Indoor Campus Maps: Are We There Yet on Mobile?

Submitted by on Tue, 10/14/14

The next frontier in mapping software for mobile campus apps is indoor maps. Over the last few years, indoor maps have been helping consumers find their way around shopping malls and airports. Indoor maps for public spaces have been gaining momentum as they provide an important resource for visitors to find stores, restrooms, and other amenities.

Currently, most university and enterprise mobile apps lack any kind of indoor mapping features. Yet, students and employees would tremendously benefit from the ability to quickly locate a particular room in a building. Picture an anxious student stumbling around an unfamiliar building trying to find a professor’s office (“room 32-386”). Pointing to the building is helpful, but mobile indoor map functionality would solve the problem of finding the location of the professor’s office in the building.

Most of the solutions available today don’t meet the specific needs of universities and enterprises. For example, Google Indoor Maps has led the way for many public spaces to display indoor floor plans in mobile apps. Many airports and shopping malls are using this to allow visitors to find points of interest indoors. Some universities are trying Google Indoor Maps, but there are some fundamental limitations.  First, Google Indoor Maps are all available in the public domain and secondly, the searching capability is difficult to integrate inside a mobile campus app. For most universities and enterprises, there is a need for an easy-to-use searchable indoor map solution that can be made public where appropriate but also can be limited to the authorized members of the organization.

The Kurogo Mobile Indoor Maps module has been designed to meet the needs of universities and enterprises. Typically, universities and enterprises are sprawling campuses, sometimes with hundreds of buildings and thousands of floors. As a result, it is especially important for many authors to have the ability to create and maintain indoor maps content. This can now be accomplished with simple web-authoring tools.

Also, integrating indoor campus maps into the university’s or enterprise’s mobile app is the last missing piece to create a great user experience. Users can now search and browse indoor map content from the main mobile campus app.  They can also deep link  to and from the indoor map and other modules. For example, if a professor just changed the class room location, a student may receive a notification with a link to the indoor map to help find the room.  And, if an employee detects a problem in a room, he she can quickly report it through an integrated Facilities module.

Perhaps most important for many universities and enterprise organizations is security. Some have locations, such as labs conducting animal testing or secure facilities that cannot be made public. With the Kurogo Mobile Indoor Maps module, administrators can require users to authenticate so that only the authorized personnel can see the locations. Or, they can create different indoor maps (e.g. public and private versions) for visitors vs. authorized users.

So, are we there yet with indoor maps for mobile campus apps? Yes!!! We are excited to see how our solutions will help universities and enterprises take their mobile app experience to the next level.


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