California State University, Long Beach has 323 acres, 84 buildings and its own zip code.
For new students or first-time visitors, navigating from one destination to the next would have required looking at either an acronym-filled 2D map or finding one of several paper maps on campus for reference.
Thanks to the university’s Division of Information Technology, Cal State Long Beach now has an interactive, searchable Digital Wayfinding map that can be launched online via mobile device or desktop computer. It’s one element of the Smart Campus Initiative and will be featured during the Tech Day event on November 6.
“It’s a big deal,” Director of Service Management and Operations for the university's Division of IT Bryon Jackson said. “It’s going to serve a really big purpose on campus not only for the students, but for the campus community.”
The new smart campus map is available for use by students, staff, faculty and visitors at map.csulb.edu. It can be accessed via a mobile computing device, such as a smart phone or tablet, or a regular desktop or laptop computer.
Artistic renderings of campus and off-site locations, including BeachSide College and Blair Field, were created and overlaid on top of Google Maps. The main campus rendering features every building, dining option, parking lot and facility that campus has to offer. There’s even details down to the trees, sculptures, stairs and succulents.
On the left side of the webpage, or on a drop-down menu for mobile devices, users can choose location markers, which have the option to prompt walking directions, and filters including Accessible Pathways and Outdoor Wi-Fi.
During the Beach 2030 survey, a lot of students’ feedback called for improved, interactive functions on a campus map, Jackson said.
“From the campus perspective, it’ll serve many purposes,” he added, “because of the shareable links. You can give departments like Long Beach State University Athletics the option to send out interactive information.”
When promoting campus events, students and event organizers alike can use links that direct friends, family and others to the exact location they need to be.
Other features on the map include construction filters, which give updates on current projects across campus; inclusive resources locators, which pinpoints all-gender restrooms and diaper changing stations; and parking and transportation information.
Phase one of the project, launching Digital Wayfinding via map.csulb.edu, is complete, Jackson said. Phase two, which consists of installing interactive map kiosks on campus, will take place during spring and summer.
“Similar to a mall map, students can visit a kiosk, they can interact not only with the campus map but with other features, including event calendars and what’s happening on campus, resources that the campus offers and University Police,” Jackson said.
Another Digital Wayfinding asset that the campus would like to implement is interactive interior directories for each building. Right now, the Bob Murphey Access Center and Student Services Center have one.
On Tech Day, students will be able to interact with an outdoor kiosk that will display the new digital campus map. Jackson said he is hoping to start gathering feedback from students, faculty and staff at the event.
“A lot of it can be reconfigured,” he said. “So as things change, we can alter it. It’s going to be a living, breathing map. It’s not going to be stale, as long as people let us know of the changes.”
Tech Day will take place 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday on the Friendship Walk, where technology demonstrations and showcases will take place.