Last week marked the launch of our new “online campus map” interface—now with 100% more Google integration!
While our previous map viewer served its purpose well, it was completely custom-built, and therefore wasn’t the simplest thing to update or add features to. Therefore, based on the fact that Google Maps are at this point a fairly standard way for websites to present their map-based data, and because Google continues to expand the available capabilities of the system and makes sure it’s up to date with current technology, we decided it was time to upgrade.
Thanks to some foresight a couple of years back, our entire database of campus building locations was actually already based on GPS coordinates. Because of that, no major reworking of the data was required to make the upgrade to a Google-based system. We simply needed to build a new front-end (using Google’s tools) that interacted with the database in almost exactly the same manner as our previous map interface did.
The only downside at the moment is that Google’s current satellite images don’t include some of our newest additions to campus—most notably the Segerstrom Science Center, which I had to add manually by drawing a rough placeholder-simulacrum over the satellite image.
On the other hand, the switch to Google Maps also included one major benefit that we’d been wanting to include for a while: driving directions. Now, any time you’re viewing information on a particular building or area of campus, simply enter your starting address in the field provided, and the system will output a set of standard Google directions. (Note: Since they are driving directions, they’re designed to get you to the most appropriate university entrance; it’s assumed that you’re not already on campus.)
Well, here it is: APU Online Campus Map. Go ahead and way-find to your heart’s content.