Where’s my professor? How a mobile app can help students get around campus

Submitted by on Thu, 08/20/15

The best campus apps provide comprehensive indoor and outdoor mapping that is intuitive and interactive.

Let’s face it – navigating a college campus can be a challenge. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a city school where dorms and classrooms are located at busy intersections, or a small, self-contained campus: Students will need assistance figuring out where to go. This applies to not only to new students, but also anyone who needs to find a new classroom, locate a professor’s office, or map out the most efficient route between buildings.

Fortunately, a mobile app can easily solve this problem.The best campus apps provide deep-linking solutions and geolocation services that create a comprehensive navigation system. Here are a few of the top features these kinds of apps provide and some real-world examples.

Outdoor mapping
If a student needs to find the best way to get from his or her dorm room to Psychology class, they could open your preferred GPS map on their smart phone and plug in the necessary information. But that technique is less effective on a college campus, where you know the building by its name, not its street address. Mapping tools in a comprehensive app circumvent these issues by providing a detailed map of the campus, labeled with building names.twomaps

Robust campus apps also provide deep-linking features from other modules within the app. If a student needs to find their professor’s office, they can search the professor in the directory or the course catalog, click on the office location pin, and go directly to the map. Pathfinding features allow the student to get directions from their current location, across campus, to their professor’s office – umass_movein_map_210all without leaving the app or copying and pasting an address.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has done a great job of incorporating outdoor maps into its mobile app. They created a new comprehensive Move-In Day app, called Living at UMass, that provides all the information that students and parents need to move onto campus. Due to road closures during move-in days, using “normal” path information was not going to get thousands of students from check-in to their hall efficiently. As a result, the school utilized Google Maps to create custom driving routes to be used during Move-In, saving a lot of stress for an anxious group of new students and parents while in their cars!


Indoor mapping
Put yourself in a student’s shoes. You’ve arrived at your building with a few minutes to spare. But once inside you realize you have no clue where to go and there are no signs pointing the way. Or maybe you need to dip into the library to print out an assignment but can’t find the computer lab. Perhaps the bathroom is out of order and you need to find the second one.

indoormaps_210Most mapping apps bring you to the building and then let you take it from there. But navigation shouldn’t stop at the front door – it should continue until you’ve reached the exact room or facility you need. That’s where really robust mapping, capable in Kurogo Mobile Campus, exceeds expectation: accurate, interactive indoor mapping accessible from within your main campus app. As with outdoor mapping, deep-linking functionality means you can easily access Indoor Maps from other modules in the app, such as directories. You can also search Indoor Maps for important amenities like restrooms, printers and more.

Adding another layer of functionality to your app, Indoor Maps can integrate with your Facilities module so that students or staff can report any building or equipment issues. That way, you can flag that out-of-order bathroom without ever exiting the app.

Mapping solutions like these offer a comprehensive, integrated, and intuitive solution for students to find out where they need to go and the best way to get there.  With a new school year about to begin, robust mapping technology will keep new and returning students happy as they navigate the campus.

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