.
The application also includes the following key functionality:
Searchable addresses, building or facilities (as well as parking lots)
Clickable buildings and detailed information about what is in that building
Quick links to popular destinations on any of the three main campuses
Secure logins for authorized staff to view detailed utility and property information
Optimized for desktop or mobile devices
AppGeo also implemented many key components of Section 508 web accessibility standards such as: compliant color contrast ratios, the ability to navigate the site completely via keyboard, and ensure the application is screen-reader compliant.
It’s been great working alongside the Rutgers GIS team over the years and seeing their team and capabilities grow. I’m happy to have been a part of that growth. The Rutgers GIS team maintains the information for the Campus Map while constantly responding to requests for more GIS. AppGeo has been able to help them succeed by building standards, templates, and automated tools into their workflows and acting as their trusted partner in the development and maintenance of the Campus Map. The Campus Map is a valuable resource for Rutgers staff, faculty, students, families, visitors, and consultants to quickly find the information and locations they need across all Rutgers Campuses and off-campus facilities.
– Michele Giorgianni, Principal / Senior Project Manager, AppGeo